Less than a month ago, Fox News released a poll that caused much of the political world to gasp. For all the assumptions about Donald Trump’s broad unpopularity, the network’s national survey showed him leading the 2016 presidential race, 45% to 42%, over Hillary Clinton.
All of a sudden, observers had no choice but to pause, take note, and come to a striking realization: Trump, the unlikely Republican nominee, could actually win the presidency. This wasn’t the only poll, of course, but it was one of many that showed the major-party rivals neck and neck, causing many to reconsider their assumptions.
Three weeks later, a new Fox poll shows a shifting national race.
The new poll shows Hillary Clinton with a three-point edge over Donald Trump (42-39 percent) in a hypothetical matchup. That’s within the poll’s margin of error.The poll was conducted Sunday through Wednesday – right as Clinton finally captured enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination. Trump hit that mark May 26.
Clinton’s narrow advantage obviously doesn’t point to a looming landslide, but when a three-point Trump lead turns into a three-point Clinton lead over the course of a few weeks, it suggests the presumptive Republican nominee isn’t yet moving in the right direction.
What’s more, the timing offers the GOP little solace. Fox’s survey was in the field through Wednesday – which means it was mostly conducted before Clinton’s latest big primary victories and her high-profile endorsements from President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The more Clinton can unify Democratic support after a long, contested nominating process, the stronger her poll support will be.
Also note, Clinton’s advantage over Trump isn’t limited to the top-line results. The same poll found the Democrat leading the Republican on who’s most qualified to be president, who’s likable enough, who has the integrity necessary to lead, who’s knowledgeable, who has the right temperament, and who can get things done.
Trump led only one of these questions: who would “shake things up” in DC.