Washington DC: They have been battling against each other for almost a year now. From being taken as a political lightweight, Donald Trump has emerged as a credible opponent to Hillary Clinton despite all the ridicule heaped upon him.
Republican fans and leaders are coming together behind him to strengthen his campaign. If someone had any doubt about the unity in the Republican Party, this became more than clear when Ted Cruz endorsed him saying he will be voting for Donald Trump in the forthcoming election.
US presidential election had never looked so funny. A man who most people believed had no experience of governance at any level and whose knowledge of foreign affairs is very basic to say the least has almost become the front runner in the US presidential race.
There is no denying that the race between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump has narrowed to a virtual dead heat, according to a latest poll ahead of the first presidential debate on Monday. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll said the two leaders, ahead of the first presidential debate, are locked in a neck-and-neck battle with just over a month to go for the elections. Forty-six per cent of the likely voters are supporting Clinton while 44% backing Trump, the Washington Post said, adding that among registered voters, they are tied at 41%.
This must be very disappointing for Clinton fans who were expecting to walk over Trump in the White House race. The poll said 68-year-old former secretary of state’s August advantage erased after recent difficulties and her 70-year-old Republican rival is still facing doubts about his qualifications and temperament. In a two-way match-up, Clinton tops Trump by 49% to 47% among likely voters, and the two are tied at 46% among all registered voters, the report said. Clinton’s two-point edge among likely voters, in both the four-way and two-way ballot tests, is within the survey’s 4.5 percentage-point margin of sampling error, it said.
In the meantime the findings of the poll show how much the presidential contest has tightened in recent weeks. In early September, Clinton led Trump by five points among likely voters and in early August, she led by eight points. As Clinton has run into some turbulence, Trump has worked to present himself as a more disciplined candidate in an effort to attract more support from voters who traditionally have supported Republican nominees, the poll said.
Much will be at stake on Monday night at Hofstra University when Clinton and Trump meet at Monday 9pm ET (Sunday 6.30am IST) and in what is said to be one of the largest television audiences ever for a presidential debate. The poll said that expectations for Clinton are lower than they were for President Barack Obama against Republican Mitt Romney ahead of the 2012 debates, when 56% thought Obama would prevail against 29% for Romney. Seventeen per cent of the registered voters said the debate could change their minds.
There is little doubt that Obama was far better debater than Clinton. Most Americans said they are following the campaign diligently, but a higher percentage of Trump supporters appear to be paying close attention than Clinton backers. Several Clinton backers said they are not registered to vote, adding pressure on her Campaign to get them registered. This was the issue that was faced by her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders and she had benefited from it.