- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton leads presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump by just 4 points nationally, according to a poll released Tuesday that showed Republicans are rallying around Mr. Trump about as much as Democrats are unifying behind Mrs. Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton led Mr. Trump by a 42 percent to 38 percent margin in the poll from the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 4 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 2 percent.

In a head-to-head match-up, Mrs. Clinton led Mr. Trump by 6 points, 47 percent to 41 percent.

The poll was taken from May 6-9 — after Mr. Trump’s final two Republican opponents, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, announced they were suspending their campaigns.

“Hillary Clinton certainly is favored to win the presidential race this fall,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “But it might not be the giant blowout it’s been made out to be in some quarters.”

“Donald Trump has quickly gotten most rank-and-file Republican voters behind him and that has him positioned as a modest underdog for the general rather than a massive one,” Mr. Debnam said.

Among the full field, Mrs. Clinton led by a 78 percent to 9 percent margin among Democrats, while Mr. Trump led by a 78 percent to 7 percent margin among Republicans.

Seventy-two percent of Republicans also said they are comfortable with Mr. Trump as the party’s nominee, compared to 21 percent who said they weren’t.

Those numbers are comparable to the 75 percent of Democrats who said they would be comfortable with Mrs. Clinton as the nominee, compared to 21 percent who said they wouldn’t be.

Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, who is competing against Mrs. Clinton on the Democratic side, led Mr. Trump by 10 points, 47 percent to 37 percent, with Mr. Johnson at 3 percent and Ms. Stein at 1 percent.

Mr. Sanders led Mr. Trump by 11 points, 50 percent to 39 percent, in a head-to-head match-up.

Sixty-three percent of Democrats said they would be comfortable with Mr. Sanders as the party’s nominee, compared to 30 percent who said they would not be.

There was a big difference in Mr. Sanders’ and Mrs. Clinton’s performances among young voters in the match-ups.

Among the full field, Mrs. Clinton had a 46 percent to 24 percent advantage over Mr. Trump among people ages 18-29, while Mr. Sanders had a 64 percent to 18 percent lead.

In head-to-heads against Mr. Trump, Mrs. Clinton led among younger voters by a 49 percent to 27 percent margin, while Mr. Sanders led by a whopping 70 percent to 14 percent margin.

“The biggest question in the race at this point is whether Hillary Clinton will be able to get Bernie Sanders’ supporters unified around her once the nomination process has run its course,” Mr. Debnam said. “If she does this 4 point lead she has right now could quickly become a 6 or 8 point lead.”

On a generic party presidential preference question, 49 percent said they would choose a Democrat and 41 percent said they would pick a Republican.

Forty-nine percent said they voted for President Obama in the 2012 election, and 40 percent said they voted for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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