WASHINGTON, D.C.: Hillary Clinton has pulled ahead of presidential rival Donald Trump in a new national poll out Friday (Saturday in Manila), just days after her strong showing in the first televised debate.
The Democrat and former secretary of State bested her Republican rival by three percentage points in a Fox News poll which showed her ahead 43 to 40 percent.
Although Clinton’s lead is within the poll’s three percentage point margin of error, it shows a bump for Clinton, who beat Trump by only one percentage point in the same poll two weeks ago.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein polled at eight and four percent respectively.
The nationwide results come as Clinton’s numbers improve in a number of critical swing states following the debate.
Florida — with its prodigious number of electoral votes — has swung back toward Clinton since Monday’s political showdown, polling shows, offering her a tantalizing opening to reach the White House.
Meanwhile a Detroit News-WDIV-TV four-way matchup conducted in the battleground state of Michigan found Clinton leading Trump by seven percentage points after the debate.
The first of three, the debate was the most watched in US history with 84 million people tuning in, according to a Nielsen tally.
During the clash the Democrat frequently forced her prickly opponent on the back foot over judgment, taxes, foreign policy and terrorism.
But American voters do not particularly like either candidate and many are still undecided.
The Fox News poll found that 53 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Clinton, while 55 percent view Trump in a negative light.
The number of voters who find Trump honest and trustworthy, meanwhile, sank eight points since mid-September to 31 percent.
Clinton’s numbers remain relatively unchanged: 35 percent now find her honest and trustworthy compared with 34 percent two weeks ago.
The Fox News poll interviewed 1,009 registered voters, and includes results among 911 likely voters. It was carried out Tuesday through Thursday.
Clinton embarked on a lightning swing through Florida on Friday, trying to strengthen a newly minted lead in the pivotal swing state and capitalize on a spasm of setbacks for Trump.
The Democratic candidate barnstormed through populous southeast Florida, visiting Fort Pierce and Coral Springs, trying to rally reenergized supporters and boost her campaign war chest.
Florida, with its prodigious number of electoral votes, has swung back toward Clinton since Monday’s first presidential debate, polling shows, offering her a tantalizing opening to reach the White House.
A Clinton victory in just two battleground states — Florida and Pennsylvania — would leave Trump, the Republican nominee, with a Herculean task to get to the required majority of 270 Electoral College votes on November 8.
He would have to win a slew of states from Iowa to New Hampshire — where a WBUR poll Friday put Clinton ahead by seven points among likely voters.
There was more bad news for Trump Friday with a Suffolk poll in Nevada showing her up by six points, a big bump up from her two-point lead there the previous month, prompting the Clinton campaign to announce that vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine would visit on Thursday.
Sensing opportunity in Florida just as registration deadlines approach, Democrats are mustering many of their forces in the Sunshine State.
Speaking in Coral Cables, Clinton tore in to Trump as “unhinged” and unfit for the Oval Office.
Clinton will be quickly followed to Florida by Vice President Joe Biden, who will campaign for her in Orlando and Sarasota on Monday.
And then President Barack Obama, who remains one of the most popular Democrats in the country, will visit Miami on Wednesday to campaign for Clinton.
“Obama will lay out the high stakes of November’s election for Florida families and highlight Clinton’s vision for an America that is stronger together, with an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” Clinton’s campaign said.
Obama and Biden won the state in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.
After a difficult few weeks that saw Clinton felled by pneumonia and losing ground in the polls, her campaign has tried to use a solid first presidential debate performance to right the course.
A Mason-Dixon poll puts Clinton ahead in Florida by four points, but throughout this polarizing campaign the state has swung back and forth from Republican to Democrat.
In a sign of the opposition Clinton faces, a vociferous and angry band of Trump supporters braved the hot sun Friday to picket her event in Fort Pierce with chants of “lock her up” and “Hillary for prison.”
The state is culturally and politically diverse with evangelical churches dotted between well-groomed golf courses and gay nightclubs.
In Florida, it is said, the further north from liberal Miami you go, the closer you come to America’s Deep South.
Clinton has sought to appeal to the state’s many Hispanic voters by slamming Trump’s plan to build a wall along the Mexican border.
In Coral Springs, she also voiced support for former Miss Universe, Venezuelan-born Alicia Machado, whom
Trump has taken to insulting about her weight on Twitter.
Clinton’s campaign brought Machado into the political spotlight, the latest example of Team Hillary baiting what
they see as an impulsive and ill-disciplined opponent.
Clinton also offered a brief eulogy for Cuban-born baseball star Jose Fernandez, who played for the Miami Marlins before he was killed Sunday in a boating accident off Miami Beach.