Most voters feel the upcoming election matters more than ones in the past. At the same time, majorities dislike the presumptive nominees -- and think they lack the integrity to hold the nation’s highest office.
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Eighty-five percent say there’s more than usual at stake in this year’s presidential race, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday. That’s up from 70 percent who felt that way in 2012. Clinton (83 percent) and Trump supporters (87 percent) are about equally likely to feel like there’s more at stake.
The new poll shows Hillary Clinton with a three-point edge over Donald Trump (42-39 percent) in a hypothetical matchup. That’s within the poll’s margin of error.
The poll was conducted Sunday through Wednesday -- right as Clinton finally captured enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination. Trump hit that mark May 26.
Clinton’s edge over Trump is due to a six-point drop in support for him rather than an increase for her. Trump was up by 45-42 percent three weeks ago (May 14-17, 2016). Since then, he lost three points among self-identified Republicans and 11 points among independents.
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Clinton is ahead among blacks (+76), unmarried women (+34), women (+18), lower-income households (+14), and voters under age 30 (+13).
Trump is preferred among white evangelicals (+42), whites without a college degree (+25), whites (+16), men (+15), and independents (+5).
Expect the race to remain tight, as people are pretty set with their choice.
Voters were asked if there is a chance their candidate “could say or do something” that would make them change their mind before Election Day. More than 8-in-10 Clinton backers say there is no chance at all (57 percent) or only a small chance (24 percent). Sentiment is almost identical for Trump supporters: 57 percent say no chance and 23 percent say just a small chance.
Voters may be committed to their candidate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re happy about it. Trump supporters are split between being happy to vote for him (51 percent) and holding their nose (48 percent). Clinton backers are more upbeat: 60 percent happy vs. 37 percent holding their nose.
For comparison, in March 2000, only one quarter of George W. Bush supporters (24 percent) and those backing Al Gore (25 percent) said they would have to hold their nose.
Both candidates have reason for optimism. Among just those “extremely” or “very” interested in the election, Trump is up by 45-41 percent. That’s because more Republicans (78 percent) than Democrats (67 percent) are interested.
On the other hand, far more see Clinton (69 percent) as qualified to be president than feel the same about Trump (47 percent). And more than twice as many think she is “very” qualified: 37 percent Clinton vs. 17 percent Trump.
“Clinton’s attacks on Trump during her recent foreign policy speech seem to draw directly on sentiments expressed by voters in this poll,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democratic pollster Chris Anderson.
“Voters have serious doubts that Trump is qualified and are concerned about his temperament.”
By wide margins Clinton is rated higher on having the knowledge (+33 points) and temperament (+27 points) to serve effectively as president. More voters also see her as likeable (+8 points).
Roughly 6-in-10 say Trump is not likeable (58 percent), and he does not have the knowledge (59 percent) or temperament (62 percent) for the job.
By a 39-point margin, voters think Trump is the one who “will shake things up in Washington.”
Majorities feel Clinton (54 percent) and Trump (58 percent) lack the integrity to be president.
Some 36 percent of Republicans and 22 percent of Trump supporters think he does not have the temperament to be president.
“While many voters find their choices odorous, they see stark choices -- a knowledgeable, qualified candidate or one with the wrong temperament who will shake things up,” says Anderson.
“It says a lot about the country that the race is so close right now, but it is hard to imagine it stays like that into the fall unless Trump can convince voters he will keep his cool as president.”
Five months from today the election will be over. Who do voters think will win? Right now 46 percent say Clinton and 40 percent say Trump.
Clinton and Trump are generally liked within their respective parties. She garners a 76 percent favorable among Democrats and he gets 73 percent among Republicans.
Overall, however, voters view Trump and Clinton negatively. Fifty-eight percent have an unfavorable view of the GOP nominee, including 49 percent who view him “strongly” unfavorably. Clinton’s unfavorable is 56 percent. That includes 43 percent “strongly” unfavorable.
Those negatives could go higher given the name calling that’s already started.
Views are mixed over Clinton calling Trump “a fraud,” as 43 percent think that’s an accurate characterization, while 50 percent disagree. By a 49-47 percent margin, voters agree with Trump’s “crooked Hillary” nickname.
Do people want to hear more? Forty-seven percent say they’re more likely to change the channel when Trump comes on television, while 46 percent say turn up the volume. For Clinton, 52 percent change the channel, while 41 percent turn it up.
By a 61-36 percent margin, voters distrust the government. Voters who trust the government back Clinton (+40 points); those who don’t, back Trump (+21).
The poll shows there’s potential support for an independent candidate. In the Clinton-Trump matchup, seven percent of voters volunteer the response “someone else.” In addition, in a three-way contest that includes Libertarian Gary Johnson, he receives 12 percent, yet Clinton still tops Trump by 39-36 percent.
Bernie Sanders continues to gain popularity: 54 percent of voters view him favorably, up from 44 percent in March and 34 percent in September.
The poll finds Sanders ahead of Trump by 11 points in a potential matchup (49-38 percent).
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,004 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from June 5-8, 2016. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.