At the start of the election cycle, received wisdom insisted that Donald Trump could never defeat Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Now that surveys are saying otherwise, pollsters are drilling down, asking voters about the candidate’s personal qualities.
One might presume Trump would score badly on questions about his trustworthiness.
The former First Lady, on the other hand, might be perceived as having greater empathy for others (generally seen as a feminine — and Democratic — characteristic.)
A new Fox News poll about these and other character traits contains some fascinating, and even surprising, results that may turn out to hold the key to who wins the White House this November.
According to FoxNews.com:
Clinton and Trump have made quite an impression so far. Overall, voters feel the candidates lack honesty, empathy, and strong moral values, and that they’ll say anything to win.
Clinton has a net negative honesty rating of -35 points. That’s because a new low 31 percent say she’s honest, while a record 66 percent say she isn’t.
Trump does better on this measure, although he is still underwater by 17 points: 40 percent think he’s honest and 57 percent say he’s not.
In addition, over half say the phrase “has strong moral values” does not describe Clinton (57 percent) or Trump (58 percent).
Neither candidate fared well when voters were asked if they “cared about people like me.” The vast majority believed that both Clinton and Trump “would say anything to get elected.”
However, Clinton was seen as “more corrupt” by a 49-37 percent margin.
Perhaps most importantly, slightly more view Donald Trump as “a strong leader.” For a man who has never held public office, let alone a position like, say, Secretary of State, that may turn out to be the most telling result of all.