Trump Nabs First Lead Against Clinton in Poll
by Palmer Gibbs
Donald Trump clawed to his first lead in a general election matchup against Hillary Clinton, surpassing the former secretary of state by 0.2 percent as of May 21. Clinton's double-digit lead evaporated in the last six weeks as Trump mounted a slow and steady climb throughout April, according to polling averages from RealClearPolitics.
As the InsideGov visualization shows, Clinton and Trump have maintained a close competition in a head-to-head race. Although Clinton has bested Trump consistently, the race did tighten to under 1 percent twice so far: On Sept. 12, Clinton led by 0.8 percent, and on Dec. 1, she led by just 0.6 percent.
But Trump's first lead -- no matter how razor-thin -- comes at a critical moment in the race, as both parties sew up their nomination fights and attention shifts to the general election. Trump vanquished his fellow Republicans in early May, when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich dropped out of the race.
Although polling dips and upticks happen for any number of reasons, Trump has started to focus his jabs at the Clinton campaign in the weeks since he secured his party's nomination. Trump has revived '90s era scandals and questions about former President Bill Clinton's sexual conduct. Trump sought to connect Hillary Clinton to her husband's behavior, telling a crowd in Oregon, "She was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful."
Clearly, Trump will continue to rely on the guns-blazing playbook he used expertly -- and effectively -- in the Republican primary.
For the Democrats, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders remains in the race despite a virtually insurmountable deficit in delegates. Last week, in a nod to the data visualized below, Clinton told CNN she "will be the nominee" and that it "is already done, in effect."
But Clinton is also making overtures to the more progressive wing of the party, many of whom remain firmly in Sanders' corner despite the lopsided delegate math. During a "Meet the Press" spot, Clinton repeatedly used the expression "stronger together," a slogan-ready phrase she used as a welcome mat to both Sanders supporters -- and political independents.
"We are stronger together, in facing our internal challenges and our external ones," Clinton said during the interview. "We are stronger together when we have a bipartisan, even nonpartisan foreign policy that protects our country. … When I look at where we are in our country together, we need to unify the country. We are stronger together, when we act on a set of plans and priorities that will redound to the benefit of the American people."
Clinton seems to have an uphill battle ahead of her. The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 53 percent of Americans. Indeed, Trump has been able to corral many Republican voters simply because he's the sole option to defeat Clinton in the general election.
However, Trump doesn't fare much better in the same poll, which finds he is viewed unfavorably by 60 percent of Americans. Those figures make "this a matchup between the two most unpopular likely presidential candidates in the history of ABC/Post election polls, dating back to 1984," according to the report on the data.
Bottom line: Look for the slugfest to continue. Those historic unfavorable numbers, combined with years spent in the public eye, provide plenty of fodder for a negative campaign between Clinton and Trump. In 2016, the race for the highest office in the land might end up being a race to the bottom.
More AMERICAN POLITICS ...
- Clinton Regains Lead
- How Much Candidates Spent Per Vote
- Tim Kaine Cheat Sheet
- Mike Pence by the Numbers
- Americans Divided on Bathroom Bill
- Clinton's Stubborn 75 Percent Chance Finally Dips Following Email Revelations
- The 2016 Democratic Convention by the Numbers
- The 2016 Republican Convention by the Numbers
- Trump's Fundraising Turnaround: June Marked Best Month So Far
- Trump Captures His Largest Lead So Far in Polls
- Trump Pulls Ahead of Clinton in Key Swing States
- Donald Trump and America B
- House Sit-In Would've Been More Powerful if It Rejected 'No Fly, No Buy'
- Clinton's Foreign Policy Poses a Challenge to the Left
- Hillary Wants to Bring Back Bill. She Shouldn't
- The Real Reason Republicans Are Going after the IRS
- ISIS Must Love Trump
- Can Trump Ride the Anti-Immigration Wave to the White House?
- Trouble for Donald Trump's Campaign
- America's Most Followed Members of Congress
- Hillary Clinton's Major Foreign Policy Address Was Anything But
- Donald Trump Down in the Polls After Rough Week on the Trail
- There's No More Denying It: Trump Is Openly Racist
- Donald Trump: Joker's Wild
- After Orlando: Twitter Recoils from Islamophobia, Takes Aim at Gun Laws
- How Much Blame Should Hillary Clinton Bear for Libya?
