Republican Donald Trump pulled even with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Wednesday, in a dramatic early sign that the November 8 presidential election might be more hotly contested than first thought.
While much can change in the six months until the election, the results of the online survey are a red flag for the Clinton campaign that the billionaire’s unorthodox bid for the White House cannot be brushed aside.
Trump’s numbers surged after he effectively won the Republican nomination last week by knocking out his two remaining rivals, according to the poll.
The national survey found 41% of likely voters supporting Clinton and 40% backing Trump, with 19 % undecided.
The survey of 1 289 people was conducted over five days and has a credibility interval of 3 percentage points. “Very happy to see these numbers,” Trump said in a written comment to Reuters. “Good direction.”
A spokesperson for Clinton’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment on the poll.
A Reuters/Ipsos survey conducted in the five days to May 4had the former secretary of state at 48 percent and the New York magnate at 35%.
Republican strategist Dave Carney said the Reuters/Ipsospoll showed the vulnerability of Clinton, who is still battling US Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.
“She has been in the public eye for decades, served in high office, and now she’s in a dead heat with Trump, in a race that everyone thought she would win easily,” said Carney, who has been critical of Trump. “Everyone thought it would be a romp.”