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Trump Gaining as Presidential Polls Tighten

FILE - The race for the White House has narrowed, with most polls showing Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Republican Donald Trump. But a new CNN-ORC poll gives Trump an edge.

In the U.S. presidential race, a new CNN-ORC poll shows Republican Donald Trump with a two-point lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton, 45-43. Clinton continues to lead in most surveys, but the CNN poll is the latest of several recent national and state polls to indicate the race for the White House is tightening, with about two months to go until Election Day.

Trump recently discussed foreign policy in Virginia and could not resist highlighting the good news in the latest poll.

"CNN came out with a big poll. Their big poll came out today that Trump is winning. It’s good psychology. I know that for a fact because people that didn’t call me yesterday, they are calling me today. So that’s the way life works, right?" Trump said at a military town hall meeting in Virginia Beach.

Latest CNN/ORC International U.S. presidential poll shows race has narrowed.
Latest CNN/ORC International U.S. presidential poll shows race has narrowed.

Clinton, under attack, still has edge

Clinton still leads in most national polls and in most of the key battleground states where both campaigns will focus over these final two months.

Clinton went after Trump during a rally in Florida.

"And he demeans Muslims and attacks a Gold Star family whose son died in action in Iraq," she said Tuesday at a voter registration rally in Tampa. "That’s not who we are. So yes, we have a lot of plans, but we also have values, my friends, and we are going to stand up for American values!” said Clinton.

Drawing disapproval

The race is tightening in part because Clinton’s weaknesses are in the spotlight, said Stephen Wayne, a Georgetown University professor of government.

"There are a number of people who don’t think she is honest and trustworthy. She seems to be a very authentic [traditional] politician in an anti-politician age," Wayne said.

But Trump also suffers from high disapproval ratings, said Gallup pollster Frank Newport.

“It’s troublesome for both people," he said. "I think the Hillary Clinton campaign thinks about it a lot: How can we change her image? But that is hard to do, you know. It is kind of baked-in at this point."

Clinton hopes to hold on to what was a big lead in the polls after the party conventions, helped in part by a number of Trump controversies, said analyst Jeremy Mayer.

"It is possible that Donald Trump will win this race. But in order to do so, he will have to come back from a larger deficit than any presidential candidate in the modern era of polling," Mayer said. "No one has come back [from] as far and as quickly as he now needs to do."

Trump and Clinton are already preparing for the next major event in the race: the first presidential debate, set for September 26.

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    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

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