- Countries That Receive the Most Foreign Aid From the U.S.
- Hillary Clinton Secures Democratic Nomination
- Welcome to Half Dome, Sponsored by Nike
- Companies Need to Stop Bankrolling Hate
- For Billionaire Donors, Academic Integrity Comes Cheap
- America's Cosmic Tax Gap
- Trump's 'Realty Check' on Climate
- Putin and Trump: Symptoms of Creeping Caesarism
- Obama Promised Open Government, But Hasn't Delivered Yet
- A Coalition of the Unhinged
- Putting Free Speech Out to Pasture
- The Only Sane Conclusion from Orlando
- Orlando Shooting Fuels Debate on Gun Control
- They're Killing Us. Help Us Stop Them
- A Commencement Address for the Most Indebted Class Ever
- Our Poverty Myth
- Which States Have Banned Assault Weapons?
- Government Agencies that Spend the Most
- The Government Agencies that Employ the Most People
- Odd Ways Political Campaigns Spend Their Money
- Congressional Districts with the Youngest and Oldest Voters
- Trump Nabs First Lead Against Clinton in Poll
- Bernie's Bucks: Sanders' Fundraising and Spending Prowess in 5 Charts
- Clinton Holds Razor-Thin Lead
- Doling Out the Dough for Pro-Clinton Super PACs
- States with the Most Women in Politics
- Do First Ladies Influence the Popularity of Baby Names?
- Counties Where Medicare Spends the Most per Patient
- We Live in a Democracy, Not a Theocracy
- Is Trump an American Exceptionalist?
- Sanders vs Clinton on Economic Inequality
- Nine Lessons for Navigating National Security
- Trumped Up Alliances?
- Big Money in Politics Drives War
- Why Clinton Supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trump Does Not
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the 2016 US Presidential Election
- Obama: The Conflict Resolution President?
- Bernie Sanders Still the 2016 Fundraising Champ
- Inequality Will Get Worse Until There's a Revolution
- Crime Can Pay if It's Big Enough
- Political Campaigns May Put Your Personal Data at Risk
- Fear, Anger and Attitudes Toward Immigration
- The New (Anti-)Secularism
- Clinton, Trump Poised for Northeastern Sweep on Tuesday
- Trump's Bad Ideas Aren't Un-American After All
- The Death Gap
- Why Trump Is No Longer a Safe Bet
- 22 People, $43 Million: The People Doling Out the Dough for Pro-Clinton Super PACs
- It's Literally Impossible to Deport 11 Million Immigrants
- Here's What a Budget That Prioritizes Peace Looks Like
- Does the Military Support Trump?
- Where Are the Wealthiest Voters?
- How the Pentagon Wastes Your Money
- This Election, We Can't Afford to Ignore the Climate
- The Children's Crusade
- When Islam Polices Extremists
- Hillary Clinton's State Department Armed Saudi Arabia to the Teeth
- Free From Jail, Imprisoned by Debt
- American Cities Most at Risk of Zika Virus
- Operation Paul Ryan
- What Trumpism Means for Democracy
- Trump Opens Floodgates of Hate
- Missing in Action: Political Reality and Leadership
- Give 'Tax and Spend' a Chance
- Donald Trump: Foreign Policy's Useful Idiot?
- When Red Tape Is a Good Thing
- Trump Holds Strong Lead in New York, Clinton-Sanders Race Tightens
- These States Give the Most Money to the Presidential Race
- The Most Influential Presidential Power Couples
- The Most Influential First Ladies
- Wall Street Should Pay a Sales Tax, Too
- Cruz, Not Trump, Has Shot to Beat Clinton
- Republicans Who Really Don't Like Donald Trump
- What Would Nancy Reagan Say?
- The Humpty Dumpty Party
- What Are Trump's Values -- and America's?
- Primary Trends: Media Goes Crazy, Bettors Yawn
- Most Liberal Members of Congress
- Most Conservative Members of Congress
- 25 Facts About Abraham Lincoln
- 25 Facts About John F. Kennedy
"Trump Nabs First Lead Against Clinton in Poll"