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Election 2016

Voters Prefer Trump on Economy, Clinton on Most Other Issues

by Zac Auter

Story Highlights

  • Registered voters prefer Trump to Clinton on economic issues
  • Registered voters prefer Clinton to Trump on education, foreign affairs
  • Young adults choose Clinton over Trump on nearly all issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- With the presidential election less than two months away, U.S. registered voters say Donald Trump is better able to handle economic issues -- such as employment and taxes -- than Hillary Clinton. However, these voters see Clinton as better suited than Trump on issues such as the treatment of minority groups, social issues, foreign affairs, education and immigration. Overall, of the 17 issues that Gallup asked registered voters about, Clinton leads Trump on 10.

Registered Voters' Perceptions of Which Candidate Is Best Able to Handle Key Issues
Regardless of which presidential candidate you support, please tell me if you think Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would better handle each of the following issues.
Prefer Hillary Clinton Prefer Donald Trump Advantage
% % pct. pts.
The treatment of minority groups in this country 65 30 Clinton +35
Climate change 62 29 Clinton +33
Social issues such as gay marriage and abortion 63 33 Clinton +30
Foreign affairs 61 35 Clinton +26
Education 61 36 Clinton +25
Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act 56 41 Clinton +15
Immigration 55 42 Clinton +13
The distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. 50 44 Clinton +6
Trade with other nations 51 47 Clinton +4
Terrorism and national security 48 47 Clinton +1
The federal budget deficit 44 53 Trump +9
Government regulation of Wall Street and banks 43 52 Trump +9
The size and efficiency of the federal government 44 52 Trump +8
Gun policy 45 52 Trump +7
Taxes 45 51 Trump +6
Employment and jobs 47 51 Trump +4
The economy 47 50 Trump +3
Gallup, Sept. 14-18, 2016

While Clinton leads Trump on only three more issues total (10 for Clinton, seven for Trump), her average advantage far outpaces his. Clinton leads by an average of 19 percentage points, while Trump's average advantage is seven points.

The disparity in leads between Clinton and Trump in these policy spheres exceeds the gap between the major-party candidates in the two most recent presidential elections. In September 2008, John McCain led Barack Obama on six issues by an average of 12 points, while Obama led McCain on four issues by an average of nine points. In September 2012, Obama led Mitt Romney on seven issues by an average of 11 points -- driven largely by a 26-point advantage on social issues -- whereas Romney's lead on two issues averaged nine points.

Trump Weaker Among Republicans Than Clinton Is Among Democrats

Trump receives less support on these policy issues among registered Republicans than Clinton receives among registered Democrats. Republicans choose Trump over Clinton by an average of 71 points. Meanwhile, Clinton's advantage over Trump among Democrats across all policy spheres averages 81 points.

Among registered Republicans, Trump receives especially weak support on social issues, the treatment of minorities and climate change -- issues on which about three in 10 Republicans say Clinton is better suited. On economic issues -- such as taxes, the economy and the federal budget deficit -- Trump scores especially strongly among his political compatriots, with almost nine in 10 Republicans preferring him to Clinton.

Clinton's weakest point among registered Democrats is on the issue of government regulation of Wall Street and banks, on which slightly less than one-fifth of Democrats prefer Trump. However, in all other policy spheres, no fewer than eight in 10 Democrats say Clinton would be better able than Trump to handle the issue.

Perceptions of Which Candidate Is Best Able to Handle Key Issues Among Registered Voters, by Partisan Identification
Regardless of which presidential candidate you support, please tell me if you think Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would better handle each of the following issues.
Trump's advantage among Republicans Clinton's advantage among Democrats Advantage among independents
pct. pts. pct. pts. pct. pts.
The distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. 72 82 Clinton +1
Immigration 74 87 Clinton +10
Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act 73 93 Clinton +10
Education 60 94 Clinton +28
Trade with other nations 74 72 Clinton +3
Foreign affairs 53 85 Clinton +33
Social issues such as gay marriage and abortion 46 88 Clinton +37
Climate change 35 87 Clinton +38
The treatment of minority groups in this country 43 96 Clinton +41
The economy 88 77 Trump +10
Employment and jobs 87 79 Trump +16
The size and efficiency of the federal government 87 72 Trump +16
Government regulation of Wall Street and banks 76 61 Trump +20
The federal budget deficit 88 72 Trump +21
Gun policy 85 78 Trump +21
Terrorism and national security 77 77 Trump +7
Taxes 88 70 Trump +8
Gallup, Sept. 14-18, 2016

Independents strongly prefer Clinton to Trump on the treatment of minority groups in the U.S. (+41), climate change (+38), social issues (+37) and foreign affairs (+33). On immigration -- an issue central to Trump's campaign -- independents choose Clinton over Trump.

Trump's advantages over Clinton among independents reflect some of his strongest issues among Republicans. He leads Clinton on the budget deficit (+21), gun policy (+21) and government regulation of Wall Street (+20). However, on issues where Trump leads Clinton among independents, he averages a 15-point advantage, compared with Clinton's 22-point average advantage on issues where she leads.

Clinton Leads Trump on Nearly All Issues Among Young Americans

Both campaigns have struggled to resonate with young Americans, as both candidates' favorable ratings are lowest among young voters. When 18- to 34-year-olds are asked which candidate they believe to be best suited to handle particular policy issues, younger voters largely prefer Clinton over Trump. For issues on which Clinton leads, her advantage averages 31 points. In fact, young adults choose Clinton over Trump on nearly all issues that Gallup asks about. The only issue where young voters choose Trump over Clinton is on the regulation of Wall Street and banks (+7).

Young U.S. Registered Voters' Perceptions of Which Candidate Is Best Able to Handle Key Issues
Regardless of which presidential candidate you support, please tell me if you think Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would better handle each of the following issues.
Prefer Hillary Clinton Prefer Donald Trump Advantage
% % pct. pts.
Terrorism and national security 57 38 Clinton +19
Gun policy 50 47 Clinton +3
Immigration 67 30 Clinton +37
Healthcare and the Affordable Care Act 68 28 Clinton +40
Foreign affairs 72 25 Clinton +47
The federal budget deficit 51 47 Clinton +4
Education 75 22 Clinton +53
Social issues such as gay marriage and abortion 76 19 Clinton +57
Climate change 79 15 Clinton +64
Employment and jobs 52 45 Clinton +7
The economy 53 45 Clinton +8
The size and efficiency of the federal government 57 40 Clinton +17
Trade with other nations 60 38 Clinton +22
The distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. 60 36 Clinton +24
The treatment of minority groups in this country 81 16 Clinton +65
Government regulation of Wall Street and banks 44 51 Trump +7
Taxes 49 49 Tie
Based on 18- to 34-year-olds who are registered to vote
Gallup, Sept. 14-18, 2016

Bottom Line

Americans cite the economy and unemployment as some of the most important problems facing the country. While Trump leads Clinton among registered voters in terms of which candidate can best handle these issues, his advantage is relatively small. And among young adults, Clinton leads Trump by seven or eight points on these issues.

Trump, meanwhile, continues to emphasize his stance on immigration. "Immigration" is still one of the most frequently used words Americans use to describe what they've recently heard about Trump. However, registered voters overall and independents prefer Clinton to Trump on the immigration issue by margins of 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Historical data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 14-18, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 1,033 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For results based on the total sample of 931 registered voters, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 60% cellphone respondents and 40% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

View survey methodology, complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

Gallup


Gallup http://news.gallup.com/poll/195809/voters-prefer-trump-economy-clinton-issues.aspx
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