Three new surveys Sunday showed Democrat Hillary Clinton with a consistent advantage over Republican Donald Trump, even as American voters view both of them unfavorably, ahead of the U.S. presidential nominating conventions.
The edge for Clinton, a former secretary of state seeking to become the first female U.S. president, ranged from four to seven percentage points over Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul set to claim the Republican nomination this week in the midwestern city of Cleveland, Ohio.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Clinton ahead 47 to 43 percent, while NBC News and The Wall Street Journal pegged the race at 46-41 and CNN/ORC International at 49-42.
But both remain unpopular. The ABC/Post survey said 58 percent of voters say they are dissatisfied with their choice between Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, and Trump, the one-time television reality show host. It said 64 percent view Trump unfavorably, with 54 percent looking negatively at Clinton.
But the poll showed Clinton with a wide edge over Trump on whether they are qualified to be president, with 59 percent seeing her as qualified, compared to just 37 percent for Trump.
Trump heads to the Republican national convention after naming Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a social conservative with strong appeal to many traditional Republican voters, as his vice presidential running mate. Clinton says she will name her vice presidential pick next Friday, three days before the July 25 start of the Democratic convention in the eastern city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
U.S. political analysts considered Trump's candidacy something akin to a joke when he announced 13 months ago that he was running. But Trump, seeking elected office for the first time, caught the imagination of millions of Republican voters in months of state-by-state nominating contests. Trump says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country and to build a wall on the country's southern border with Mexico to halt the flow of more migrants into the country.
The brash Trump bested 16 other Republican presidential candidates, many of them seasoned politicians who were current or former senators and governors. Some have subsequently endorsed him as the Republican nominee.
Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus said Sunday he believes Trump's nomination acceptance speech Thursday will give American voters a chance to view him as a plausible U.S. commander in chief.
Trump's wife Melania and his four adult children are set to speak at the convention, looking to present the man they know as the best choice to be the American leader when President Barack Obama leaves office next January after two terms in the White House.
Some Republican officials are also speaking for Trump, including House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, the party's top elected official in the United States.
But numerous other Republican leaders are ignoring the Trump victory party by staying away from the convention, including the party's last two presidents, George H.W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush, and its last two presidential nominees, Arizona Senator John McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
Of the four, only McCain has endorsed Trump and Romney has denounced his candidacy.