Clinton leads Trump by double digits in poll
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton extended her lead over Republican rival Donald Trump to 13 percentage points in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday, up from 10 points at the end of last week.
The July 8-12 poll showed 46pc of likely voters supported Clinton, the former secretary of state, while 33pc supported Trump, a celebrity real estate developer. Another 21pc did not support either candidate.
That compared with 45pc who supported Clinton and 35pc who supported Trump in the five days to July 8.
Ms Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has mostly led in the national online poll this year. The last time Trump came close to Clinton's popularity was in early May, when his last two rivals for the Republican nomination dropped out of the race and party leaders started to line up behind his campaign.
Mr Trump, who is expected to become the official Republican nominee at the party's convention next week, has since lost ground in the poll as he struggled to refocus his campaign from the Republican nominating contests to the November 8 general election.
Over the past several weeks, Mr Trump has faced criticism for his past business dealings and has quarreled with Republican leaders over his rejection of international trade agreements and his promises to crack down on immigration.
Ms Clinton, meanwhile, has been dogged by criticisms of how she handled classified information as secretary of state.
James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said last week that Clinton and her staff were "extremely careless" with sensitive information but recommended that the government not seek criminal charges against her.
Still, Americans have become increasingly positive about Ms Clinton this month, with half of likely voters now saying they have a favourable view of her, according to the poll, up from 46pc on July 1. Some 60pc of likely voters have an unfavourable view of Trump, compared with 58pc on July 1.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 1,146 likely voters across the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. It has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3pc.
But Trump, New York's most famous billionaire, is far from beaten yet.
Yesterday, he pulled ahead of Ms Clinton in Florida and Pennsylvania in a separate Quinnipiac poll that included responses after the FBI released its findings on Ms Clinton's email use.
Ms Clinton has clearly lost ground on honesty and moral standards in the poll that showed tight races in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, all swing states that could go to either party in November's presidential election.
The Quinnipiac poll, taken from June 30 to July 11, showed Trump competitive in the three states a week before the start of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that will formally nominate him as the party's presidential candidate for the election.
Peter A Brown, assistant director of the poll, said there was no definite link between Clinton's drop in Florida from Quinnipiac's June 21 survey and the FBI's findings that she was careless in her handling of government emails while US secretary of state.
But he said Ms Clinton lost ground to Trump on questions that measure moral standards and honesty.
Ms Clinton lost an eight-point lead in Florida, where Mr Trump won 42pc to Clinton's 39pc of the 1,015 respondents, according to the poll. In Pennsylvania, the poll showed Mr Trump with 43pc to Ms Clinton's 41pc of 982 voters surveyed. The margin of error was 3.1 percentage points.
In Ohio, the poll of 955 voters showed the candidates tied at 41pc. The error margin was 3.2 points in that survey.
FBI director James Comey said last week Clinton was "extremely careless" in the handling of classified information but the investigation found no evidence she or her colleagues intended to violate laws.
Clinton, a former US senator and first lady, has faced heavy criticism from Republicans for her use of private email servers for government business while she led the State Department from 2009 to 2013.