New Poll Shows Voters Trust Trump Over Clinton on the Economy

Catherine  Dunn
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Posted: May 20, 2016 4:00 PM
New Poll Shows Voters Trust Trump Over Clinton on the Economy

According to a new Fox News poll, voters say the issue that matters most to them this election is the economy—and they think Donald Trump would do a better job with it than Hillary Clinton. While Clinton has the edge on issues like education and foreign policy, these do not register as voters’ primary concerns. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the same poll shows Trump leading Clinton three points in a head to head matchup, with 45 percent of voters reporting they would vote for Trump, while 42 percent say they would vote for Clinton.

After the economy and jobs, which 39 percent of voters selected as their top priority, the second-most cited concern was national security and the military, with 14 percent of the vote. There is no clear winner between Trump and Clinton on this issue, as national security encompasses many different aspects on which Trump and Clinton are perceived to have different strengths. While more people trust Clinton on foreign policy (51-41), more people trust Trump on terrorism (52-40). Clinton has a slight edge on Trump on the issue of immigration (48-45) and wins by an 11-point margin on the issue of making decisions about using nuclear weapons (49-38).

Voters view the motives of Trump and Clinton with about equal suspicion. The vast majority believe Clinton and Trump will say anything to get elected. Roughly 60 percent don’t believe they have strong moral values. Most believe they are running for president primarily for themselves rather than for the country. While Trump has a nine-point lead in people’s perceptions of his honesty, the people who perceive him to be honest are still in the minority—only 40 percent of voters think Trump is honest and trustworthy. Clinton faces a steeper problem, however, with the percentage of voters who think she is trustworthy coming in at just 31 percent.

These poll results spell trouble for the Clinton campaign, especially in regards to economic issues. Voters trust Trump over Clinton on the economy, suggesting that she has been ineffective in linking her husband’s positive economic legacy with her own qualifications. She recently walked back her statement that she would put Bill in charge of the economy, as it implied that she herself was not up to the job. As Trump tweeted, “He should run, not her,” if what she said was the case.

Trump too faces problems with regards to voters’ perceptions of his decision-making abilities. While he does have the edge on Clinton on several key issues, more voters trusted Clinton to make decisions about nuclear weapons and foreign policy. Luckily for Trump, however, these issues are secondary to the economy in people’s minds, and he has a 12-point edge on Clinton when it comes to whom voters trust to better manage it.