Fox News Sums Up Clinton-Trump Race Brilliantly

Most Americans distrust Clinton. More distrust Trump.

FOX-poll-temperament

Hillary Clinton has opened up a 10-point lead over Donald Trump in the latest Fox News poll.  Dana Blanton‘s lede brilliantly encapsulates why:

Sixty-one percent of voters think Hillary Clinton is dishonest, yet she’s opened up a big lead over Donald Trump in the latest Fox News Poll.

Here’s why: majorities think Clinton is nevertheless qualified to be president, and has the temperament and knowledge to serve effectively. It’s the opposite for Trump: over half feel he is not qualified, and lacks the temperament or knowledge to lead the country. And his 62 percent dishonesty rating tops hers.

While most of the commentariat here believes that the perception of Clinton’s dishonesty is a function of nearly a quarter century of lies about her, it is regardless the baked-in wisdom of the American public. And, yet, that same public overwhelmingly believe she’s more qualified to be president than Donald Trump.

There’s a lot of goodness in Blanton’s piece but a couple of things that stood out to me:

Qualified to be president? Sixty-five percent say Clinton is vs. 43 percent Trump. Fifty-eight percent feel he isn’t qualified, including 45 percent who say “not at all.”

On temperament, 64 percent say Clinton has it. Just 37 percent say Trump does. And 72 percent think Clinton has the knowledge to serve effectively, while 40 percent say the same for Trump.

And:

More Clinton supporters say their vote is for her rather than against Trump (49-47 percent). Among Trump supporters, a majority says their vote is better described as being against Clinton (52 percent), while less than half are voting because they like him (44 percent).

Given Trump’s seemingly constant stream of bizarre and controversial statements, that’s unlikely to change. I can’t see anyone who doesn’t currently support Trump coming around to the notion that he has the temperament to run American foreign policy.

At the same time, my premature judgment that the two conventions had no real impact on the race seems to be bearing out. Clinton currently has a 5.1 point lead over Trump in the RealClearPolitics average (46.8 to 41.7) and is leading in every poll except the LA Times/USC survey.  Almost all the polls aggregated commenced post-DNC. The conventions kicked off on July 18, at which point the race stood at 43.8 to 40.6.   Today’s numbers are almost exactly where they were on July 13 (45.0 to 40.7).

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. I’m not sure I agree with the “conventions had no impact’ on the race idea. Yea if you look at the numbers in the national polls right now there isn’t much difference between where we were pre-convention and where we are now, but a few things stand out that arguably make things different::

    First, there’s the simple fact that it’s two weeks later than it was before the conventions. Yes, there’s still 90-odd days left before the election but at some point things start getting set in stone and it becomes ore difficult to change the impression the public has of a candidate. With respect to Trump in particular, we”ve arguably reached that point and the candidate continues to do things that reinforce the negative stereotypes.

    Second, things like the Khan family speech are likely to stick around as an albatross around Trump’s neck.

    Third, Clinton’s post-convention bounce seems to be making its way down to the state level in a way it wasn’t before. If recent polling is any indication, the Trump campaign’s claimed path to victory through the Midwest may be closed off before Labor Day.

    It’s possible the tide will turn yet again, of course, but right now this is all reminding me of the immediate aftermath of the GOP Convention in 1988 when Bush 41 opened up a lead on Dukakis for the first time since May of that year and Dukakis never saw himself in first place ever again,

  2. SKI says:

    At the same time, my premature judgment that the two conventions had no real impact on the race seems to be bearing out. Clinton currently has a 5.1 point lead over Trump in the RealClearPolitics average (46.8 to 41.7) and is leading in every poll except the LA Times/USC survey. Almost all the polls aggregated commenced post-DNC. The conventions kicked off on July 18, at which point the race stood at 43.8 to 40.6. Today’s numbers are almost exactly where they were on July 13 (45.0 to 40.7)

    WhatDoug Mataconis said.
    1. On 7/15 & 6, right before the RNC, it was 2.7 points, not the 4.3 it had been on the 13th or the 4.5-4.8 it had bounced around in early July. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_clinton-5491.html

    2. As I said in your first post, give it a few more days, the state polls that published last night/this morning, were very heavily pro-HRC. It takes a few days for conventional wisdom to settle in post-convention. At this point, I would expect it would go to 6 or 7 over the next week.

  3. alanstorm says:

    “the perception of Clinton’s dishonesty is a function of nearly a quarter century of lies about from her…”

    FIFY.

    Hillary hasn’t uttered a true phrase since the late 70’s. Nice try.

  4. SKI says:
  5. SKI says:

    Following up, from this morning’s Franklin & Marshall release on PA:

    The Democratic convention appeared to benefit Secretary Clinton more than the Republican convention benefitted Mr. Trump. Nearly two in three (62%) of those who watched the Democratic convention reported being more likely to vote for Secretary Clinton, while only two in five (40%) of those who watched the Republican convention said they were more likely to vote for Mr. Trump.

    It later notes that 71% of Registered Voters watched the RNC and 74% of RV’s the DNC.

  6. Mikey says:

    Since 1984, Gallup has polled after each party’s convention, asking whether respondents are more or less likely to vote for each party’s candidate. For the first time, voters are actually less likely to vote for a nominee.

    Gallup has asked this question about Democratic and Republican national conventions since 1984, with the exceptions of the 1984 and 1992 Republican conventions. The 2016 Republican convention is the first after which a greater percentage of Americans have said they are “less likely” rather than “more likely” to vote for the party’s presidential nominee.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/194084/americans-positive-democratic-gop-convention.aspx

  7. C. Clavin says:

    While most of the commentariat here believes that the perception of Clinton’s dishonesty is a function of nearly a quarter century of lies about her, it is regardless the baked-in wisdom of the American public.

    Shorter James…

    “I’m stubborn, and refuse to give up my pre-determined biases”.

  8. James Joyner says:

    @Doug Mataconis: @SKI: Oh, I think this is all good news for Hillary. No change is a good thing when you’re winning. The numbers were highly fluid in the days leading up to the convention and have remained so. But, aside from the short-lived convention bounces, the numbers have essentially been the same.

    It’s also really hard to untangle the conventions from Trump’s verbal diarrhea. I don’t think, for example, that the Khan speech had any impact at all other than prompting Trump to respond in a very self-destructive manner.

  9. the Khan speech had any impact at all other than prompting Trump to respond in a very self-destructive manner.

    Ah, but that’s what arguably makes it so politically brilliant. The Democrats goaded Trump into lashing out in his typical fashion and he fell for the bait. A better run campaign would have been able to keep the candidate on message rather than picking a fight with Gold Star parents that cannot possibly be won. They fell right into the trap.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    As much fun as the national numbers are — and they are really fun — just as good are new state numbers. Pennsylvania: Clinton by 11. Michigan: Clinton by 9. New Hampshire: Clinton by 17!

    Those are three states that Trump should be able to turn, might have been able to turn, you know if he weren’t batshit crazy.

    Where are the Ohio and Florida polls?

  11. CSK says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Absolutely right about Trump falling into the trap. But I would disagree that even a better run campaign could keep Trump on message. There doesn’t seem to any way to prevent him from doing or saying something self-destructive.

  12. gVOR08 says:

    @SKI:

    While most of the commentariat here believes that the perception of Clinton’s dishonesty is a function of nearly a quarter century of lies about her, it is regardless the baked-in wisdom of the American public. And, yet, that same public overwhelmingly believe she’s more qualified to be president than Donald Trump.

    Perhaps many people are mature enough to recognize that all politicians lie and make a judgement on competence.
    Also, what @SKI: said.
    Also, both-sides-do-it, but there’s an order of magnitude difference in quantity between Clinton and Trump lying.

  13. Moosebreath says:

    “Qualified to be president? Sixty-five percent say Clinton is vs. 43 percent Trump. Fifty-eight percent feel he isn’t qualified, including 45 percent who say “not at all.””

    Who’s the 1% who feels Trump is both qualified and not qualified?

  14. Blue Galangal says:

    @michael reynolds: The Ohio polls haven’t been updated in several days (going by TPM’s Poll Tracker) – they still show her only up .2% in Ohio. I have to believe there’s a new poll coming out that will show more change than that. Going by my entirely unscientific count of yard signs, Hillary is out-yard-signing Trump in a big way on the east side of Cincinnati, at least.

  15. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The RCP combined poll has Trump up 0.3 in Florida and Clinton up 0.8 in Ohio.

  16. Blue Galangal says:

    @gVOR08:

    Also, both-sides-do-it, but there’s an order of magnitude difference in quantity between Clinton and Trump lying.

    Yeah, I’m always stunned when people think that Trump’s btsht insane lies, spouted at the rate of 2 or 3 a sentence – what, now he’s seen Iran get $400 million in cash off a plane? – are somehow equated to Hillary saying that a video might have been the cause of anti-American activity in Libya. One of those things is manifestly not like the other in quantity or quality.

