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Clinton’s Lead over Trump Narrows to Nine Points | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A combination photo shows U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (L) and Jim Urquhart/File Photos

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s lead over Republican rival Donald Trump has slipped by about five percentage points since mid-June, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday, bringing the race for the White House to within nine points.

The poll showed that 44.5 percent of likely voters supported former secretary of state Clinton while 35.5 percent backed businessman Trump. That compares with 46.6 percent support for Clinton and 32.3 percent for Trump on June 12, a date that marked her widest lead for the month.

Trump has focused much of his energy in recent days on the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida by a U.S.-born gunman pledging allegiance to ISIS militant group. Trump vowed to ban people from entering the United States from countries with links to terrorism against America or its allies. He has also been able to use the Orlando shooting to advocate surveillance on mosques and religious profiling in law enforcement of Muslims in the USA.

“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” Trump told CBS. “And other countries do it, and it’s not the worst thing to do.”

Hardline national security proposals have helped Trump win increased support from voters in the past, including after the shootings in San Bernardino, California and Paris late last year.

Clinton responded to the Orlando attack by calling for increased intelligence gathering and air strikes on ISIS forces, while warning against demonizing American Muslims. She criticized Trump’s controversial response to the shooting.

“Not one of Donald Trump’s reckless ideas would have saved a single life in Orlando,” Clinton said. “A ban on Muslims would not have stopped this attack. Neither would a wall. I don’t know how one builds a wall to keep the internet out,” she told an event in Hampton, Virginia.

She has also criticized Trump’s positions on foreign policy and the economy, saying a Trump presidency would be a “disaster”. Condemning his policies on taxes and trade, Clinton claimed that Trump’s economic proposals would trigger a recession in the USA that would be worse than the financial crisis of 2008. She attempted to support her claims by naming a report conducted by Moody’s Analytics which was released on 06/20 and implied that Trump’s policies, if enacted, would cause a “lengthy recession” and result in the loss of 3.5 million jobs.

“You might think that because he has spent his life as a businessman, he’d be better prepared to handle the economy. Well it turns out, he’s dangerous there, too,” Clinton said. “Just like he shouldn’t have his finger on the [nuclear] button, he shouldn’t have his hands on our economy.”

It was announced that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has hired several new staff members to expand his campaign for the November election, including Jim Murphy as national political director to focus on key battleground states, his campaign said on Tuesday.

Murphy, currently a managing partner at JLM Consulting, has previously served as a senior adviser to Bob Dole’s presidential campaigns in 1988 and 1996. He will replace Rick Wiley who is said to have abruptly departed from the position in May due to disagreements with Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager.

Other new hires listed in a Trump campaign statement included Lucia Castellano as director of human resources, Brad Parscale as the campaign’s digital director, and Kevin Kellems as director of surrogates.