Clinton widens poll lead over Trump

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention via a live video feed from New York during the second night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. (REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich)

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continues to widen her lead over fading Republican contender Donald Trump in public opinion polls, going up either points in the latest Washington Post-ABC survey released Sunday.

Trump’s gaffe-filled post convention period gives Clinton a wider lead than where President Barack Obama stood in his race against loser Mitt Romney four years ago or John McCain in 2008.

“Democrats are lining up behind their candidate and Republicans are in disarray,” says one GOP pollster, who asked not to be identified.  “At this point, the GOP does not have a Presidential campaign and as each day passes, the point where Trump can recover is fading.”

The Post-ABC polls shows Clinton leading 50-42 percent in the telephone survey carried out August 1-4.

Presidential election polls often show candidates gaining ground after their nominating contests but Trump’s “bounce” was minimal and Clinton’s gain continues 10 days after her convention nomination.

Before the conventions Clinton had a four-point lead over Trump, according to an Post-ABC News survey.

Among likely voters, Clinton’s lead is 51 to 44 percent, and in a race that includes Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Jill Stein from the Green Party, Clinton leads Trump 45-37 percent, with Johnson at eight percent and Stein at four percent.

Clinton and her running mate, Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, received the nomination to run for the November 8 presidential election during the July 25-28 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Trump and his vice presidential candidate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, were nominated in the July 18-21 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

A a string of significant political gaffes continue to haunt and hurt Trump.

Mistakes include urging Russia to find and release emails that disappeared from Clinton’s private server that she used as secretary of state.

He denigrated the family of a Muslim-American soldier killed in the Iraq war, to the horror of veterans and their supporters, a mistake that brought widespread criticism from both Democrats and Republicans.

Other issues include questions this week about the immigration ploys used by Trump’s wife, Slovenian Melania Trump, who may have began her nude modeling career without proper documents and lied about the dates of when she actually came to America.  She also came under scrutiny for plagiarizing part of her speech at the Democratic National Convention from First Lady Michelle Obama and lied by claiming she had a college degree.

“There’s an irony that the candidate who calls his opponent ‘lying Hillary’ shares his own dishonesty with his wife and bases so much of his campaign on illegal immigrants while having a wife who may have been one,” says Democratic political operative John Crimmons.

Dissatisfaction  with both candidates remains low: nearly 6 in 10 registered voters said that they are unhappy with both Clinton and Trump as major party candidates.

Barring campaign or news developments, the next opportunity for the candidates to shift their poll numbers comes in the three presidential debates, scheduled for late September and October.

Seeking to arrest his sinking poll numbers, Trump reversed course Friday and endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan for re-election, pleaded for Republican unity and pledged to work with the very party leaders he had earlier dismissed as Washington’s ineffective establishment figures.

But Trump, a neophyte candidate who had never run for office before announcing his candidacy for President last year, ignores the advice of his campaign consultants and launches rant-filled attacks that may have worked with the GOP faithful in the conventions but bring out opposition in a general election.

Polls show him running at just one percent among African-Americans and extremely low with Hispanics — the two large voting blocs that can decide elections.

His latest poll numbers also show he is trailing college-educated whites and female voters.

He trails badly in Arizona, normally a solid Democratic state, and is falling in polls in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia — states that are considered “swing” and necessary to capture for a Presidential win.

Even worse, a number of high profile Republicans, including Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, have announced they are walking away from Trump and voting for Clinton.

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