Hillary Clinton Vs. Donald Trump Polls: Who Do Americans Trust When Crisis Strikes? Polls Show Surprising Answer

A new set of polls match Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump not simply on who will win the 2016 presidential election, but on who Americans would trust more to handle a crisis, as well as in several other important elements of what it takes to do the job of president.

Donald Trump appears to be banking on the hope that in an atmosphere or repeated terrorist attacks and mass shootings in the United States and around the world, his self-described “law and order” campaign will persuade voters to turn his way, assuming that his tough talk about terrorism and crime will attract Americans craving assurances of security.

But according to an analysis by polling expert Nate Silver, founder of the data-based political site FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s assumption looks to be a faulty one, at least according to the most recent polls.

In fact, in most categories including the handling of an “international crisis,” Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by a wide margin when it comes to the trustworthiness of the two presidential candidates.

Silver collected data from eight recent polls — conducted by ABC News, Bloomberg Politics, CBS News, CNBC, CNN, NBC News, Pew Research Center, and Quinnipiac University — and averaged the results on such topics as race relations, foreign policy, immigration, and guns.

In eight of the 10 categories, Americans found Hillary Clinton more trustworthy than Donald Trump. Trump held an edge over Clinton only on the issues of terrorism — by a slim two percentage point margin — and the economy and jobs, by seven points.

In another recent poll, one that holds perhaps even worse news for Donald Trump, conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, voters were asked which candidate was “qualified to serve as president.”

In that poll, 59 percent of voters responding said that Hillary Clinton was indeed “qualified” to be president against 39 percent saying she was not qualified.

But when asked the same question about Donald Trump, the WaPo/ABC News poll showed a whopping 60 percent of voters saying that Republican presidential nominee is indeed not qualified to be president. Only 37 percent felt that Trump was actually qualified to occupy the Oval Office.

A Washington Post video with further details about the results of the new WaPo/ABC News poll can be viewed below.

Also in the Washington Post/ABC poll, 60 percent of voters said that Hillary Clinton possessed a “better personality and temperament to serve effectively as president,” that Donald Trump.

Only 27 percent — barely over one in every four voters — thought that Trump had more presidential personality and temperament than Clinton.

In the Nate Silver study of eight polls, Clinton was more trusted than Trump to handle an “international crisis” by a gaping 18-point margin.

On the issue of “race relations,” which has reached a boiling point in recent weeks, Hillary Clinton is more trusted than Donald Trump and it’s not even close as Clinton leads that category by 35 percentage points. On foreign policy issues, Clinton is more trusted by a 24-point margin, according to the FiveThirtyEight study.

But Silver also notes that polling after the each of the various crises that have struck the country and the world in 2016 “don’t tell a consistent story.”


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“In the Republican primaries, Trump appeared to gain after the San Bernardino and Paris terrorist attacks,” Silver wrote.

“But the general election may be different. Trump got some of his worst polls of the year shortly after the Orlando terrorist attack last month. He has drawn closer to Clinton recently, after shootings of police officers in Dallas and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.”

The eight polls pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump on various key issues were all completed prior to this week’s Republican National Convention, so whether the events in Cleveland will change public perception of Trump’s qualifications will not be known until new polls over the coming weeks.

[Photos By Drew Angerer/John Sommers II/Getty Images]