- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are running essentially neck-and-neck, according to a national poll of registered voters released Wednesday that showed a majority holding negative views of both likely major-party presidential nominees.

Mrs. Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, had a 2-point, 42 percent to 40 percent, lead over Mr. Trump, the likely GOP nominee, according to the Quinnipiac University poll. Mrs. Clinton’s lead was less than the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

A Quinnipiac survey released in early June had Mrs. Clinton with a 4-point, 45 percent to 41 percent, lead over Mr. Trump.

In a four-way contest in the poll released Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton was at 39 percent, Mr. Trump was at 37 percent, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson was at 8 percent, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein was at 4 percent.

More than six in 10 voters said the 2016 election has increased the level of hatred and prejudice in the U.S., with about two-thirds of those who said it’s increased the level of hatred and prejudice blaming the Trump campaign and 16 percent blaming the Clinton campaign.

“It would be difficult to imagine a less flattering from-the-gut reaction to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

“This is where we are,” Mr. Malloy said. “Voters find themselves in the middle of a mean-spirited, scorched-earth campaign between two candidates they don’t like. And they don’t think either candidate would be a good president.”

Fifty-eight percent said Mr. Trump will not be a good president, and 53 percent said the same of Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Trump had a 34 percent favorable/57 percent unfavorable split, while Mrs. Clinton had a 37 percent/57 percent split.

Women backed Mrs. Clinton by a 17-point, 50 percent to 33 percent margin, while men supported Mr. Trump by a 13-point, 47 percent to 34 percent margin.

Black voters backed Mrs. Clinton by a 91 percent to 1 percent margin and Hispanic voters backed her by a 50 percent to 33 percent margin. White voters backed Mr. Trump by a 47 percent to 34 percent margin.

Voters said Mrs. Clinton is better prepared to be president, that she’s more intelligent and that she has higher moral standards than Mr. Trump.

They also said she would be better at handling immigration and that she would respond better to an international crisis, and they trusted her more to make the right decisions regarding nuclear weapons.

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, was judged more honest and trustworthy and a stronger leader. Voters also said he would be better at creating jobs and that he would be more effective at handling the Islamic State terrorist group.

“The matchup numbers say ‘tie,’ and Trump is perceived as a job creator,” Mr. Malloy said. “But Clinton is seen as better prepared for the top job, better in an international crisis, managing immigration, making Washington functional, and keeping the nuclear codes under lock and key.”

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