Trump Inches Past Clinton in Polling Average

By Steven Klett
Steven Klett
Steven Klett
May 23, 2016 Updated: May 23, 2016

For the first time, the website RealClearPolitics shows presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump leading Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton when the hypothetical general election matchup polls are averaged together.   

The poll aggregator shows a 0.2 advantage for Trump—43.4 percent to 43.2 percent. 

In the last 2 months, Trump has improved his polling average by 11 percent. 

The ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Trump leading 46-44; in the Rasmussen Reports, Trump leads 42-37; in a FOX News poll, he leads 45-42.

An NBC News/Wall St. Journal gives Clinton a 3 percent lead and CBS News/NY Times gives her a 6 percent advantage. 

Trump’s surge in the polls comes after meeting with Republican Congressional leaders and getting their public support.

However, House Speaker Paul Ryan has still declined to give Trump his full support.  

Clinton’s recent struggle to make headway in the polls may be related to her having to battle on two fronts—her rival in the Democratic primaries Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Trump has had a head start on the general election criticizing her on gun rights, immigration, and linking her to unpopular trade deals like NAFTA and TPP. 

The Democratic frontrunner would like to pivot to a general election mode aiming at Trump, but has been dogged down by her drawn out primary season with Sanders. 

Trump has quoted Sanders’s critique of Clinton, calling her “unqualified” and questioning her judgement.

In addition to a tight general election race, the polls also show low favorability scores for both Trump and Clinton. The ABC News/Washington Post gives negative scores for each—Clinton with a negative 16 favorability, and Trump at negative 17.

These ratings make them both candidates with historically low favorability.

Clinton, optimistic that these polls don’t matter, dismissed the poll numbers on NBC’s “Today” show saying “polls this far out mean nothing.”

“They certainly mean nothing to me,” the Democratic front-runner said. “And I think if people go back and look, they really mean nothing in terms of analyzing what’s going to happen in the fall.”

Steven Klett
Steven Klett