From Wason Center: NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Hillary Clinton’s strong lead in Virginia over Donald Trump appears to be rooted solidly in voters’ opinions that she is more qualified to be president than Trump on temperament, experience, and key issues, including military and foreign policy issues, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.
Twice as many voters, 58-28 percent, say that Clinton, not Trump, has the right temperament to be president, and twice as many (60-26 percent) say that she, not Trump, has the right experience. By a close margin, voters say that Trump is more trustworthy and honest than Clinton, 35-32 percent.
“Despite poor marks for honesty, Virginia voters are clear that Hillary Clinton is far more qualified to be president than is Donald Trump,” said Dr. Quentin Kidd, Director of the Wason Center.
Voters see Clinton as being more qualified than Trump to handle North Korea and Iran (51-41 percent), having a better grasp of national security issues (62-29 percent), and being better able to handle terrorism threats (49-42 percent). However, they believe Trump would do more to promote job growth, reduce the budget deficit and help veterans. Aligning with Clinton, Virginia voters strongly oppose building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico (63-33 percent), establishing a deportation force (63-31 percent), or enacting a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country (65-31 percent).
If Clinton wins the presidential election and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine becomes vice president, Virginia Democrats want to see Governor Terry McAuliffe appoint Congressman Bobby Scott to the Senate seat until a special election in 2017. Scott gets the support of 27 percent of Democrats. The nearest second choice is Congressman Don Beyer, at 9 percent, with 26 percent undecided.
“Congressman Scott is really buoyed by his high name recognition and robust support in Richmond and in Hampton Roads,” said Dr. Rachel Bitecofer, Assistant Director of the Wason Center.
The survey was conducted Sept. 15-23 among 1,003 likely Virginia voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.9%. In Part 1, released Monday, voters preferred Clinton, 48-38 percent, in a head-to-head contest with Trump. Among the five candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot, Clinton topped Trump, 39-33.