Donald Trump in Cincinnati

Donald Trump Leads Hillary Clinton In New Poll

Donald Trump has taken a two-point lead over Hillary Clinton in the latest Rasmussen presidential poll.

Rasmussen claims that the controversial New York real estate mogul and first-time candidate clocks in with 42 percent versus Clinton’s 40 percent based on a survey of 1,000 likely voters this week. Last week, Trump had a four-point lead according to the Rasmussen organization, the most favorable outcome for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee since October.

A former Democrat and Independent, Trump also has a 20-point lead among independent voters per Rasmussen. Trump’s unconventional candidacy has given rise to the #NeverTrump movement on the part of pro-Ted Cruz conservatives, some of whom apparently plan to derail the Trump train at the upcoming GOP convention in Cleveland.

About 18 percent of those polled by Rasmussen are either undecided or express a preference for another candidate.

The Rasmussen data may be a big outlier, however, as most media outlets are portraying Trump as substantially lagging in the head-to-head matchup.

The Real Clear Politics national poll average of 10 polls for the general election, for example, suggests that Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee, currently has a five-point lead over Trump. A New York Times polling summary similarly indicates that Clinton enjoys a four-point lead over Trump.

Since a candidate wins the presidency via state-by-state contests and the Electoral College, national polling data may or may not be significant. Moreover, the FBI director’s announcement this week not to bring criminal charges against Clinton in the private server/email investigation may have yet to fully sink in with the broader electorate. In a separate survey compiled on Tuesday, Rasmussen found that 54 percent of likely voters disagree with the FBI’s decision not to seek an indictment against Clinton.

Pro-Trump websites such as Gateway Pundit have insisted that the Reuters poll, along with some others, that purport to show Clinton with a big lead are skewed in that they are improperly weighted toward Democrats. “Since the Reuters poll sampled more Democrats than all the others combined, we can safely say that Trump appears to be in much better shape than the poll suggests and could likely be headed to a landslide victory in November.”

It’s worth mentioning that pollsters have been way off in some recent elections, such as Brexit in the U.K., so as the cliche goes, the only poll that matters is on Election Day in November. Consumers should also be aware that some polling firms have an ideological and/or financial stake in arriving at a particular outcome.

All of these polls have a so-called margin of error of about three to four percent, which in general could indicate that the presidential contest is roughly about even. Polls in swing or battleground states are also close.

Another issue is whether, in the current highly politicized environment, a voter would share his or her true feelings with a stranger on the telephone or even (to a lesser extent) via the internet.

Although Clinton rival Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator, is expected to endorse Hillary next week, various reports suggest that a certain portion of the Sanders cohort may vote for Trump.

Some evidence also exists that Hillary Clinton may have lost a considerable amount of support from the gay community in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando last month.

Common ground exists between Trump and Sanders to some degree in that they both oppose international trade treaties backed by both political parties that often result in jobs going overseas and have both denounced the Wall Street and lobbyist cash flowing into Hillary Clinton’s campaign (and the primary campaigns of other Republicans), as well as her vote for the Iraq War. Both men have described the party nomination process as rigged.

In April, one Democrat strategist argued that 40 percent of the Sanders vote could gravitate to Trump in part because of the trade issue.

Separately, in the aftermath of the horrific attack on police officers in Dallas, Donald Trump released the following statement.

“Last night’s horrific execution-style shootings of 12 Dallas law enforcement officers — five of whom were killed and seven wounded — is an attack on our country. It is a coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe. We must restore law and order. We must restore the confidence of our people to be safe and secure in their homes and on the street. The senseless, tragic deaths of two people in Louisiana and Minnesota reminds us how much more needs to be done. This morning I offer my thoughts and prayers for all of the victims’ families, and we pray for our brave police officers and first responders who risk their lives to protect us every single day. Our nation has become too divided. Too many Americans feel like they’ve lost hope. Crime is harming too many citizens. Racial tensions have gotten worse, not better. This isn’t the American Dream we all want for our children. This is a time, perhaps more than ever, for strong leadership, love and compassion. We will pull through these tragedies.”

Out of respect for the slain officers, Donald Trump cancelled two campaign events today in Miami.

[Photo by John Minchillo/AP]

Added: In the clip below, an audience member apparently yells out “so do you” when Hillary Clinton was delivering a speech about how Donald Trump will allegedly only protect Wall Street and rich people.