Hillary Clinton Leads Donald Trump by 7.5 Points in National Poll Average

Hillary Clinton
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton waves as she arrives during a campaign rally in Kissimmee, Florida, U.S. August 8, 2016. |

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is now leading her Republican rival Donald Trump by 7.5 points as she consolidated support of Democrats as their party's nominee thanks to the last month's national convention, while the real estate mogul failed to do so, according to the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls.

The three most recent polls show Clinton leading by 10 points (NBC), two points (LA Times) and eight points (Washington Post-ABC News).

Real Clear Politics
Real Clear Politics average of polls, July 9-August 9, 2016. |

Clinton and her vice presidential pick, Sen. Tim Kaine, now lead Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, by 50 percent to 42 percent among registered voters, up from the four-point advantage the Democrats held just before the Republican convention in mid-July, shows the Washington Post-ABC News poll, released Sunday.

Clinton's 7.5-point lead remains the same in a four-way race, which includes Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. Before the Republican convention, her lead hovered around four-percentage-points in a four-way matchup.

The poll says Trump's overall image hasn't improved despite efforts primarily by his children to use their convention speeches to portray him as a loving father and a successful business executive.

Nearly 60 percent of voters say he is not qualified to be president, just as they did before his convention, and about 30 percent say they would feel comfortable if he were to become president.

After the Democratic and Republican conventions, a slight plurality of Clinton supporters now back Clinton because they want her to be the president rather than simply to oppose Trump, the poll says. Trump's position has also improved, but only slightly. And the percentage of support he gets from people who are doing so out of enthusiasm for his candidacy is still lower than the percent who said that about Clinton before the conventions began. The poll found that while 57 percent of those who backed Trump did so because they opposed Clinton before the conventions, that figure was 56 percent after the conventions.

The poll also suggests that Trump's criticism of Khizr Khan after his speech at the Democratic convention was counterproductive.

Khan, the father of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed by a car bomb in 2004 while guarding the gates of his base in Iraq, criticized Trump's stand on Muslims in his speech, and also said that the Republican candidate has "sacrificed nothing and no one."

Trump responded by asking, "Who wrote that? Did Hillary's scriptwriters write it?"

Trump also asked why Khan's wife, Ghazala, who stood beside her husband on stage, did not say anything, alluding to restrictions on women in some Muslim societies.

"His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there," he said. "She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me, but plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet and it looked like she had nothing to say."

The poll found that 13 percent of registered voters said they approve of the way Trump handled the issue, while 74 percent said they disapprove. Overall, 56 percent said they strongly disapprove of Trump's handling of the controversy.

Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Jeff Flake from Arizona, both Republican, said in media interviews that Trump must change as a candidate to prevent Clinton from claiming their states.

"He's going to win parts of Ohio where people are really hurting. There will be sections he will win because people are angry, frustrated and haven't heard any answers. But I still think it's difficult if you are dividing to be able to win in Ohio. I think it's really, really difficult," Kasich said on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

Flake said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that Trump should take more "responsible positions" in his state, where the Hispanic population is growing.

Flake also said Clinton could win Arizona. "In 1996, Bill Clinton won Arizona. So, yes, it is possible."

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