Hillary Clinton may still be the Democratic frontrunner, but new polls are showing she no longer has the commanding leads that made the American public believe that her nomination for the Democratic presidential nomination was nothing more than a formality and coronation. Two new polls give Clinton her first poll numbers under 50 percent with narrowest lead margins of the 2016 campaign. Both in a Fox News poll released on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015 and a CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday morning, Aug. 19, Clinton’s national numbers have been falling among the small Democratic field and against her Republican opposition.
In the Fox News poll was the first time Clinton’s numbers go below 50 percent. Sanders’ numbers in reaction are rising, narrowing the margin between the two candidates, and making it an actual race for the Democratic nomination, not just a coronation. Clinton has 49 percent support from Democratic and democratic leaning voters, to Sanders 30 percent support. Clinton’s smallest margin leads in this poll with 19 percent.
This Fox News poll numbers show that Clinton’s numbers are shrinking. Two weeks ago, Clinton’s lead over Sanders was 29 percent, with Clinton at 51 percent to Sanders 22 percent. A month ago, Clinton still had a 40-point margin ahead of Sanders with 59 percent to Sanders 19 percent. Meanwhile in this poll, Biden clocks in with 10 percent support. Biden intends to make his decision to run by September. The remaining Democratic candidates do not register beyond one percent support.
Clinton always beat the entire Republican field in potential matchups; she no longer does, now not one, but two candidates beat her. Both former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio beat Clinton by two points each. Although Bush’s poll numbers have dropped, he still shows he could beat Clinton in the general election. This something frontrunner businessman Donald trump cannot boast of. Although Trump’s numbers are narrowing from 17 percent gap two months ago to only five points now, he still cannot beat Clinton.
Clinton’s numbers are even less in the new CNN/ORC poll she leads Sanders by a smaller gap with only 47 support to Sanders’ 29 percent. Sanders saw his numbers rise 10 percent from last month’s poll, while Clinton lost nine points from her 56 percent support in July. Vice President Joe Biden again comes in third with 14 percent. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has only 2 percent support, former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) has one percent and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee has less than one percent support.
The numbers are different without Biden in the running with 56 percent supporting Clinton to 33 percent for Sanders. Voters however, do want Biden to run with 53 percent saying so. The CNN/ORC poll also looked at favorability, with Sanders’ rising to its highest point. Now 38 percent of Democratic voters say they are “extremely enthusiastic” about Sanders, with now only 50 percent feeling the same about Clinton.
Clinton still wins in potential matchups with her Republican opponents; however, in the CNN poll Trump gets closer to Clinton than any other Republican as to be a threat in a general election. Trump comes within six points of Clinton, 51 percent to 45 percent. As the poll notes, in “the first time in CNN/ORC polling, [Donald Trump’s] gains among the Republican Party have boosted him enough to be competitive in the general election.” The numbers are a ten point boost from July’s edition. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also comes close to Clinton trailing her also by only six points, while Bush trails by nine points.
In another state poll conducted by Public Policy Polling and released on Wednesday, Aug. 19, Clinton loses in a potential matchup with the Republican frontrunner Trump in the swing state of North Carolina by three points. Trump is not the only Republican that can beat Clinton in that state, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio do so, but with bigger margins than even Trump. Carson leads Clinton 47 to 40 percent while Rubio leads 45 to 41 percent. In fact, most of the Republican field has an edge of three points or less on Clinton in potential matchups including Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.