- The Washington Times - Monday, August 1, 2016

Hillary Clinton has soared to a substantial lead in polling after Democrats’ convention last week, with one CNN survey even putting her above the 50 percent mark — the first time she’s been there since June.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump had taken a lead coming out of Republicans’ gathering earlier in July, with Republicans rallying around him and voters applauding his acceptance speech. But Democrats’ convention last week has erased those gains, leaving the billionaire businessman back in a deep hole.

The CNN/ORC survey released Monday evening puts Mrs. Clinton and running mate Sen. Tim Kaine at 52 percent support, while Mr. Trump and GOP ticket mate Gov. Mike Pence are at 43 percent. That’s a drop of 5 points for the Republicans and a gain of 7 points for the Democrats — for a total swing of 12 percentage points.

Earlier Monday a CBS News poll showed Mrs. Clinton with a 6-point lead, 47-41, in a head-to-head race.

Mrs. Clinton now holds a lead of nearly 4 percentage points in the Real Clear Politics average of polls, with six of the last seven showing her with a lead.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus brushed aside the new numbers, saying voters showed after the GOP convention they’re willing to give Mr. Trump a chance.

“People saw a person ready to lead,” Mr. Priebus said. “He delivered an effective message.”

But Mr. Trump’s convention speech was a dozen days ago, and the intervening time has not been kind to him.

Democrats’ convention focused heavily on Mr. Trump’s past statements, from the offensive to the ridiculous. And he has recently found himself enmeshed in an untoward war of words with the parents of a Muslim U.S. Army captain who died in Iraq in 2004.

Mrs. Clinton’s own speech didn’t light any fires under voters, with just 18 percent saying it was excellent and another 26 percent saying it was good.

But that was still slightly better than Mr. Trump, whose speech was rated excellent by 21 percent and good by just 19 percent. By contrast, then-candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 speech was rated good or excellent by a stunning 64 percent.

Adding in other potential vote-getters, such as Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein, did little to change the fundamentals of the race.

The CBS News poll showed Mrs. Clinton has made strides to keep supporters of Sen. Bernard Sanders, her chief opponent during the primary, on board. Some 73 percent said they will vote for Mrs. Clinton, up from 67 percent earlier in July.

The gender gap continues to dominate the race, with Mrs. Clinton holding a massive lead among women while Mr. Trump holds a lesser lead among men in both the CNN and CBS News polls.

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