Presumptive Republican nominee Donald J. Trump has only lost 2 percentage points to likely Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, despite enduring a series of media controversies and the firing of his campaign manager.
Trump trails Clinton, 46% to 41%, despite Clinton clinching the nomination of her party on June 6, and rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) conceding that he cannot win. The poll’s margin of error is 3.1%.
In comparison, Barack Obama led Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by six points in a Wall Street Journal/NBC News polls in June 2008, and led Mitt Romney by three points in the same polls in June 2012. Trump is not far behind those precedents, though both Republicans lost their respective races in November.
“The fact that Donald Trump had a really bad period and he went down just a few points indicates that it will be difficult for either candidate to break out given the hard-set division in the electorate,” said Democratic pollster Fred Yang to the Journal. Yang conducts the poll together with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. Clinton’s lead is only one point when third-party candidates are considered, including Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Trump also leads Clinton among independent voters in the WSJ/NBC poll by 10 points, 40% to 30%. He leads among men as well, but is losing to Clinton among women by a wide margin.
Clinton is also out-performing Trump among minority voters. However, Trump is not doing much worse than Romney did among Latino voters, winning support from 22% as opposed to Romney’s 27%.
While many other media reports tout Clinton’s lead in other polls as a positive sign for her, the WSJ/NBC poll shows that Trump has significant staying power, and that Clinton remains deeply unpopular.
Trump continues to lose establishment Republican figures to Clinton, with former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson, architect of the controversial 2008 bailout, stating this weekend that he will vote for Clinton. While such defections capture media attention, they do not seem to move polls much.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, will be published by Regnery on July 25 and is available for pre-order through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.