- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

After post-convention stumbles that forced Donald Trump to overhaul his campaign last week, the Republican presidential nominee was rebounding Tuesday in the polls.

The race between Mr. Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was tied at 44 percent in a national daily tracking poll by the Los Angeles Times and University of Southern California. He surged ahead of Mrs. Clinton to a 2-point lead in the same poll Sunday after trailing her by 4.7 points a week earlier.

The Real Clear Politics average of recent surveys also showed Mr. Trump cutting into the former secretary of state’s lead in a four-way race that includes Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, which is how the November ballot will appear in most state.

Mrs. Clinton’s lead narrowed to 4.3 points from 7.6 points two weeks ago in the polling average.

Republican strategist Gianno Caldwell said Mr. Trump appeared to have regained his footing and credited newly appointed campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.

“With the changes that have been made thus far with the campaign, I’d expect to see a full turnaround in the polls,” he said.

Mrs. Clinton still enjoys clear advantages on the electoral map. Polls show her ahead in almost every battleground state, including 4-point leads in Ohio and Florida, according to the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls.

And Mr. Trump faces big hurdles. He lags with college educated suburban voters who will be crucial deciding contests in Colorado, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The New York billionaire suffered a series of self-inflicted injuries after the July conventions, such as getting into a Twitter spat with a Gold Star family supporting Mrs. Clinton and attracting criticism with the hyperbolic assertion that President Obama “founded” the Islamic State terror group.

The campaign shakeup last week resulted in Mr. Trump repeatedly delivering a scripted stump speech with the aid of a teleprompter, which avoided the distraction often caused by his off-the-cuff remarks

Mr. Trump revamped his “America first” campaign theme, crafting a populist and nationalistic message that incorporated his agendas for trade, jobs, national security and immigration.

He also made a direct appeal for support from Hispanic and black voters, who he said were taken for granted by the Democratic Party.

The Clinton campaign took notice, arranging a conference calls in which Hispanic and black leaders pushed back against Mr. Trump by accusing him of being a bigot.

Mr. Caldwell said that Mr. Trump should keep doing what he’s doing.

“If Donald Trump has another good week as he did last week, I think we are going to see the polls change again,” he said. “It will be up to him to stay consistent in his approach and continue to use the teleprompter, continue to talk about substance, continue to attack Hillary Clinton, who a lot of people don’t like. He’ll move forward from there and that will be a race.”

The race is far from locked up, said pollster John Zogby.

“With about two weeks to go before the traditional Labor Day start to the campaign-in-earnest, this race is not a lock for anyone,” said Mr. Zogby in his latest polling analysis that showed Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump running neck and neck.

The Zogby Analytics poll released Monday showed Mrs. Clinton edging out Mr. Trump 38 percent to 36 percent. Mrs. Clinton had shed 3 points and Mr. Trump 2 points since July, as Mr. Johnson and Ms. Stein gained a couple points but remained in the single digits.

The survey revealed strengths for both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Trump led among men, 41 percent to 35 percent, and white voters, 45 percent to 29 percent.

He also made gained with groups that supported Mr. Obama in the last two elections. He topped Mrs. Clinton with NASCAR Fans (44 percent to 36 percent), weekly Wal-Mart shoppers (41 percent to 36 percent) and voters who live in a household where there is an armed services veteran (47 percent to 28 percent).

Mr. Trump widened his lead with all these groups since the same poll in July.

Other groups tilted toward the real estate tycoon included voters who didn’t attended college (39 percent to 36 percent) independent voters (32 percent to 26 percent) and Catholics (41 percent to 38 percent).

“Remember that Catholics supported Bill Clinton, gave Al Gore an 8 point edge in 2000, John Kerry a 4 point margin in 2004, and voted with Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012,” said Mr. Zogby.

Mrs. Clinton held the advantage with women (42 percent to 32 percent), college educated voters (31 percent to 38 percent), moderates (42 percent to 30 percent) and voters in households where there is a union member (39 percent to 32 percent).

She had the overwhelming support of Hispanics, 51 percent to 18 percent, and black voters, 81 percent to 8 percent.

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