Fox News Poll: Many voters want new leadership, but still uneasy about Trump

Half of likely voters think the country is in such deep trouble that a completely different kind of leader is needed to come in and shake things up.

That sounds like good news for Donald Trump. Yet the latest Fox News Poll also finds a majority of voters don’t think Trump is qualified to be president -- and doesn’t have the right temperament to serve.

“While the race is tight, some underlying attitudes about the candidates heavily favor Hillary Clinton, such as temperament and experience,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News Poll along with Republican pollster Daron Shaw. “These will likely become larger factors as Election Day gets closer and voters start visualizing the candidates in office.”

The poll, released Sunday, finds six-in-ten likely voters think Clinton is qualified to be president (61 percent) and has the right temperament to serve (59 percent). It’s the reverse for Trump, as majorities say he lacks the qualifications (54 percent) and temperament (59 percent).

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On other traits, ratings of the candidates are closely aligned. For instance, only 34 percent think Clinton is honest and trustworthy (64 percent disagree). Trump does a bit better, but he’s still in negative territory:  39 percent say he’s honest vs. 58 percent dishonest.

Their personal ratings are nearly identical: 45 percent of likely voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton, while 54 percent view her unfavorably. For Trump, itis 44-54 percent.

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And voters doubt both candidates’ motivations. Over half think the main reason Clinton (51 percent) and Trump (55 percent) are running is for themselves -- rather than because they are truly interested in serving the country.

Who is seen as being “more in touch with the concerns of people like you?” Voters are split: 45 percent say the former secretary of state, and 44 percent say the real estate mogul.

Meanwhile, nearly half of voters are “tired of Clintons running for president” (47 percent).

Just over half, 53 percent, feel Trump is “too unpredictable to be president,” while 45 percent like the idea of someone who “breaks the mold” running.

Fifty percent of voters say things in the country are so broken that we need “a completely different kind of leader in charge.” Almost as many, 45 percent, think it would be a “mistake to panic and put an unseasoned leader in charge.”


Over half of American voters lack trust in the government -- and a growing number doubt their fellow citizens when it comes to picking the nation’s leaders.

The new poll asks how much “trust and confidence” they have in the federal government.  Forty-three percent of registered voters have a great deal (8 percent) or a fair amount (35 percent) of trust.

That’s an improvement from three years ago, when only 37 percent of registered voters had confidence in Uncle Sam (June 2013).  However, it’s down from a high of 56 percent who were confident in 1999.

Currently 56 percent say they have “not much” confidence (38 percent) or none at all (18 percent).

What about the choices the country makes at the ballot box? A narrow 51-percent majority says they have trust and confidence in the “wisdom of the American people when it comes to making good choices on Election Day.” That’s down 15 percentage points from 66 percent who felt that way in 1998 (that’s the last time the Fox News Poll asked the question of registered voters).

There’s not that much difference between Democrats (58 percent) and Republicans (50 percent) when it comes to having faith in the electorate’s voting choices.

But Democrats (62 percent) are more than twice as likely as Republicans (25 percent) to have trust and confidence in the federal government.

The Fox News Poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,006 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from September 11-14, 2016. The survey includes results among 867 likely voters.  The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for results among both registered and likely voters.