WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton maintains a lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump, but lagging interest among some of her supporters poses a potential turnout challenge for Democrats with less than nine weeks before Election Day, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Clinton holds a 46 percent to 41 percent edge over Trump among likely voters, followed by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson at 9 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at 2 percent. Clinton’s lead swells to 10 percentage points among the wider swath of registered voters, 45 percent to 35 percent, similar to her 45 percent to 37 percent edge last month.

The findings come at a time when the margins between Clinton and Trump have narrowed in some battleground states and when some national polls also have shown a tightening in the competition, The Washington Post noted. Heading toward the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, though, Trump still appears to have the more challenging route to victory. 

  Both candidates’ reputations have been battered by the campaign, with more than 6 in 10 voters saying each candidate is not honest and trustworthy, and with majorities critical of Clinton’s ethics as secretary of state as well as Trump’s qualifications and his behaviour toward women and minorities. Asked about major campaign issues in the past month, almost 2 in 3 voters disapprove of Trump’s explanation of his policy for handling undocumented immigrants, while nearly 6 in 10 say Clinton granted special favors to donors of the Clinton Foundation.

Both candidates’ coalitions are united more by antipathy toward their opponent than enthusiasm for their own candidacy. Fewer than half of Trump’s supporters — 46 percent — say they are “very enthusiastic” about his candidacy, while that number drops to 33 percent for Clinton’s supporters.

 Meanwhile, 8 in 10 Trump supporters feel Clinton would do real damage to the country as president, while 83 percent of Clinton supporters feel the same way about Trump. 

    Trump’s supporters report greater interest in the campaign and voting, which could factor into turnout. More than 6 in 10 registered voters who support Trump say they are following the campaign very closely, and 93 percent say they are absolutely certain to vote. By contrast, 45 percent of Clinton backers are paying close attention to the race, and 80 percent are certain to vote, while one-fifth say they will probably or are less likely to cast a ballot.

Clinton is relying on an extensive ground operation in the competitive states to turn out every vote possible, mindful that some of her supporters are not enthusiastic. Trump has gotten a late start in organizing in the battleground states and appears to be well behind Clinton in this aspect of the campaign. He will rely heavily on efforts by the Republican National Committee to reach his voters.

Seven in 10 voters say they have “definitely” decided which candidate to support, but a sizable 3 in 10 say they are undecided or might change their mind in the last two months. The share of persuadable voters is similar to that in 2008 but higher than Post-ABC polls in 2004 and 2012 conducted at a similar point. Roughly 8 in 10 Trump and Clinton supporters say they are committed to each candidate, while less than half of those who support Johnson or Stein are certain of their choice.

Other national polls have found Clinton’s wide advantage after the party conventions shrinking in the past month to low single digits, the Post said. The Post-ABC poll finds no slippage in Clinton’s advantage among registered voters during that period, but her narrower advantage among likely voters, just beyond the poll’s 4.5 percentage-point margin of error, could reflect weaker engagement among her supporters.

The Post-ABC poll finds 58 percent of Americans expect Clinton will prevail, though only 18 percent think she will do so easily. Nearly 9 in 10 Clinton supporters think she will win, while just under 7 in 10 Trump backers are similarly confident about him.

The poll finds Trump continues to face significant challenges to expanding his support. Trump’s 50 percent to 36 percent lead among white likely voters is smaller than Mitt Romney’s 20-point edge in the 2012 exit poll, driven by weaker support among white women and college graduates. Trump and Clinton are actually nearly even among white men with college degrees, a sharp change from recent elections when Republicans carried those voters easily. 

Clinton’s double-digit lead with white college-educated women would mark Democrats’ largest margin since exit polling began covering the topic in 1980.

Clinton’s 75 percent to 13 percent lead among the growing share of nonwhite voters is similar to Barack Obama’s four years ago. That comes despite efforts by Trump over recent weeks to appeal more directly for support among African Americans, which so far appear to have produced no tangible results.