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With only a dozen days to go before the election, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has ratcheted up her lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump to 9 points, according to the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey, nearly doubling her advantage from the last poll.
After weeks and months of what many Republican strategists called verbal and strategic missteps by Trump, and despite potentially ruinous revelations from leaked Clinton campaign emails, the Democrat leads the Republican nominee by 46 percent to 37 percent among registered voters in a two-way race and by the same margin among likely voters. In June, Clinton led by just 5 points.
The CNBC survey of 804 Americans around the country, including all age and income groups, was conducted by Hart Research Associates on the Democratic side and Public Opinion Strategies on the Republican side. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points, meaning Clinton's lead could be as large as 16 points or as small as 2 points. It was conducted Oct. 21 to 24.
One hope for the Trump campaign: Among the 17 percent who are undecided, 31 percent are Republicans, compared to just 22 percent who are Democrats and 36 percent who are independents. "A chunk of people could move to Trump and close the gap,'' said Micah Roberts, the Republican pollster for the survey. "These people are going to have to show up." But Roberts thinks it's doubtful enough could break for Trump to put him over the top.
The poll appears to tell a story of a candidate who has been incapable of capitalizing on any of his perceived advantages. For example, its shows plenty of anger in the country, with 79 percent angry or dissatisfied with the political system, but an inability by Trump to harness that anger and turn it into political support.
Nowhere is that failure more apparent than on the economic front. It shows that Americans' views on the economy have barely budged from the mediocre levels of optimism that have prevailed since the recession ended. Yet Clinton leads Trump 44 percent to 36 percent among those who are dissatisfied with their own financial situation in life. And she has a commanding lead among those who believe the economic system is rigged for the wealthy, 54 percent to 28 percent.
"Trump has lost whatever advantages his business background had afforded him," said Jay Campbell, pollster with Hart Research.
Clinton widened her lead on several major issues, including immigration, trade and the budget deficit. She's even turned around a perceived advantage Trump had on who is best for the stock market, to a 1 point lead from a 9-point deficit.
Trump has only lukewarm support from his base, with just 78 percent of Republicans supporting his candidacy, 6 points below the level Clinton enjoys from Democrats. Economically, Clinton is winning among the poorest and the wealthiest Americans, and Trump is statistically tied with her for the middle-income groups.
Trump also lags on issues such as national security and foreign policy that are traditional GOP strengths. Asked who is best on terrorism and homeland security, respondents support Clinton 47 percent to 36 percent, a sharp turn from the June survey where Trump held a 2-point edge.
Even Trump's own voters, by 48 percent to 40 percent, are more motivated to vote against Clinton than for him; Clinton's voters are more motivated to vote for her than against him by 51 percent to 39 percent.
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