Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has caught up to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton again in the latest USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times “Daybreak” tracking poll. As of Sep. 12, Clinton leads Trump 44.4% to 44.1%, a virtual tie.
But in the Golden State itself, Clinton leads Trump by the staggering margin of 58% to 33%, though that lead falls to 49%-29% when third-party candidates Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) and Jill Stein (Green Party) are included in the poll questions.
The “Daybreak” poll tracks over 400 voters day-to-day, while adding a large number of new voters in each daily sample. The sample for the latest results included 2,596 respondents. The Times quoted poll director (and former Republican) Dan Schnur of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics: “In a state that is more closely contested than California, the Johnson and Stein candidacies have a potential to cause a problem for Clinton … Out here, it’s probably not going to make a difference.”
Trump is seen as a “drag” on the rest of the ticket in California — though few other Republicans qualified for any statewide election. Both candidates for U.S. Senate, for example, are Democrats, after Republican challengers failed to make the top two finishers. Under California’s “jungle” primary system, that means that the contest narrowed down to two Democrats — both of them, coincidentally, female: Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
The new poll results come as Clinton struggles to deal with mounting concerns about her health. She was forced to cancel a trip to California Monday and Tuesday to rest from what her doctor said was a case of pneumonia that caused her to “overheat” at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City on Sunday morning. Trump, reacting on Fox and Friends Monday morning, said: “I hope she gets well soon.”
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, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.