A CNN/ORC poll published Monday gave Republican candidate Donald Trump a five-point lead over presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in a four-way race, and a three-point lead in a head-to-head.
The survey, Trump’s strongest showing since September 2015, came as Democrats were set to kick off their confab under a cloud of bitter infighting.
The four-way poll gave Trump 44 percent to Clinton’s 39%, with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson at 9% and Green Party candidate Jill Stein trailing with 3%. Johnson, a former New Mexico governor, was nominated by the Libertarian Party in May.
In a two-way head-to-head, respondents gave Trump a three-point lead with 48% compared to 45% for Clinton.
Trump’s figures increased by 6% when compared to support before the Republican National Convention last week which confirmed him as the party’s choice for president.
It was also the biggest post-convention jump in CNN polls since 2000.
According to the CNN, the boost for Trump came mostly from independent voters, with 43% saying they will likely back Trump post-convention, compared to 41% who say they won’t.
Before the convention, when Trump announced his running mate as Mike Pence, 34% of independents said they backed Clinton and 31% supported Trump, with Johnson snagging 22% and Stein trailing with 10%. After the convention, 46% of independents said they would vote for Trump, 28% for Clinton, 15% for Johnson and 4% for Stein.
The poll also found a significant shift in the attitudes of white voters who hold a college degree.
Before the convention, Trump and Clinton were even among this demographic (40%) but after it, Clinton advanced to 44% among this group, with her primary rival slipping to 39%.
Among white voters with no college degree, Trump increased his 51% to 31% pre-convention lead over Clinton to 62%-23%.
The Republican National Convention also improved Trump’s positive image, up from 39% to 46%. Over half of respondents said that Trump is running for president for the betterment of the country (52%), while just 44% maintain the same about Clinton. Trump’s ratings for honesty and trustworthiness climbed (38% to 43%), as did the percentage of those would be proud to have him as president (32% to 39%).
The belief that Trump can unite the country, rather than divide it, also rose from 34% to 42%.
While some 57% said they trusted Clinton on foreign policy matters before the convention, that number dropped to 50%. And 68% now say that Clinton is not honest or trustworthy — the worst score she has ever received in a CNN/ORC poll.
The poll was conducted on July 22-24 with a nationwide sample of 1,001 adults. Results for the 882 registered voters sampled had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points.
A CBS poll had the two candidates neck and neck at 42% apiece after both Trump and Clinton gained two points — he from the convention and she after announcing Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her vice president.
An overwhelming majority of voters said in the CBS poll they have already made up their minds about their choice, with 94% of Clinton voters and 90% of Trump backers decided.
The convention improved Trump’s image within the party, according to the CBS poll. Whereas before the gathering just 16% felt the party was united, that number rose to 44%.