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Who do we trust to Govern? Clinton & Trump in a Landslide

As reported in U.S. News & World Report, a new visual survey conducted by Mercury Analytics reveals “how Trump and Clinton blow away their competition when it comes to voter confidence”.

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A national research study of 1,000 likely voters executed by Mercury Analytics reveals that on 20 critical issues facing America, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are their party’s overwhelming choice for President.

Mercury Analytics, a technology-driven consumer research and political polling firm based in Washington, D.C. conducted the survey between April 8 and April 11, 2016. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

Unlike traditional surveys that ask participants abstractly “who would you want to vote for” or “who do you favor” on an issue, Mercury utilized its new Situational Perception methodology that places voters much more realistically in the issue being discussed, and then asks them to choose the candidate who makes them feel “most confident” to deal with the issue.

As a result, participants consider whom they trust to govern, and not just abstractly who they want to vote for or who they favor. They consider “who can they most depend on” to make a difference addressing that issue of importance to them.

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On 19 of 20 critical issues facing America (95%), Hillary Clinton was chosen by likely Democratic voters as the Presidential candidate who participants felt “most confident to deal with” the issues. Similarly, among likely Republican voters, on 19 of 20 critical issues (95%), Donald Trump was selected as the Presidential candidate who participants felt “most confident to deal with” the issues.

“Each participant first identified the issues that were most important to them, including issues related to foreign affairs and security, economics, and domestic policy” stated Ron Howard, Mercury’s CEO.

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“Participants were shown a picture depicting the complexity of one of their most important issues, and then asked to select the candidate that they would feel most confident addressing that issue.”

The results help explain why both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump maintain strong national leads over their rivals. Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton on one issue among likely democratic voters — Properly regulating Wall Street. Ted Cruz also beat Donald Trump on one issue among Republican voters – Helping to improve public education in America.

Among the top 5 issues of importance to likely voters, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were both selected more than 2 to 1 as the candidate whom participants had the most confidence in.

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While protecting America from terrorism was the number one issue of importance, it should be noted that the number two issue among likely voters was electing a candidate who “Has the political skill to get things done with a divided Congress”. Overwhelmingly, voters want government that works and gets things done, despite divisions.

Are Candidate Trusted and Qualified?

Because several campaigns have questioned each other’s trustworthiness and “qualifications” to be President, participants were also asked to rate each of the current candidates on these measures.

Democrats

Among Democrats, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton scored nearly identically in both metrics, although Bernie Sanders was rated slightly more trustworthy while Hillary Clinton was slightly more qualified. John Kasich was the strongest rated republican among Democrats, with Donald Trump receiving the weakest ratings.

Republicans

Among Republicans, all three Republican candidates were rated very similarly. Bernie Sanders was the highest rated Democrat while Hillary Clinton had much weaker trust ratings but comparable qualification ratings.

Independents

Lastly, among Independents, Bernie Sanders had the highest ratings in both categories.

Strong Commitment to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

After choosing a presidential candidate from among the current Republican and Democratic candidates, participants identified their level of commitment to their selected candidate.

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Hillary Clinton enjoyed very strong commitment from her supporters, with similar but slightly weaker support expressed for Bernie Sanders, while Donald Trump had much stronger support from his supporters versus the support Ted Cruz and John Kasich enjoyed.

The Conventions

A total of 86% of Democrats believe that after the Democratic Convention, the Democratic Party will have “come together”. Among Hillary Clinton supporters, a total of 90% indicated they would be “Very Supportive” (50%) or “Somewhat Supportive” (40%) of Bernie Sanders if he received the nomination, while a slightly less enthusiastic 79% of Bernie Sanders supporters indicated that they would be “Very Supportive” (45%) or “Somewhat Supportive” (34%) of Hillary Clinton if she received the nomination. A total of 93% of Democrats believe that it is “Very Likely” (56%) or “Somewhat Likely” (37%) that Democrats will win the White House come November.

Republicans were somewhat split as to what should happen if no candidate has a majority of delegates by the time of the Convention. A total of 48% of Republicans felt that “The candidate who has the most delegates going into the convention should be nominated”, while 32% believed that “The candidate who can convince enough of the delegates of the other candidates to back them, should become the nominee”. Only 17% believed that “A new candidate who gains support from a majority of the delegates should become the nominee”.

Nonetheless, a total of 66% of Republicans believed that, after the Republican Convention, the Republican Party will have “come together”, while 34% believed “The Republican Party is going to be very fractured”. A total of 79% believed that it is either “Very Likely” (38%) or “Somewhat Likely” (41%) that Republicans will win the White House come November.