Clinton opens double-digit lead over Trump, poll shows

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BOSTON – Hillary Clinton surged to a double-digit lead over Donald Trump in a presidential preference poll released Friday, reflecting a tumultuous week on the campaign trail.

Clinton received support from 46 percent of likely voters to Trump’s 35 percent, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll. Perhaps just as significantly, almost 1-in-5 said they wouldn’t vote for either one.

That 19 percent presents a rich target for third-party contenders such as Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, who is running on a ticket with former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld. They gained their party’s nomination over the past weekend.

Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, had moved into a statistical dead heat with Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner, last month in ABC News/Washington Post, Rasmussen Reports and Quinnipiac polls. Several showed Johnson pulling in 5 percent of the vote in surveys including him with Trump and Clinton.

Clinton’s climb comes at the end of a week in which Trump took aim at an Hispanic federal judge who unsealed Trump University documents that cast the for-profit operation as a fraud, while the Democratic former Secretary of State blasted the New York billionaire as “temperamentally unfit” to be president. The poll of 1,421 likely voters was conducted from May 30 to June 3, according to Reuters.

Clinton hasn’t held a double-digit lead over the former reality television star since at least April in most large nationwide surveys. She’s shooting to wrap up enough delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination next week with votes in New Jersey and California as well as other states, marking an end to the primary season.

Trump also found himself confronting new questions about his promises to raise money for veterans as the week began, leading to confrontations with reporters as he detailed more than $5 million in donations that hadn’t been disclosed previously. Trump recently bragged that his income topped $550 million last year, although he continues to refuse to release even portions of his tax returns, as is customary for presidential candidates.

At the end of last week, U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a former prosecutor born in Indiana, came under fire from Trump after he agreed to a request from the Washington Post to unseal court records in one of several lawsuits that claim Trump University defrauded them. The operation amounted to seminars, some of which cost as much as $35,000, in which Trump was supposed to reveal his secrets of successful real estate investment. Trump declared Curiel, who presides over cases in San Diego, to be biased against him because of his Hispanic heritage.

“He’s a Mexican,” the GOP contender told CNN, saying that the judge was against him because of his proposal to build a wall along the border with Mexico. Trump has also called for deporting millions of Mexicans in the country illegally. He says the judge should recuse himself from the case.

In Washington this week, Trump won the tepid support of Speaker Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who leads the House of Representatives. Ryan, who had held off endorsing the New Yorker, said in a newspaper column published in his home town that he would vote for the Republican candidate.

But on Friday, Ryan condemned Trump’s accusations against the judge in San Diego.

“I completely disagree with the thinking behind that,” Ryan said, according to the Associated Press.