Clinton increases lead over Trump

Democratic candidate's lead over Republican has increased to seven points, according to Fox News poll.

Ben Ariel,

Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton
Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton

Amid the controversies surrounding Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s lead over the billionaire has increased to seven points, a Fox News poll released Thursday finds.

Clinton receives 45 percent to Trump’s 38 percent, the poll found. Libertarian Gary Johnson is at 7 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets 3 percent.

Last week, Clinton was up by two points in the four-way contest (44-42 percent).

In the two-way matchup, it’s Clinton over Trump by eight (49-41 percent). She had a four-point edge a week ago (48-44 percent, Oct. 3-6), noted Fox News.

Clinton’s lead is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error in both the two-way and four-way contests.

The poll, which came out Thursday, was conducted between Monday and Wednesday, a day after the second presidential debate.

Last Friday, The Washington Post made public a hot-mic recording of Trump from Access Hollywood. On the same day, WikiLeaks began its release of hacked emails from the Clinton campaign, revealing more on Monday through Wednesday.

The poll was taken before the latest New York Times report which quoted two women who claimed Trump had inappropriately touched them, a report denied by the Republican candidate.

Eighty-one percent of Democrats back Clinton and 80 percent of Republicans support Trump, the Fox News poll found.

Despite the decline in support, however, the number of Republicans satisfied with Trump as their nominee is mostly unchanged: 48 percent are happy with him at the top of the ticket vs. 52 percent a month ago.

Among Democrats, 54 percent are happy with Clinton, while 38 percent still wish it were Bernie Sanders.

Overall, 64 percent believe Clinton has the right temperament to serve effectively and 68 percent say she’s qualified to be president.

It’s the opposite for Trump, as 63 percent think he lacks the temperament and 56 percent say he isn’t qualified. For 49 percent, he is “not at all” qualified.