A new Fox News poll released Wednesday showed Donald Trump slipping farther behind Hillary Clinton, and what seems to be a prime reason is the pervasive sense among Americans that Trump is emotionally unstable and unfit for the presidency.
The poll, taken between June 26 and June 28, shows Clinton leading Trump among the voters polled 44% to 38%. That represents a gain of three points for Clinton since the last Fox news poll, which had her leading 42% to 39%. But it represents a massive 10-point swing from the Fox News poll taken May 14-17, when Trump led Clinton 42% to 39%.
In a telling reminder that Trump is hugely unpopular in his own party, when Republicans were asked who they would rather have as the GOP nominee, Trump or anyone else, a majority, 51%, said someone else, with only 48% saying they would choose Trump.
Health care led the way as the issue voters were most concerned about, barely edging out the economy, 85% to 84%. Gun laws followed at 79%, barely edging out the fear of Islamic terrorists at 78%. Illegal immigration, the issue which Trump made the centerpiece of his campaign, trailed at 62%.
Despite the fact that all other candidates have withdrawn from the race, 20% of GOP voters still felt Trump won’t be the nominee. Among all voters, Clinton led Trump as to who would make the right decision for the country, 48% to 42%.
But when voters were asked whether certain terms described the nominee, it became clear that despite the corruption stain on Clinton, people saw her as a far more rational and level-headed candidate, as well as more compassionate.
Fox News asked whether the following terms applied to each candidate:
“Cares about people like me”: Clinton led 45% to 35%.
“Experienced”: Clinton had a massive lead: 77% to 34%.
“Intelligent”: Clinton led 82% to 66%.
“Sensible”: Clinton registered at 54%; Trump at 35%.
Here’s where the voters' perception of the instability of Trump became clear:
“Hot-headed”: Clinton registered 35%; Trump, astonishingly, almost had a unanimous verdict 89%.
“Obnoxious”: Clinton registered at 35 %; Trump at 83%.
Even on the issues where Clinton was vulnerable she didn’t trail Trump by much. Despite Trump’s blatantly nativist and jingoistic attitude:
“Patriotic”: Clinton registered at 60%, while Trump barely edged her at 63%.
The only issue where Clinton was trailing by any distance at all:
“Corrupt”: Clinton registered at 58%, but Trump still came in at 45%.
Fox News has been largely in the tank for Trump for months; if anything, one could posit that their own poll would reflect a sympathy for him, so these numbers should be taken seriously.
If there’s a takeaway here, it’s that the GOP candidate, in order to defeat Clinton, should be more experienced in government, project more intelligence and sensibility instead of the flavor-of-the-month positions of Trump, and display a stability emotionally that Trump simply does not possess.
None of these are characteristic of Trump. But will the GOP wake up and do something about it before he goes roaring off the cliff? Will they seek a candidate who can defeat such a flawed opponent?