Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s post-convention bounce has evaporated with her lead over rival Donald Trump faltering to less than 3 percentage points, a statistical tie, in the latest Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll down from nearly eight points on Monday. The online poll, conducted from July 31-Aug. 4 consisted of 1,154 likely voters with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
The poor performance for Clinton in the latest survey comes as Reuters polling has been blasted in recent days by experienced political operatives who claimed that the firm tampered with and "cooked" their own tracking poll to manufacture a sudden surge for Hillary Clinton by removing the option of "neither" forcing voters to select between one of the two flawed candidates.
This is believed to create a bias because many of the respondents who would have said neither ultimately will likely not show up to vote in November. Democratic political pollster Pat Caddell called the change part of a "jihad" by the mainstream media against the off-color Republican nominee.
“They made a switch, as much as nine points, in their results from the beginning of last week, the 25th and 26th,” said Caddell at the time. "This is a crisis of democracy, what the press is now doing."
Whether or not the poll results are "cooked" to present Hillary in a more favorable light, the move seems to be backfiring with the results of the pro-Clinton poll showing that the media’s bid to coronate the candidate not named Trump as anything but certain.
The results of the latest survey are somewhat surprising given that Donald Trump has been repeatedly lambasted over the last week after a Clinton campaign conspiracy theory that the Republican nominee is in league with the Russians turned into a full-blown media obsession with even a former CIA chief saying on Friday calling Donald Trump an agent of Vladimir Putin.
Trump has also failed to navigate criticism lodged against his candidacy by the family of deceased war hero Humayun Khan who saved several hundred lives when he stepped in front of a Jihadist vehicle preventing them from breaching a military base. Trump called the attacks by the soldier’s father, Khizr Khan a "vicious attack" and kept the media narrative spinning against him when he questioned whether the soldier’s mother was prohibited from speaking under Islamic law.
The candidate also alienated Republican Party leaders in the past week refusing on Monday to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan saying "I’m just not there yet" quoting back the Congressman’s words about Trump several months earlier in an act of spite. He also said that he was uncomfortable endorsing US Senator John McCain saying that his record on veteran’s issues has been abysmal. These actions against his party’s establishment seem to have played favorably with the electorate, however.
Trump may have successfully played both developed his anti-establishment brand by his mockery of Paul Ryan and criticism of John McCain earlier this week while maintaining support from Party leaders open by relenting and offering a half-hearted endorsement of Paul Ryan and John McCain on Friday.