    I think most Americans view Hillary as a politician and figure, yeah, she’ll use slippery language to avoid committing to something or to talk around a point. It might not be good or noble, but she talks the way we expect to hear politicians talk. Trump, on the other hand, talks like the emails my uncle in Arizona forwards.

  17. C. Clavin says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The Democrats goaded Trump into lashing out in his typical fashion and he fell for the bait.

    Right? And imagine how easy it will be for Clinton to do the same in a debate.

  18. Andrew says:

    It would be a cheap shot, but funny none the less.

    Clinton and Trump on the debate stage, and some sort of major policy is the topic

    Clinton starts by saying “Let’s get down to brass tacks here.” pauses, looks at Trump. “Excuse me, orange tacks.”

    I know those with a sense of humour would laugh, Trump…he does not seem to have one. Especially when the subject is him.

  19. MarkedMan says:

    Several people above mentioned that Trump had fallen into a trap wrt the Khans. But I don’t think that’s quite right. “Trap” implies cunning or subterfuge but none was necessary in this case. If Trump feels attacked then in his mind he has no choice but to counterattack. This isn’t psychology, he has said exactly that on a number of occasions. Remember the dozen repetitions of “he started it”?

    This wasn’t a trap, it was simply exploiting an absolutely predictable response.

  20. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: I was going to note the same thing. In fact, after Mr. Khan spoke, there were some Democrats lamenting that he wasn’t on later in the schedule because his speech was so powerful and they wished more people had seen it. Instead, it was *their opponent* who drove the numbers of people who saw the speech through the roof, and caused a subsequent run on pocket-sized copies of the Constitution on Amazon.

    Democrats didn’t need to bait Trump. He just cannot handle being criticized, by ANYONE.

  21. al-Alameda says:

    Trump is now preemptively complaining that the election is rigged and will probably be stolen from him.

    I hope he stays in for the duration because, if he quits now (or soon) the Republican Party would have plenty of time to get things in order. I believe that a Ryan-Kasich ticket would hard for Hillary to beat given her negatives.

  22. KM says:

    Somewhat relevant OT: Melania Trump may have broken immigration law

    Quite a bit of speculation but there’s some interesting smoke – basically Trump says she came her in 1996 but her nude photo shoot was dated a year earlier. If she worked without the proper visa, she’s the insidious illegal immigrant type stealing American jobs he raves about. There’s no freaking way Trump’s not going to comment on this loudly so expect more serious investigation and vetting but if true…. Holy Hells the irony and schadenfreude might kill me.

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Alameda:

    The longer Trump stays in, the fewer state ballots a replacement can get on. We need him to hang on as long as possible. Plus, don’t we all really want to see the debates?

  24. al-Alameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    @al-Alameda:
    The longer Trump stays in, the fewer state ballots a replacement can get on. We need him to hang on as long as possible. Plus, don’t we all really want to see the debates?

    Absolutely, we want those debates. On my commute ferry to San Francisco this morning, a group of us were going over this stuff. Everything you just mentioned and more. I feel sorry for people who write fiction – you can’t make it up any more.

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @KM:

    That’s how I’m feeling: I don’t handle good news well. I’m good in a crisis, but when something good happens it takes me 24 hours to absorb it, I don’t have the circuits for it. And it’s just been too much goodness all at once. It’s like the old Star Trek where Kirk puts an unanswerable paradox to alien super-computer forcing the computer to explode.*

    Does not compute, does not compute. What is this. . . love of which you speak? Danger Will Robinson!

    *(This is why I’m very careful with Siri.)

  26. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Alameda:

    My favorite “can’t possibly write this stuff,” thing is that the death of an American Muslim Army Captain 12 years ago, may have saved the United States. My editors would point and laugh at me.

  27. Trump’s real goal at this point is to gracefully lose the election without losing face and save his floundering business empire. According other news sources his built on sand empire’s revenues have fallen precipitously. Being President of the United States terrifies him, as well it should. In addition having to sit 4 years in the Oval Office under intense scrutiny would prevent him from wheeling and dealing and running his ongoing business schemes. His kids would likewise be constrained by conflict of interest law and rules. I commented on this yesterday “Donald Trump’s Pre-Packaged Political Suicide”
    http://deyanbrashich.squarespace.com/home/2016/8/3/donald-trumps-pre-packaged-political-suicide.html

  28. MarkedMan says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That’s how I’m feeling: I don’t handle good news well.

