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Long IslandPolitics

Clinton-Trump race tightens; both viewed unfavorably, polls show

The race between Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

The race between Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is tightening, polls show. Credit: Newsday File

Recent national polls have shown a tightening race between presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and his likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton — a trend that pollsters said highlights the damaging effects of the drawn-out Democratic primary.

And Clinton and Trump are both battling historically high unfavorability ratings.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday found the former secretary of state ahead of the billionaire businessman by 3 points — 46 percent to 43 percent — among registered voters. The results were just within the margin of error. That drops Clinton from an 11-point edge she held last month.

A general election poll by ABC News/The Washington Post, also released Sunday, similarly found Clinton’s lead narrowing.

It put Trump in a statistical dead heat among registered voters with Clinton, 46 percent to 44 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points. A comparable March poll had shown him trailing by 9 points.

Last week, a Fox News poll found Trump leading Clinton 45 percent to 42 percent among registered voters, a difference that was within the margin of error.

The real estate mogul effectively became his party’s nominee after he won the Indiana primary in early May and his GOP opponents stepped aside. Clinton hasn’t been able to shake her Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), despite the delegate math being heavily in her favor.

The polls collectively show “a clearly tightening race,” said Marquette Law School poll director Charles Franklin. “That is driven by rising Trump support among Republicans. It remains to be seen what happens after the conventions, as to the question of Clinton bringing the Democrats together or not.”

A CBS News/New York Times poll conducted over roughly the same period of time as the most recent Fox poll showed Clinton with a 6-point advantage over Trump, down from 10 points last month.

Both White House hopefuls are extremely unpopular, polls show. They were the least likable in the history of the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, which found 54 percent of voters have a negative view of Clinton and 58 percent have a negative opinion of Trump.

Last week, Fox News reported 61 percent of voters viewed Clinton unfavorably while 56 percent saw Trump that way.

Rasmussen Reports showed the largest lead for Trump among recent polls: 42 percent support to Clinton’s 37 percent. The company surveyed likely voters, unlike other polls that queried registered voters.

Fran Coombs, managing editor of Rasmussen Reports, said Clinton won’t begin earning more support until she puts away Sanders and works toward healing her party.

“There’s a lot of disarray that’s going on within the Democratic Party. There’s a lot of anger,” Coombs said. “Sanders supporters believe the deck is stacked. Trump by contrast is in a unifying mode.”

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