Even somebody with Donald Trump's knack for PR will have a hard time portraying these poll numbers as terrific. According to the latest McClatchy-Marist poll, he's now 15 points behind Clinton, who has a 48% to 33% lead and has made gains among all major groups, including men. Other polls show Clinton with a smaller but still substantial lead, including a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll that puts her 9 points ahead, at 47% to 38%. A CNN roundup of polls in battleground states gives Clinton a 15-point lead in New Hampshire, an 11-point lead in Pennsylvania, a 9-point lead in Michigan, and a 6-point advantage in Florida. In other coverage:
- According to NBC's breakdown of poll numbers, Trump has retained a 5-point lead among white voters, though he's the choice of just 1% of black voters. Some 48% of poll respondents said he was the best choice to change business as usual in Washington, compared to 26% for Clinton, while just 29% thought he was the best choice for foreign policy, compared to 55% for Clinton.
- Politico looks at the controversy surrounding Melania Trump's immigration status during her early years in America and finds that her statement on the issue dodged some major questions.
- Thursday was President Obama's birthday, and CNN reports that he seemed relaxed during a pre-vacation press conference in which he called Trump ridiculous for suggesting the election could be rigged. "I think all of us at some points in our lives have played sports or maybe just played in a schoolyard or sandbox, and sometimes folks if they lose, they complain they got cheated," Obama said. "But I've never heard of somebody complaining about being cheated before the game was over. Or before the score is even tallied."
- The Journal reports that Trump was more restrained than usual at a Thursday rally in Portland, Maine, where he focused on Clinton, saying she "can never be trusted with national security."
- Does Trump still have a path to victory? The Hill crunches the numbers and finds that his best hope lies with a surge of white men going to the polls in November.
- The Washington Post takes a close look at where Trump and Mike Pence have been diverging on issues including free trade and abortion, as well as the endorsement of GOP figures like Paul Ryan.
- CBS News has the latest on yet another Trump controversy: His claim that he saw a "top secret" tape showing $400 million the US sent to Iran.
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