    FWIW Michael, although I agree that it is good news that Trump is melting down, I am also aware that there are almost 100 days to go before the vote takes place and anything can happen between now and then. I am far, far from sanguine.

    On a meta-level, just his being the nominee is already doing us harm. I would imagine the Chines, the Russians, heck even some of the Europeans are pointing at him and saying – “Do you still believe the US is the reliable and safe choice?”

  29. Pete S says:

    My impression of this poll was that if we even accept that the question about whether or not a candidate has the right temperament to be president is a legitimate question, then that tells us all we need to know. I doubt that this question would have been asked about Hillary Clinton, except that it is a legitimate question about Trump and then really you have to ask about both candidates. It is bad news for him no matter what the results are.

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Oh, I agree: Trump’s candidacy is a permanent stain on American honor and prestige. We look like a banana republic. We look like Louisiana. We look unstable.

    On the plus side, no one else is doing much better. It’s been a bad year for the west generally.

    But here’s the thing, it’s one thing to be called, “politically incorrect,” or “an outsider.” It’s a whole different thing when people start to think you are actually mentally unhinged. “Politically incorrect,” is fun. Heath Ledger as Donald Trump is a different thing.

  31. SKI says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Where are the Ohio and Florida polls?

    Florida poll just released: Suffolk: Clinton +6 but onlt +4 in a 4-way

    Hillary Clinton holds a six-point lead over Donald Trump in Florida, according to the latest Suffolk University survey of likely voters in the state released Thursday.
    Matched head-to-head, Clinton took 48 percent, while Trump earned 42 percent. In a four-way matchup, Clinton grabbed 43 percent, followed by 39 percent for Trump, 4 percent for Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and 3 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
    Story Continued Below
    The poll was conducted Aug. 1-3 via landlines and cellphones, surveying 500 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    On the plus side, no one else is doing much better.

    Canada, on the other hand, has been particularly distinguishing itself lately under Justin Trudeau, particularly with their sterling treatment of Syrian and other refugees.

  33. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Right? And imagine how easy it will be for Clinton to do the same (goad Trump into something stupid) in a debate.

    Or Putin when it’s life or death.

  34. gVOR08 says:

    @KM: Speaking of Melania, boy Trump’s plan to drive her plagiarism out of the news has sure worked.

  35. gVOR08 says:

    A couple days ago Kevin Drum asked a good question. A question I’d like to direct to James.

    I don’t want to make a big point about this, but I want to write it down in order to get comments. Here is my understanding of the results of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 emails:
    – 3 were marked classified. Two of these were classified in error. The third was classified correctly but was marked improperly (and was pretty trivial anyway).
    – 110 contained information that wasn’t marked classified, but which Hillary and her aides “should have known” was sensitive. That’s according to FBI Director James Comey. Based on previous reporting, virtually all of these probably related to the drone program in Pakistan, which was classified but had been extensively reported in the press.
    – About 2,000 emails were retroactively classified as part of the FOIA process.
    Is this correct? Or is there some part of this that I continue not to understand?

    James – is there a significant factual error or omission in this? If not, what the flock are we even talking about?

  36. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan:

    This wasn’t a trap, it was simply exploiting an absolutely predictable response.

    Um… that’s pretty much exactly the definition of ‘trap’. You put bait in it because “go eat the bait” is a predictable response. You make it work quickly because “don’t stand still while the trap slowly grabs you” is a predictable response.

    Cunning or subterfuge is not always required. The mice go for the cheese even when it’s clearly attached to a strange device…

  37. michael reynolds says:

    @SKI:
    Thanks!

  38. MikeSJ says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    Canada, on the other hand, has been particularly distinguishing itself lately under Justin Trudeau, particularly with their sterling treatment of Syrian and other refugees.

    Canada is taking in families only – no single men – and that is after vetting them. If Germany had followed that same policy they would have saved themselves a great deal of grief.

    Canada shows us that a nation can be both humane and prudent at the same time.

    Imagine that.

  39. Arkindole says:

    Fake agenda poll. Get over it. There will be many many more.
    10K backers at most larger rallies vs. 50-100 in open H.S. rooms. And, he’s shadowing the Clinton trash.

  40. Mikey says:

    @Arkindole:

    Fake agenda poll.

    SKEWED!

