Two new polls indicate presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has a clear advantage over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump as both candidates hurtle towards their parties' national conventions.
While one survey shows a dramatic gulf between the two candidates, even when third-party candidates are introduced into the mix, the second polling results show a closer race. In both cases, Trump appears to have been weighed down by a month of negative publicity and skepticism within his own party.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released on June 26 found that Clinton currently leads Trump in a head-to-head election by double digits, the former secretary of state claiming 51 percent support, while the business mogul trails far behind with 39 percent.
The results are a startling reversal from the same polling group’s findings a month earlier. In May, Trump was leading Clinton by 46 to 44 percent. He had just won the GOP nomination after clearing a crowded field while Clinton continued to battle it out with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Now, what had previously been a tight race that had given a slight edge to Trump has transformed into an uphill climb for him.
Comprehensive survey questions found that Trump’s controversial rhetoric in May has been tied around his neck like an anchor and is currently sinking his presidential ambitions.
Of those polled, 66 percent said Trump’s comments in May indicated he is prejudiced against women, racial minorities and Muslims. Nearly 2 out of 3 of respondents believe the GOP nominee is not qualified to be president.
Clinton does not emerge unscathed from her own scandals that emerged during May. Of respondents, 56 percent said they disapprove of the way the former secretary of state has handled questions about her use of a private email server while working for the State Department.
Even when Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are introduced into the equation, Clinton still polls ahead of Trump by double digits by 47 to 37 percent.
Another poll, conducted by the Wall Street Journal/NBC, was more optimistic for Trump, indicating the real estate developer isn't far behind Clinton, Fox News reports.
In the survey, Clinton leads Trump by a more modest 46 to 41 percent. When Johnson and Stein are added into the mix, as they most certainly will be in November, Clinton is projected to only lead Trump by 1 percentage point.
Bill McIntruff, a Republican pollster who had helped conduct the Wall Street Journal/NBC survey, pointed out that if Trump could improve his campaign between June and November, Clinton would be vulnerable enough to defeat.
“Donald Trump has had the worst month one can imagine, but Clinton’s negatives are so high the net impact on the ballot is almost invisible,” McInturff said.
Aggregating all of the general election surveys going back to June 10, Real Clear Politics found that Clinton on average currently leads Trump by 46.4 to 39.6 percent.