Washington, July 26 (IANS) The US Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has come out of his convention ahead of Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, topping her 44 per cent to 39 per cent in a four-way matchup including Gary Johnson (nine per cent) and Jill Stein (three per cent) and by three points in a two-way head-to-head, 48 per cent to 45 per cent, a media report said.
That latter finding represents a six-point convention bounce for Trump, which were traditionally measured in two-way matchups, CNN reported on Monday.
Trump’s new edge rests largely on increased support among independents, 43 per cent of whom said that Trump’s convention in Cleveland left them more likely to back him, while 41 per cent were dissuaded.
Pre-convention, independents split 34 per cent Clinton to 31 per cent Trump, with sizable numbers behind Johnson (22 per cent) and Stein (10 per cent). Currently, 46 per cent say they back Trump, 28 per cent Clinton, 15 per cent Johnson and 4 per cent Stein, CNN reported.
The poll also reflected a sharpening of the education divide among whites that had been prevalent throughout the campaign. Among white voters with college degrees, Clinton actually gained ground compared with pre-convention results, going from an even 40 per cent to 40 per cent split to a 44 per cent to 39 per cent edge over Trump. That while Trump expanded his lead with white voters who did not hold a college degree from a 51 per cent to 31 per cent lead before the convention to a 62 per cent to 23 per cent lead now.
Trump’s favourability rating is also on the rise — 46 per cent of registered voters say they have a positive view, up from 39 per cent pre-convention, while his advantage over Clinton on handling top issues climbs. He now holds double-digit margins over Clinton as more trusted on the economy and terrorism. Trump also cut into Clinton’s edge on managing foreign policy — 50 per cent said they trusted her more, down from 57 per cent pre-convention.
The convention also helped Trump make strides in his personal image. A majority (52 per cent) said that Trump was running for President for the good of the country rather than personal gain, just 44 per cent say the same about Clinton.
Despite Democratic criticism of the Republican convention’s message as divisive, the percentage who say Trump will unite the country rather than divide it has increased to 42 per cent, compared with 34 per cent pre-convention.
Clinton’s ratings on these same measures took a hit, though in most cases her drop-off was not quite as large as Trump’s gain. Perhaps most troubling for the Clinton supporters gathering in Philadelphia this week — 68 per cent say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, her worst rating, CNN reported.
Those positives for Trump come despite some sharply negative reviews for the convention itself. Almost 6 in 10 (58 per cent) said the Republican convention spent too much time attacking Democrats, and 18 per cent called Trump’s speech “terrible”.
At least, 40 per cent called the speech excellent or good and about 45 per cent said Trump’s speech reflected the way they feel about things in the US today; 48 per cent said it did not reflect their views.
The public rendered a split decision on whether the convention made them more or less likely to back Trump, 42 per cent said more likely while 44 per cent said less so, but the shift in voter preferences suggests the “more likely” side carried more weight. And most came away feeling ready to decide about Trump’s fitness for the job: 78 per cent say they already know enough to know whether he’d be a good president. Another 20 per cent think they need more information.
Two prominent convention speakers saw their stock rise post-convention as well. Favourability ratings for Trump’s wife, Melania, climbed from 27 per cent pre-convention to 43 per cent post-convention, despite news that her Monday night speech contained passages lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic convention speech.
The CNN/ORC poll suggests a large share of Republican voters still need to be won over. The share of Republicans who say their party is “united now” climbed from 16 per cent pre-convention to 24 per cent post-convention, but about 49 per cent say that it is not united, but will be by November, and there are still about a quarter who say the party won’t unite at all. Further, 45 per cent continue to say they did prefer someone other than Trump as the nominee.
The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted from July 22-24 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results for the sample of 882 registered voters have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.