GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is now only 6 percentage points behind Hillary Clinton in a theoretical general election race for the White House, according to the latest CNN/ORC poll.
Trump, who is part tycoon, part reality TV showman, part avowed reluctant politician, has proved himself to be a force that must still be reckoned with, defying predictions his campaign would crash and burn or fizzle out after his remarks about immigrants, military hero John McCain and women. Instead, his poll numbers have steadily increased.
The just-released poll found that 51% favored Clinton vs. 45% for Trump, up from a 16 percentage point gap (56% for Clinton vs. 40% for Trump) only a month ago.
The poll also found that less than 50% (47%) of Democrats favored Clinton for the nomination, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in second place 29%).
In a CNN interview, Trump said such polls were not his focus, but he also said it would be tough for Clinton to overcome the issues with her private email server. He said he thought it could turn out to be a criminal issue, either that or "gross incompetence."
Trump is holding a town hall meeting Wednesday in Derry, N.H.
The survey was a telephone poll conducted Aug. 13-16. It was a random national sample of 1,001 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points. That means if Trump’s numbers were three points low and Clinton’s three points high, it would be a dead heat.