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Voters not enthused on who’s best to handle major issues

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     A new Zogby Analytics online survey of 875 likely voters, conducted between 6/28/16 - 6/29/16 with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points, shows voters are not enthused about the prospect of 'President Trump' or 'President Clinton' and who is the best candidate to handle important issues. Clinton leads Trump when it comes to more Democratic friendly issues such as the environment, abortion, and income equality, while Trump is considered the better of the two when it comes to creating jobs, the economy, taxes, and national security.

We asked respondents "For the following issues, who do you think would handle each of them better, President Donald Trump or President Hillary Clinton?"

Issues

Trump

Clinton

Neither

Both

Not sure

Creating jobs

40*

31

19

3

7

The economy

41*

32

18

4

6

The Environment

21

40*

28

3

8

Foreign policy  

29

42*

22

2

7

Taxes

37

30

23

2

8

Income inequality

24

37

28

3

8

Abortion

25

40*

23

3

10

Helping the middle class

32

37

23

2

6

Understanding people like me

30

32

30

2

6

Social Security/Medicare

32

34

25

3

7

Healthcare

31

36

23

4

7

National security  

39

34

18

4

6

ISIS

41*

29

19

4

8

The Deficit

40*

28

22

3

7

North Korea's nuclear threat to the United States

34

30

23

3

10

Vladimir Putin and Russia's threat to European democracy

35

30

23

3

9

Analysis:

     In our last poll the 2016 Presidential race tightened between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We will now explore how voters view each candidate when it comes to the election's most important issues. When we asked respondents who would handle each issue better, 'President Trump' or 'President Clinton' in January, Trump beat Clinton when it came to creating jobs, managing the economy, taxes, and national security. Clinton's areas of strength in the January poll were helping the middle class, income inequality, healthcare, foreign policy and abortion. Both were nearly tied when it came to 'understanding people like me'.

     In our latest poll we retested the same issues and added a few additional ones to the list. To understand what is driving Trump's resurgence let's go deeper into the numbers. In the July set of major issues tested, Trump received his highest numbers (40, 41 and 41% respectively) for issues such as creating jobs, the economy, the deficit, and ISIS.

     Trump's Major Issues: When it comes to the economy such as creating jobs, Trump wins men (43-32%), women (37-30%), and independents (39-19%). A whopping 30% of independents say neither candidate will do a better job at creating jobs, which says a lot about each candidate's popularity. When it comes to 'the economy', Trump wins among 18-29 year olds (30-24%), men (45-33%) and women (37-31%). Among independents, Trumps wins almost 2 to 1 against Clinton (41-21%).

     The other issue that Trumps wins is national security. When it comes to ISIS, he beats Clinton, overall 41-29%, but also wins among men (45-27%), women (37-30%), and independents (43-17%). He's tied with Clinton among 18-29 year olds at 30%. Also, among younger voters, 29% say neither candidate will do better when it comes to ISIS.

     Clinton's Major Issues: Not surprisingly, Clinton beats Trump on the environment, 40-21%, but a third say neither candidate is good for environment. Clinton also wins among men (41-24%), women (40-18%) and independents (31-20%). Voters were not too pleased with either candidate as 27%, 29% and 37% of voters among men, women and independents respectively, said 'neither' candidate is good for the environment. Clinton also bests Trump when it comes to foreign policy. This has been one of Trump's biggest complaints against Clinton but voters feel she is more qualified. Younger voters (36-19%), men (44-30%), women (39-27%) and independents (32-28%) all feel she is better than Trump in this capacity. Again, a large number of Millennials (37%) and independents (31%) think neither Trump nor Clinton are good for the Unites States' foreign policy.

     Clinton also wins against Trump on the issue of abortion. Overall, she wins 40-25%, while receiving tepid numbers on one of her campaign's major themes-women's reproductive rights-among Millennials (36-20%), men (38-29%), women (41-21%) and independents (33-21%).

The Takeaways:

  • Neither candidate gets a majority of support on any of the issues among key demographic groups such as Millennials, women, and independents, even on issues that can be considered very partisan. This shows a lack of real enthusiasm for either candidate among likely voters.
  • Among key groups such as Millennials, women and independents, Clinton only receives pluralities of support on issues like helping the middle class, the environment and foreign policy-her campaign's strong points.
  • Trump is currently gaining among independents and middle class voters. He has some appeal among women and Millennials regarding his strongest issues such as the economy and national security, but not enough to change their minds about voting for him right now.
  • Neither candidate is connecting with voters. This does the leave the door open for the Libertarian and Green party candidates to make some important gains for their respective parties this November.
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