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Election 2016
Perceptions of Clinton's Honesty Unchanged After FBI Letter
Election 2016

Perceptions of Clinton's Honesty Unchanged After FBI Letter

by Frank Newport and Michael Smith
Chart: data points are described in article

Story Highlights

  • Despite new email investigations, Clinton's honesty ratings stable
  • Clinton scores higher on judgment and getting things done
  • Trump scores low on having good judgment

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- About a third of Americans (32%) say "honest and trustworthy" applies to Hillary Clinton, essentially unchanged from 35% in mid-September and in May. Americans' views of Donald Trump's honesty and trustworthiness have also been stable -- 36% say the term applies to him now versus 33% in September. The latest figures are from the Gallup poll conducted after an FBI letter revealed the agency would look into emails on a private computer at the home of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Do the Following Characteristics and Qualities Apply to Clinton/Trump?
  Nov. 2-3 Sept. 14-18 May 18-22
  % Applies % Applies % Applies
Can get things done 57 61 56
Would display good judgment in a crisis 50 55 48
Is honest and trustworthy 32 35 32
Can get things done 53 56 58
Would display good judgment in a crisis 36 38 39
Is honest and trustworthy 36 33 33

The Nov. 2-3 poll also measured the public's views of whether two other terms applied to the candidates: "can get things done" and "would display good judgment in a crisis" -- qualities both candidates claim make them uniquely qualified for the presidency.

More than half of U.S. adults say both Clinton and Trump can get things done -- 57% for the former, and 53% for the latter. Both figures are similar to those found in September and in May. At the same time, Trump receives substantially lower ratings than Clinton for displaying good judgment in a crisis, 36% vs. 50%, also broadly similar to previous measures.


The lack of substantive change in these measures since September is an indication of the relative stability of Americans' views of the two candidates. Both were well-known figures before they entered the race, and each candidate's favorable ratings have been relatively consistent -- Clinton at roughly 41% and Trump at roughly 33% -- amid the long campaign for president.

Both candidates have historically high unfavorable ratings for presidential candidates. Their low ratings on honesty and trustworthiness are also the lowest Gallup has recorded for presidential candidates in election campaigns, providing one key indicator of why their overall images are so low.

These data are available in Gallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov. 2-3, 2016, on the Gallup U.S. Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,019 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. 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 Gallup Daily tracking works.

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