- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is gaining ground on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as Mrs. Clinton’s favorability took a hit and she fell below 50 percent support for the Democratic presidential nomination, a new CNN/ORC poll said.

Mrs. Clinton had led Mr. Trump by 16 points, 56 percent to 40 percent, in a poll taken in July and now leads him by a 6-point margin, 51 percent to 45 percent.

Forty-seven percent of registered Democrats said they support Mrs. Clinton for the Democratic nomination, which is down 9 points since July and is the first time her support has fallen below 50 percent in a national CNN/ORC poll on the race.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was at 29 percent — a 10-point improvement since July — followed by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. at 14 percent.

Fifty-three percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters — including 50 percent of Clinton supporters — said they want Mr. Biden to jump into the race, while 45 percent said they think he should stay out.

The poll indicates that Mrs. Clinton could be the beneficiary if Mr. Biden opts not to run. With his supporters reallocated to their second choice, Mrs. Clinton was at 56 percent and Mr. Sanders was at 33 percent.

Democrats still said they trust Mrs. Clinton best to handle the economy, race relations, foreign policy, and the income gap in America.

Overall, 56 percent now say she did something wrong in setting up a private email account and server as secretary of state, which is up from 51 percent in March. Thirty-nine percent said she did not do anything wrong.

Sixty-three percent of Democrats said she did not do anything wrong — down from 71 percent in March — as did 37 percent of independents.

Among all adults, 53 percent said they have an unfavorable impression of her compared to 44 percent with a favorable view — her most negative rating since March 2001.

Still, she led several other GOP contenders in head-to-head match-ups as well. Among registered voters, she had a 6-point, 52 percent to 46 percent lead over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a 9-point, 52 percent to 43 percent lead over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and a 10-point, 53 percent to 43 percent lead over businesswoman Carly Fiorina.

The survey of 1,001 adults was taken Aug. 13-16 and included 897 registered voters, including registered voters who are Democrats or independent-leaning Democrats. The margin of error for the full survey is plus or minus 3 percentage points, it is plus or minus 3.5 points among registered voters, and it’s plus or minus 5 points among Democratic voters.

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