The poll is the first to reflect the Republican convention in Cleveland
by Andrew Buncombe
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention Getty Images
Donald Trump has leapt ahead of Hillary Clinton according to a new poll - showing the tycoon earned a healthy "bump" from the Republican convention despite controversies over plagiarism and scaremongering.
The poll by CNN places Mr Trump on 44 points, with Ms Clinton on 39, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson on 9 points and the Green Party's Jill Stein on 3 per cent. The results suggest Mr Trump received a six point bump from last week's convention in Cleveland.
The network said there had not been a significant post-convention bounce in since 2000. That year Al Gore and George W Bush both boosted their numbers by an identical eight points post-convention before ultimately taking their fight for the White House all the way to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, pollstern Nate Silver also said he had detected a post-convention boost for Mr Trump. Mr Trump now leads Ms Clinton, 57.5 to 42.5 per cent, in that scenario, according to Mr Silver's website, FiveThirtyEight.
However, FiveThirtyEight has Mr Clinton ahead of Mr Trump this November in two other prediction samples.
It has Ms Clinton's odds at 53.7 per cent to Mr Trump's 46.2 per cent when it discounts polls taken immediately after last week's Republican National Convention
The new findings mark Mr Trump's best showing in a CNN/ORC Poll against Ms Clinton since September 2015. Mr Trump's new edge rests largely on increased support among independents, 43 per cent of whom said that Mr Trump's convention in Cleveland left them more likely to back him, while 41 per cent were dissuaded.
The poll also reflects a sharpening of the education divide among whites that has been prevalent throughout the campaign. Among white voters with college degrees, Ms Clinton actually gained ground compared with pre-convention results.
The results will surprise many observers of last week's convention who found it littered with self-inflicted controversies and a lack of planning.
Many said it lacked the energy and panache that Mr Trump had been promising. While some supporters liked his speech to delegates, others accused the tycoon of needless scaremongering.
The Democrats begin their convention in Philadelphia on Monday, but the event has already been engulfed with controversy after it emerged that party officials had plotted against Bernie Sanders.