Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump has increased to seven points, as more than half of voters say he is not qualified to be president.
Continue Reading Below
That’s according to a just-released national Fox News Poll of likely voters.
Clinton receives 45 percent to Trump’s 38 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson is at 7 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets 3 percent. Last week, Clinton was up by two points in the four-way contest (44-42 percent).
In the two-way matchup, it’s Clinton over Trump by eight (49-41 percent). She had a four-point edge a week ago (48-44 percent, Oct. 3-6).
Clinton’s lead is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error in both the two-way and four-way contests.
The poll, out Thursday, was conducted Monday-Wednesday. The second presidential debate was Sunday. On Friday, The Washington Post made public a hot-mic recording of Trump from Access Hollywood. On the same day, WikiLeaks began its release of hacked emails from the Clinton campaign, revealing more on Monday through Wednesday.
In the four-way race, Clinton is favored among non-whites (+62 points), suburban women (+24), women (+19), and voters under 30 (+16). Third party candidates hurt her among younger voters, as about one in four of them go for Johnson or Stein.
Trump’s the pick for men (+5 points), whites (+14), and whites without a college degree (+25).
Since last week, the largest declines in support for him are among women ages 45 and over (down 12 points), voters ages 65+ (down 11), suburban women (down 10), white women with a college degree (down 7), GOP women (down 6), and white college graduates (down 6).
Support for Trump among white evangelical Christians held steady at 68 percent. Typically, however, about three-quarters of white evangelicals vote for the GOP nominee. Trump’s support among regular church-goers dropped eight points, from 53 to 45 percent.
Independents split, giving 35 percent to each Clinton and Trump, with another 21 percent backing Johnson or Stein. Trump was up by 12 points among independents in late September.
Eighty-one percent of Democrats back Clinton and 80 percent of Republicans support Trump.
"If the Republicans are not at rock-bottom, they can certainly see the bottom from where they are," says GOP pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. "If Trump got 90 percent of self-identified Republicans and nothing else -- no Democrats and no independents -- he'd be at 32 percent.”
Trump’s enthusiasm advantage has evaporated: 70 percent of his backers “strongly” supported him last week. That’s 63 percent now. For Clinton, it’s 66 percent, up from 57 percent.
Yet the number of Republicans satisfied with Trump as their nominee is mostly unchanged: 48 percent are happy with him at the top of the ticket vs. 52 percent a month ago.
Among Democrats, 54 percent are happy with Clinton, while 38 percent still wish it were Bernie Sanders.
Overall, 64 percent believe Clinton has the right temperament to serve effectively and 68 percent say she’s qualified to be president.
It’s the opposite for Trump, as 63 percent think he lacks the temperament and 56 percent say he isn’t qualified. For 49 percent, he is “not at all” qualified.
Are the candidates good role models for children? Voters say Clinton is (54 yes vs. 43 no). And Trump is not (20 yes vs. 77 no).
Thirty-three percent say Clinton is honest and trustworthy. For Trump, it’s 32 percent. That’s a four-point drop for him since last week.
“Put simply, the last week has been a disaster for Trump,” says Anderson. “And more than ever, voters think he lacks the temperament and qualifications to be president.”
Trump’s personal ratings also took a hit, while Clinton’s improved. More voters view her negatively than positively by five points (47 favorable vs. 52 unfavorable). Last week she was underwater by nine. Trump’s rating stands at negative 23 (38 favorable vs. 61 unfavorable). That’s eight points more negative today, as he was underwater by 15 a week ago.
Among Republicans, his favorable rating dropped 11 points, from 84 percent to 73 percent.
Clinton now tops Trump on every issue tested. More voters trust her to handle foreign policy (+24 points), health care (+13), terrorism (+11), immigration (+9), and the economy (+3). For the past month, Trump had been the choice on the economy, and the two were about evenly matched on terrorism.
Clinton is preferred to handle health care despite nearly half wanting to get rid of President Obama’s signature law. Forty-nine percent of registered voters want to repeal Obamacare vs. 45 percent who prefer to keep it in place. That’s a more positive rating for the law than the last time the Fox News Poll asked in December 2014. Then it was 58 percent repeal and 38 percent keep.
Meanwhile, a growing number expect another President Clinton. Sixty-five percent think she’ll win in November. That’s 10 points higher than last week (55 percent) -- and 19 higher than June (46 percent). Some 23 percent think Trump will win.
Americans head to the polls in an even worse mood than four years ago. In October 2012, 53 percent of registered voters were dissatisfied with how things were going in the country. Now, 59 percent are dissatisfied.
Even so, 56 percent approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. That’s up from 52 percent a week ago -- and a record high for his second term. Moreover, his approval has been 48 percent or better since February.
Trump’s video troubles and subsequent attacks on GOP leaders are hurting the party. One indication is more registered voters now consider themselves a Democrat than a Republican -- by nine points (44-35 percent), compared to by four points last week (41-37 percent).
Democrats usually hold an advantage over Republicans nationally in party identification, and this year self-identified Democrats have outnumbered self-identified Republicans by an average of three percentage points in Fox News polls.
The poll asks likely voters to choose between the Democratic and Republican candidates in their Congressional district and finds Democrats up by six points, 48-42 percent. Democrats were up by just one at the end of September (44-43 percent).
"The Democrats are now prohibitive favorites to win the presidency, favorites to take the Senate, and it is no longer unthinkable that they could challenge in the House," says Shaw.
Endorsing Trump is still a net positive for Congressional candidates: 27 percent of Republicans say they are more likely to vote for a Congressional candidate who refuses to endorse Trump, yet more -- 39 percent -- say they are less likely to do so.
No matter who wins, voters are concerned scandals will have a “serious effect” on the administration: 66 percent are worried about scandals in a Clinton administration and 63 percent if it’s Trump. More Democrats (54 percent) are concerned about scandals in a Clinton White House than Republicans are about a Trump administration (41 percent).
Forty-eight percent of voters familiar with the video of Trump’s vulgar remarks say it’s a deal breaker for them. Fifteen percent of Republicans and 40 percent of independents also feel that way.
For comparison, 37 percent of voters familiar with Clinton’s leaked emails say transcripts of her speeches to big Wall Street donors are a deal breaker. That includes 11 percent of Democrats and 17 percent of Sanders supporters.
Trump’s attacks on how Clinton has handled her husband’s past controversies with women aren’t sticking. Seventy-two percent think Clinton “stands up” for women. Thirty-eight percent say Trump “respects” women.
The Fox News Poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,006 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from October 10-12, 2016. The survey includes results among 917 likely voters. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points for results among both registered and likely voters.