via @LightmanDavid @corinneskennedy
WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump could do to the 2016 general election exactly what Ross Perot did a generation ago – with a Clinton pulling away from a Bush and a wealthy business mogul drawing a surprisingly large share of the vote.
A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds Hillary Clinton leading every potential Republican rival one on one. And while her lead has narrowed over several, it expands greatly in a race against Jeb Bush if Trump decides to jump in as a third-party candidate, as he has suggested is possible.
The poll projects a virtual rerun of 1992. That year, husband Bill Clinton won the White House with 43 percent of the popular vote. President George H.W. Bush, Jeb Bush’s father, came in second with 37.5 percent. Perot, running as an independent, got 19 percent.
This time, Hillary Clinton gets 44 percent, Bush gets 29 percent and Trump gets 20 percent, according to the poll.
The results come as the Republicans prepare for their first debate, Thursday in Cleveland, with Trump leading national polls of GOP voters. Should he fall short of winning the Republican nomination, which party insiders expect, Trump has opened the door to a third-party bid.
Trump would badly wound Bush, according to the nationwide McClatchy-Marist survey conducted July 22-28.
He would siphon votes from Republicans and independents, but not from Democrats. He’d get 28 percent of the Republican vote, while Bush would sink to 63 percent support from his own party. Meanwhile, Clinton would hold 86 percent of the Democrats.