A third consecutive national poll shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by at least six points. The reason why Clinton is winning is that experience matters to voters.
The McClatchy-Marist poll found Hillary Clinton leading a two-race race with Trump 48%-41%. She leads the four-way contest with Trump 46%-39%.
Hillary Clinton is leading based on the same factors that have been swinging presidential elections for decades. Voters favor Clinton on experience, temperament, and the issues.
Clinton dominates when it comes to experience, with likely voters by 57-30 saying she has the know-how to do the job. She wins on temperament, with voters by 50-38 giving her the edge.
And Clinton scores when voters are thinking about the issues.
On immigration, they prefer her by 54-41.
On creating good jobs, they prefer her by 49-43.
On trade, they prefer her by 52-42.
And on handling terrorism, they prefer her over Trump by 52-41.
Voters are smarter than the media and pundits give them credit for. The American people are going to watch the presidential debates and evaluate the candidates based on whether or not they can do the job of being president. Zingers don’t matter. The 30-second clips of heated candidate interactions that dominate the media the morning after the debate aren’t as important as avoiding gaffes and temperament issues.
Trump’s decision to avoid preparing for a debate on the issues to focus on zingers looks like it may come back to haunt the Republican Party.
The bar for Trump among the media is low, but voters are sending the signal that they are holding the Republican nominee to a more important standard.
Trump has to change has entire personality to sway voters into giving him a chance. Even if he stops being Trump for 90 minutes, he still loses to Clinton based on experience and the issues.
The national polling is indicating that it is going to be difficult for Donald Trump to change many minds at the first presidential debate.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association