Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump are separated by a narrow 3 points in a potential 2016 matchup, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted last week, with 46 percent of registered voters choosing Clinton to 43 percent picking Trump.

In the wider field of all adults, the picture is a bit different, with Clinton holding a significant 51-39 advantage.

Still months from the general election and before either party picks its nominee, Clinton is looking less likely to be the Democratic nominee than before and Trump more likely as the GOP one. But the data demonstrate the power of partisanship, which brings the less-popular Trump into a once-unthinkable position of nipping at Clinton's heels.

Trump's improved performance against Clinton among registered voters isn't unexpected, given that Democrats have a harder time turning out their supporters and usually fare better among broader samples of Americans. Their advantage is typically smaller still among actual voters in general elections.

Clinton has a narrow advantage among all independents, at 45-39. But among registered independents, the slight advantage flips to Trump, 44-39.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Clinton and Trump are very solid among their bases. Clinton gets the support of 83 percent of all Democrats and 82 percent of registered Democrats. Likewise, Trump gets 73 percent support from all Republicans and 76 percent for registered Republicans.

The poll was conducted by telephone from Monday to Thursday of a random national sample of 1,003 adults. It has a 3.5-point margin of error. -- The Washington Post