When Donald Trump wrapped up the Republicans’ presidential nomination, 2016 polling showed him gaining on – and in some cases, even surpassing – Hillary Clinton. The combination of GOP consolidation and Democratic divisions meant a general election landscape that looked very close.
The problem for Republicans is that this dynamic couldn’t last. Consider the latest Bloomberg Politics poll released late yesterday.
Democrat Hillary Clinton has opened up a double-digit lead nationally over Republican Donald Trump, whose negatives remain unusually high for a presidential candidate amid early indications that the Orlando terrorist attack has had little direct impact on the 2016 race.A new Bloomberg Politics national poll shows Clinton leading Trump 49 percent to 37 percent among likely voters in November’s election, with 55 percent of those polled saying they could never vote for the real-estate developer and TV personality.
Note, there are multiple factors unfolding at the same time. Clinton is starting to consolidate Democratic backing now that her party’s primaries and caucuses are over; Clinton allies have begun hitting the airwaves with effective (and for now, unanswered) ads in battleground states; and Trump has faced intense scrutiny of late over his bigoted antics.
The result is a 12-point lead for the former Secretary of State as the general election gets underway in earnest. (For context, it’s worth noting that four years ago at this time, a Bloomberg Politics poll showed President Obama ahead by 13 points. In terms of the national popular vote, he ended up winning by 4 points.)
Complicating matters, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows a whopping 70% of Americans now have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, while only 29% have a favorable view. Both are the worst numbers the Republican has seen this year.
To be sure, Democrats shouldn’t be too pleased – Clinton’s 43% favorability rating is hardly impressive – but the party can take some comfort in the fact that Trump is the least popular major-party presidential candidate of the modern era.
As for the demographic preferences, Clinton does the worst with white men (23% favorable/75% unfavorable). Trump, meanwhile, has managed to alienate minority communities to an extraordinary degree, faring worst among African Americans (4% favorable/94% unfavorable) and Hispanics (11% favorable/89% unfavorable).
The Post/ABC poll has not yet released its horse-race results.