Hillary Clinton’s lead in Democratic race narrows in poll

Frontrunner’s support down nine points to 47% but she keeps edge over Republicans in CNN poll

Democratic presidential candidate  Hillary Clinton: favourability ratings have fallen to their lowest levels since 2001. Photograph: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: favourability ratings have fallen to their lowest levels since 2001. Photograph: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

 

Hillary Clinton’s lead in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination has narrowed and her overall favourability ratings have fallen to their lowest levels since 2001, CNN reported on Wednesday.

It said 47 per cent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters surveyed in a poll this month said they supported Ms Clinton for the party’s nomination, down nine points since July and marking “the first time her support has dipped below 50 per cent in national CNN/ORC polling on the race”.

Backing for Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, her closest rival for the Democratic nomination, has risen 10 points since July to 29 per cent, CNN said. Vice-president Joe Biden, who has yet to announce whether he will run, is third at 14 per cent.

Ms Clinton maintains her edge against potential Republican opponents, however, despite a “growing perception that by using a personal email account and server while serving as secretary of state she did something wrong”, it said.

Ms Clinton leads every Republican head-to-head, including a six-point margin over property mogul Donald Trump, who leads the crowded Republican field.

CNN said the poll conducted from Thursday to Sunday found 44 per cent of adult Americans had a favorable view of Ms Clinton and 53 per cent unfavourable, her worst showing since March 2001.

That compared with 45 per cent favourable and 48 per cent unfavourable in a July CNN poll.

Ms Clinton’s use of her private email while secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 came to light in March and drew fire from political opponents who accused her of sidestepping transparency and record-keeping laws.

Officials from US intelligence agencies have so far identified 305 emails from Ms Clinton’s private server to be reviewed for potentially classified information, the state department said in a court filing on Monday.

Asked about her use of the private email account, about 56 per cent of poll respondents said Ms Clinton did something wrong, up from 51 per cent in March, CNN said. Thirty-nine per cent said she did nothing wrong.

The CNN/ORC poll interviewed 1,001 Americans and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Reuters