We haven’t seen a bounce like this since 2000.
Donald Trump has come out of his convention ahead of Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House, topping her 44% to 39% in a four-way matchup including Gary Johnson (9%) and Jill Stein (3%) and by three points in a two-way head-to-head, 48% to 45%. That latter finding represents a 6-point convention bounce for Trump, which are traditionally measured in two-way matchups.
There hasn’t been a significant post-convention bounce in CNN’s polling since 2000, the year Al Gore and George W. Bush both boosted their numbers by an identical 8 points post-convention before ultimately battling all the way to the Supreme Court.
National polls don’t have a large enough sample to accurately reflect the state of play in key battlegrounds, and there is little information thus far on how Trump’s convention performance has affected the presidential race state-by-state.
The new findings mark Trump’s best showing in a CNN/ORC Poll against Clinton since September 2015. Trump’s new edge rests largely on increased support among independents, 43% of whom said that Trump’s convention in Cleveland left them more likely to back him, while 41% were dissuaded. Pre-convention, independents split 34% Clinton to 31% Trump, with sizable numbers behind Johnson (22%) and Stein (10%). Now, 46% say they back Trump, 28% Clinton, 15% Johnson and 4% Stein.
The convention also helped Trump make strides in his personal image. A majority (52%) now say Trump is running for president for the good of the country rather than personal gain, just 44% say the same about Clinton. He’s increased the share who call him honest and trustworthy (from 38% to 43%), and who would be proud to have him as president (from 32% to 39%). And nearly half now say he’s in touch with the problems ordinary Americans face in their daily lives (46% say so, 37% did before the convention).
Despite Democratic criticism of the Republican convention’s message as divisive, the percentage who say Trump will unite the country rather than divide it has increased to 42%, compared with 34% pre-convention.
Clinton’s ratings on these same measures took a hit, though in most cases her drop-off was not quite as large as Trump’s gain. Perhaps most troubling for the Clinton supporters gathering in Philadelphia this week: 68% now say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, her worst rating on that measure in CNN/ORC polling.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook downplayed the CNN/ORC Poll Friday , which gives Trump an edge coming out of the Republican convention. He said Trump didn’t win over persuadable voters, but simply shored up his base.
“It was just an angry mob,” Mook told reporters at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast in Philadelphia.
A better measure, he said, will come when both conventions are over.