AP-GfK Poll: Ma­jor­ity fears a Trump vic­tory

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Jonathan Lemire and Emily Swan­son

NEW YORK — More than half the coun­try fears a Don­ald Trump pres­i­dency. And only about one-third of Amer­i­cans be­lieve he is at least some­what qual­i­fied to serve in the White House.

In the fi­nal sprint to Elec­tion Day, a new As­so­ci­ated Press-GfK poll un­der­scores those daunt­ing road­blocks for Don­ald Trump as he tries to over­take Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Most vot­ers op­pose the hard-line ap­proach to im­mi­gra­tion that is a cen­ter­piece of the bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man’s cam­paign. They are more likely to trust Clin­ton to han­dle a va­ri­ety of is­sues fac­ing the coun­try, and Trump has no ad­van­tage on the na­tional se­cu­rity top­ics also at the fore­front of his bid.

Trump has a pas­sion­ate base of sup­port, seen among the thou­sands who fill the stands at his sig­na­ture ral­lies. But most peo­ple don’t share that fer­vor. Only 29 per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers would be ex­cited and 24 per­cent would be proud should Trump pre­vail in Novem­ber.

Only 1 in 4 vot­ers find him even some­what civil or com­pas­sion­ate, and a third say he’s not at all racist.

“We as Amer­i­cans have al­ways been able to look at the wacky lead­ers of other coun­tries and say ‘Phew, that’s not us.’ We couldn’t if Trump wins,” said Michael DeLuise, 66, a re­tired univer­sity vice pres­i­dent and reg­is­tered Repub­li­can who lives in Eu­gene, Ore.

The na­tion is sour on Clin­ton too.

Only 39 per­cent of vot­ers have a fa­vor­able view of the Demo­cratic nom­i­nee, com­pared to the 56 per­cent who view her un­fa­vor­ably. Less than a third say they would be ex­cited should she move into the White House.

“I think she’s an ex­tremely dis­hon­est per­son and have ex­treme dis­dain for her and her husband,” said one reg­is­tered Repub­li­can, Denise Pet­titte, 36, from Water­town, Wis. “I think it would be won­der­ful to elect a woman, but a dif­fer­ent woman.”

But as poorly as vot­ers may view Clin­ton, they think even less of Trump.

Forty-four per­cent say they would be afraid if Clin­ton, the for­mer sec­re­tary of state, is elected, far less than say the same of Trump. He’s viewed more un­fa­vor­ably than fa­vor­ably by a 61 per­cent to 34 per­cent mar­gin, and more say their un­fa­vor­able opin­ion of the New Yorker is a strong one than say the same of Clin­ton, 50 per­cent to 44 per­cent.

That dis­dain for both prompts three-quar­ters of vot­ers to say a big rea­son they’ll be cast­ing their bal­lot is to stop some­one, rather than elect some­one.

Roughly half of vot­ers see Clin­ton as at least some­what qual­i­fied, while 30 per­cent say Trump is.

Even when it comes to what may be Clin­ton’s great­est weak­ness, the per­cep­tion that she is dis­hon­est, Trump fails to per­form much­bet­ter: 71 per­cent say she’s only slightly or not at all hon­est, while 66 per­cent say the same of Trump. Forty-nine per­cent say Clin­ton is at least some­what cor­rupt, but 43 per­cent say that of Trump.

“What­ever her prob­lems are, they don’t even come close to him,” said JoAnn Dinkel­man, 66, a Repub­li­can from Ran­cho Cu­ca­monga, Calif., who will cross party lines and vote for Clin­ton. “Ev­ery­thing that comes out of his mouth that is factchecked turns out to be a lie.

Trump finds no respite with vot­ers whenit comes to what he vows to do as pres­i­dent, ei­ther. Nearly 6 in 10 op­pose his prom­ise to build a wall along the U.S. bor­der with Mex­ico.

Vot­ers say they trust Clin­ton over Trump by wide mar­gins when it comes to health care, race re­la­tions and ne­go­ti­a­tions with Rus­sia. She also nar­rowly tops Trump when it comes to fill­ing Supreme Court va­can­cies, as well as an­other of the bil­lion­aire’s sig­na­ture is­sues: han­dling in­ter­na­tional trade.

The AP-GfK Poll of 1,694 adults, in­clud­ing 1,476 reg­is­tered vot­ers, was con­ducted on­line Sept. 15-19. The mar­gin of sam­pling er­ror for all re­spon­dents is plus or mi­nus 2.5 per­cent­age points, and for reg­is­tered vot­ers plus or mi­nus 2.7 points.

SEAN GALLUP/GETTY

Ac­cord­ing to a new poll, three-quar­ters of vot­ers say they’ll cast a bal­lot to stop, rather than elect, some­one.

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