Hillary Clinton has surged to a massive lead in general election polls, fending off Donald Trump’s post-nomination bump and positioning herself for what could be a blowout win in November and victories in some unlikely places.
Clinton held a wide lead over Trump ever since the real estate mogul entered the race last year. General election polls from the end of 2015 through the start of the primary season showed Clinton with a lead that often stretched into double digits, reaching up to 15 in some polls.
But those numbers came plummeting back to earth as it became clear that Trump would win the Republican nomination. Clinton’s lead whittled down to single digits through March and April leading up to Trump’s unexpected finish in the Republican primary, a huge win in Indiana that led Ted Cruz and Josh Kasich to drop out and ending the threat of a contested convention.
On the strength of his primary victory, Donald Trump saw a surge in the polls that brought him into a slight lead in mid-May. Trump took efforts to bring in some of his former Republican opponents, even meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan to mend fences.
That lead has since gone as Trump found his way into new controversies, allowing Hillary Clinton to once again surge in the polls. She now has the lead in 13 consecutive national polls, including an internet poll from IPSOS/Reuters released late this week that show her double-digit lead is back again.
There are even some good signs for Hillary Clinton in some very Republican-friendly states. A recent poll from The Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah found that Clinton and Trump are tied at 35 points in Utah, a state that hasn’t gone to Democrats in 52 years.
Trump and Clinton tied in Utah. This is the SECOND poll showing Clinton competitive in Utah. https://t.co/Me8D6pAV78— Benchmark Politics (@benchmarkpol) June 12, 2016
“For a state where the majority of voters have supported Republican presidential candidates since 1964, the fact that Trump is in a dead heat with Hillary Clinton suggests Utah voters are still very reluctant about a Trump presidency,” said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute.
Trump has taken a hit from some self-inflicted wounds, including his racially based criticism of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is overseeing the civil case against Trump University. Trump claimed that Curiel, an American born in Indiana to Mexican-American parents, is biased because of his “Mexican heritage” and because of Trump’s plans to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
The line of attack drew criticism even from within Republican circles, with Ryan calling the attack “racist.”
Despite calls from advisers to drop the issue and take on a more presidential tone, Donald Trump has had a difficult time letting it go and again brought up the flap during a campaign visit to Richmond, Virginia.
And Hillary Clinton could have even more help in the polls coming soon. She had been facing an ongoing challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who remained in the race and vowed to take his fight to this summer’s Democratic National Convention despite Clinton’s wide lead in pledged delegates and party-appointed superdelegates.
Sanders had been looking for a big finish in last Tuesday’s California primary, even choosing to concede defeat in Clinton-friendly New Jersey in the hopes of scoring a big win in the nation’s biggest state. Instead, it was Clinton who took a double-digit win in California to go along with a blowout in New Jersey.
The big loss deflated the Sanders campaign, and reports indicate that Sanders is now considering his next step and is likely to suspend his campaign soon.
The official end of the primary season is expected to bring a new boost in the polls for Hillary Clinton, who could once again see her lead surge to double digits.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]