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Clinton opens comfortable lead over Trump after debate



US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has reopened a comfortable lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump, a likely consequence of the two candidates’ first debate on Monday, a new poll shows.

According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday, with 42 percent support, the former secretary of state was enjoying a 4 percentage point lead over Trump, who trailed her with 38 percent.

The two were followed by Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson at 7 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 3 percent.

Clinton held a 5-point edge over the New York businessman in a head to head matchup.

The poll results indicate a change in favor of Clinton, who was losing support to Trump prior to the Monday debate, which became the most-watched presidential face-off in the history of US elections.

During the fiery debate, Clinton accused Trump of racism, sexism and tax avoidance, putting the real estate tycoon on the defensive for much of the 90-minute face-off at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Donald Trump (L) looks on as Hillary Clinton speaks during the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on September 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP) 

Trump had managed to close the gap with Clinton prior the debate, even leading her by small margins in some polls after months of trailing her.

The Friday poll also indicated a positive change in popularity for both candidates, who have become known as the most unpopular candidates in American presidential elections.

Some 48 percent of likely voters held an overall favorable view of Clinton after the debate, up from the 45 percent in the previous poll from last week. For Trump, the figure stood at 46 percent, up from 44 percent from the week before.

Following the debate, major media outlets declared Clinton as the winner in a nearly unanimous vote, while online polls handed the title to Trump.

Nearly 56 percent of the adult viewers of the debate, who took part in a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday, named Clinton as the winner.

However, 55 percent of the nearly 2 million participants in an online survey by Time magazine said the New York businessman won the debate.

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