  41. SKI says:

    yes, I know I shoudn’t feed the troll or argue with the ignorant but…

    @Arkindole:

    Fake agenda poll. Get over it. There will be many many more.
    10K backers at most larger rallies vs. 50-100 in open H.S. rooms. And, he’s shadowing the Clinton trash.

    1. This seems to be missing some words.
    2. Which poll? There are more than a half dozen polls in the last 24 hours that all tell pretty much the same story.
    3. The Fox News poll that James posted initially? What exactly is Fox News’ “agenda” that would cause them to “fake” this poll?
    4. You know Clinton is pulling in thousands to her rallies too? from the last week – Philly – 3,900 (capacity), Pittsburgh – 5,000 in attendance + 1,000 in overflow (capacity) & 3,300 (capacity) in Omaha

  42. SKI says:

    Ironies: Donald Trump maybe just learned something…

    Donald Trump was holding one of his trademark rallies in Jacksonville, Fla. on Wednesday night, when he said something revealing.

    “We go to Oklahoma, we had 25,000 people. We had 21,000 people in Dallas. We had 35,000 people in Mobile, Alabama. We have these massive crowds,” he said, according to Politico. The crowd size in Jacksonville was an estimated 15,000.

    He continued. “I hear we’re leading Florida by a bit,” he said, which was true when he said it but, thanks to a new survey released on Thursday is no longer the case. “I don’t know why we’re not leading by a lot,” he said. “Maybe crowds don’t make the difference.”

  43. grumpy realist says:

    @SKI: Yes, one does wonder how many people show up at his rallies just to gawk at him….

    EVERYONE rubbernecks at 250 car pileups. And boy is this one a doozy….

  44. SKI says:

    I know I shouldn’t continue but…

    Erik, son of Erick just blasted Arkindole and his brethren:

    It's just amazing to me how all the polling companies conspire to ignore how many people actually support him. pic.twitter.com/c0rRuakJeP— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 4, 2016

    Click the link to the pic… 🙂

  45. Surreal American says:

    @Arkindole:

    Fake agenda poll.

    UNSKEW!!! UNSKEW!!!

  46. JohnMcC says:

    @Arkindole: Can we count on you to show up again soon? Say, around Nov 9th?

  47. MarkedMan says:

    @DrDaveT:

    Um… that’s pretty much exactly the definition of ‘trap

    Fair point. I guess a childhood spent playing Mousetrap has led me to expect more out of trap. This was more of a bug zapper. Turn on the purple light and Trump’s limbic system steers him right in.

  48. michael reynolds says:

    @Surreal American:

    Wait, is that Fake Agenda Poll the FAP?

  49. Davebo says:

    Drop the Rasmussen poll from RCP (talk about an outlier) and it’s much clearer.

  50. grumpy realist says:

    @Arkindole: You mean the fake pix of “all the people that turn up for a Trump rally” which turn out to have been swiped from something entirely different (and sports related)?

    Potemkin parades, fake reports—you guys get trained by the North Koreans or something?

  51. PJ says:

    There’s a new McClatchy-Marist poll out.

    Clinton is leading Trump by 15 points, 48-33.

    But, more interesting, and more on topic for this post.

    57% of Clinton voters are voting FOR Clinton, 40% are voting AGAINST Trump.
    36% of Trump voters are voting FOR Trump, 57% are voting AGAINST Clinton.

    A 21 points gap….

  52. Jen says:

    @PJ: That is significant. My one concern with the recent polls is that if these numbers continue, they could depress turnout. If her supporters start feeling like this is in the bag, they turn to other things. That’s less likely to happen if they are voting FOR her. Meanwhile, on the other side…let’s just say that those numbers don’t bode well for him. I’m wondering, will it be the RNC’s fault, or the “rigged” junk?

  53. Rafer Janders says:

    @MikeSJ:

    Canada is taking in families only – no single men – and that is after vetting them. If Germany had followed that same policy they would have saved themselves a great deal of grief.

    Well, but there’s also the fact that Canada has ocean on three sides, while you can walk from Syria to Germany, so Canada had a certain luxury of choice. Had streams of a million plus refugees arrived at Canada’s border on foot they would have had to adjust the way Germany has.

  54. gVOR08 says:

    This mornings news has Hillary up by 4% in GEORGIA.

  55. SKI says:

    @James Joyner: It has now been a week since the DNC convention… And RCP has it at HRC +6.7 (and PollTracker has it at +9), both up materially from the +2.7(RCP) or +2.6 (PT) immediately before the RNC or even from your preferred early July starting point.

    At some point, you have to concede there was a material bounce…