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Do Voters Trust Clinton, Trump?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continue to be the national leaders in the Democratic and Republican presidential contests, but most voters don’t trust either one of them.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 31% of Likely U.S. Voters trust Clinton, down six points from 37% in April. Fifty-six percent (56%) do not trust the former first lady and secretary of State, up from 51% in the previous survey. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But even fewer (24%) trust Trump. Like Clinton, 56% do not trust the billionaire developer. A sizable 20% are not sure.

Separate surveying finds that Trump holds a double-digit lead over Clinton when voters are asked whom they trust more to handle the economy and immigration and is slightly ahead in the area of national security. Clinton holds small leads on social policy and the environment.

Just 15% consider Clinton more ethical than most politicians, down slightly from 19% in April. Forty percent (40%) say she is less ethical than her peers, while 41% regard her ethics as about the same as theirs.

Twenty-one percent (21%) see Trump as more ethical than most politicians, but 38% say he is less ethical. Just as many (37%) think Trump is about equally as ethical as most of his political peers.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 22 and 25, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

In a hypothetical 2016 presidential matchup, Trump and Clinton are in a near tie, but a sizable 22% prefer some other candidate.

Neither candidate is considered very trustworthy by voters in their own party. Just 59% of Democrats trust Clinton. Of course, that compares to only 36% of Republicans who trust Trump. But 16% of Democrats and 27% of GOP voters are still undecided at this point.

Predictably, large majorities in both parties don’t trust the other party’s candidate. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, however, 63% don’t trust Clinton, and 56% don’t trust Trump. Unaffiliated voters tend to see Trump as more ethical than Clinton.

Only 27% of Democrats consider Clinton more ethical than most politicians, while 33% of Republicans feel that way about Trump.

Men and women find both candidates equally untrustworthy. Voters under 40 are much more skeptical of Trump than of Clinton.

Among voters who trust Clinton, 44% think she is more ethical than most other politicians. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of those who don’t trust her believe she is less ethical than her peers.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters who trust Trump feel he is more ethical than most politicians. Just as many (63%) of those who don’t trust him consider him less ethical.

Trump has been questioned by his political opponents about his business dealings and criticized for his comments about women and illegal Mexican immigrants although most voters agree with him that illegal immigration causes more serious crime.

Trump said recently that he tries to pay as little in taxes as possible, but most Americans don’t agree and insist they want to pay their fair share. The problem is most think they already are paying more than their fair share in taxes.

Voters by a two-to-one margin believe Clinton has not been honest in her disclosures and testimony related to the attack in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012 that led to the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

In recent months, much of the public controversy surrounding the Benghazi investigation has focused on the discovery of Clinton’s use of a private, non-government email server while she was secretary of State. Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters believe Clinton’s use of the private server provider for issues at the highest levels of the U.S. government raises serious national security concerns, and 45% think she deliberately used the private email account to hide things from government oversight.

Still, most Democrats still think their party's 2016 presidential nomination is Clinton’s to lose.

More Republicans than ever think Trump will be their party’s presidential nominee next year.

Looking ahead to next year’s presidential contest, most voters expect more of the same: Two candidates with whom they have very little in common.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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