Clinton's Qualifications and Temperament Aid Her in Closing Days: Poll

Advantages on qualifications and temperament are holding firm for Clinton.

It's a 48-43 percent race between the two, with Clinton barely touching 48 percent by rounding in the latest ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll. That said, it's her best result since Oct. 26, and Trump has held numerical advantages just twice, +1 on Oct. 30 and +2 last May.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

The results in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, rest to some extent on the one-third of likely voters who say they've already voted. They go Clinton by 51-43 percent, leaving it closer among the two-thirds yet to vote when these interviews were completed.

Even though both candidates are remarkably unpopular, there's more affirmative voting for Clinton than for Trump, a factor that can motivate turnout. A majority of her supporters mainly support her, rather than opposing Trump. That's pretty much reversed for Trump: 51 percent of his backers mainly oppose Clinton, rather than supporting him.


Critical to her prospects, Clinton leads Trump by a broad 55-36 percent among likely voters in being seen as more qualified to serve as president, and by an even wider margin, 58-32 percent, as having the better personality and temperament for the job.

Ninety-three percent of Trump's supporters see him as more honest and trustworthy than Clinton. Marking her comparative weakness on this attribute, fewer of her own supporters, 84 percent, see her as more honest than Trump. Instead 11 percent say they don’t see either candidate as honest and trustworthy.

The tables turn when it comes to Clinton’s better attributes. Ninety-eight percent of her supporters see her as better qualified; fewer of Trump’s, 83 percent, say that about him. Nine percent of Trump’s supporters see Clinton as the more qualified candidate.

The difference is particularly striking on Clinton’s other advantage: Ninety-seven percent of her supporters say she has the better personality and temperament to serve effectively as president. Just 73 percent of Trump’s supporters say that about him; 13 percent in Trump’s own camp rate Clinton better on personality and temperament. (Eleven percent say neither’s is better.)

Judgments on these attributes largely hew to partisan and ideological lines. That said, a quarter of conservatives, peaking at 34 percent of "somewhat" conservatives, see Clinton as more qualified than Trump, and 29 percent and 39 percent, respectively, say she has the better personality and temperament for high office.


In terms of vote preference, the gender gap has narrowed by dint of a closer contest among men, now 42-45 percent, Clinton-Trump. She leads by 12 points among women, courtesy of nonwhite women (85-9 percent) and college-educated white women (54-38 percent).

Among other groups, Clinton has closed to an even contest among independents, after trailing Trump by 19 points in this group Oct. 28. She’s reached a new high among nonwhites, 77-14 percent, including typical 87 percent support from blacks and better-than-typical 72 percent from Hispanics –- two groups critical to her fortunes on Tuesday.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Nov. 1-4, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,685 likely voters. Results have a margin of sampling error of 2.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 37-31-28 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

Q6a and Q6b were asked Nov. 3-4 among 499 Clinton supporters and 470 Trump supporters, respectively. Those results have 5-point error margins.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y. See details on the survey’s methodology here.