Accelerating the post-Trump speech/RNC convention "bounce" we noted over the weekend, CNN today reports that Trump has taken a dramatic 48% - 45% head-to-head lead over Hillary in the latest CNN/ORC Poll, conducted July 22-24. This represents a substantial 6% surge in support for Trump since the last poll conducted on July 16, and opens up Trump's largest lead over Clinton since September 2015.
Trump's lead is even greater, rising to 5% or 44% to 39%, when including non-core candidates such as Gary Johnson (9%) and Jill Stein (3%).
That said, it is unclear whether and how long the Trump "surge" will last: according to CNN, there hasn't been a significant post-convention bounce in CNN's polling since 2000. That year Al Gore and George W. Bush both boosted their numbers by an identical 8 points post-convention before ultimately battling all the way to the Supreme Court.
Trump's bounce in the poll largely reflects increased support among independents, 43% of whom said that Trump's convention in Cleveland left them more likely to back him, while 41% were dissuaded. Pre-convention, independents split 34% Clinton to 31% Trump, while the most recent poll finds that 46% back Trump, vs. only 28% Clinton.
As CNN adds, the convention also helped Trump make strides in his personal image. A majority (52%) now say Trump is running for president for the good of the country rather than personal gain, just 44% say the same about Clinton. He's increased the share who call him honest and trustworthy (from 38% to 43%), and who would be proud to have him as president (from 32% to 39%). And nearly half now say he's in touch with the problems ordinary Americans face in their daily lives (46% say so, 37% did before the convention).
Trump also took substantial leads over Hillary on key issues with double-digit margins over Clinton as more trusted on the economy and terrorism. Trump also cut into Clinton's edge on managing foreign policy (50% said they trusted her more, down from 57% pre-convention).
Hillary's headaches may just be starting: Clinton's ratings on these same measures took a hit, though in most cases her drop-off was not quite as large as Trump's gain. Perhaps most troubling for the Clinton supporters gathering in Philadelphia this week: 68% now say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, her worst rating on that measure in CNN/ORC polling.
Other winners from the recent poll include Melania Trump and Mike Pence. Favorability ratings for Melania climbed from 27% pre-convention to 43% post-convention, despite the controversy surrounding her convention speech. Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence also got a bump with his favorability rating up to 39% post-convention vs. 26% pre-convention.
Ted Cruz takes home the prize of biggest loser with favorability ratings for the former White House hopeful falling from 60% pre-convention to just 33% in the latest poll. This just further confirms our prior post that everyone hates Cruz.
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Latest CNN/ORC poll below: