Donald Trump Pulls Ahead of Hillary Clinton, Gets Boost After RNC in New Polls

Those awkward hugs and Melania Trump's controversial speech at the Republican National Convention actually helped Donald Trump. New CNN/ORC polls released on Monday, July 25, show that the Republican presidential nominee has pulled slightly ahead of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

In a four-way contest with third-party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green Party), Trump leads Clinton 44 percent to 39 percent. In a head-to-head matchup of Trump versus Clinton, the billionaire businessman is ahead 48 percent to 45 percent. The polls are Trump’s best showing in a CNN/ORC poll since September 2015.

Donald Trump Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Alexander Tamargo/

Trump’s bump in numbers seems to be a result of last week’s Republican National Convention and extra votes from Independent voters. Before the Cleveland, Ohio, convention, Independents were closely split, with 34 percent supporting Clinton, 31 percent for Trump, 22 percent for Johnson and 10 percent for Stein. After the RNC, 46 percent say they are likely to back Trump, 28 percent Clinton, 15 percent Johnson and 4 percent Stein. Other boosts for Trump include his favorability rating and trustworthiness on the economy and terrorism.

However, don’t be too quick to cry or celebrate over the numbers. These national polls don’t use a large enough sample to predict how the RNC could affect key swing states or how the November election will play out. The polls were conducted via phone from July 22 to 24 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, and have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

As previously reported, some of the biggest moments from the 2016 RNC included Trump’s grand, rock star–style entrance and portions of Melania Trump’s speech closely resembling Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention, which a speechwriter later admitted to plagiarizing. Ted Cruz was booed for refusing to officially endorse the former Apprentice star, and Ivanka Trump officially introduced her father, who gave a 75-minute speech on a variety of topics and announced he’s the “voice” of all Americans.

Next up, the Democratic National Convention kicks off on Monday, July 25, in Philadelphia, where Clinton is expected to officially accept the party’s nomination on Thursday. The star-studded event will feature speakers such as Barack and Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Celebs including Demi Lovato, Chloë Grace Moretz, Lena Dunham and many more are scheduled to attend. 

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