WASHINGTON — Americans have mixed feelings on which presidential candidate will do better on health care, trade, the economy, terrorism and other important issues. But when they simply consider whether they personally would be better off, they prefer the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
The latest Associated Press-GfK poll shows that Americans are more likely to think people like themselves would benefit more from a Clinton White House than one run by Republican Donald Trump, by 36 percent to 29 percent.
They also are much more likely to think women, LGBT people, Hispanics, Muslims and blacks would be better off under Clinton, while they largely think men and whites would be better off under Trump.
Miles Kafka, 43, of Brooklyn, New York, said his life would “definitely” be better under Clinton “because Donald Trump’s policies are gibberish.” A registered Republican who works in computer programming, he supported Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, in the primary.
“She’ll get the best done that she can,” Kafka said, adding that both Trump and Clinton were too aggressive on foreign policy for his taste.
Sydney Sullivan, 21, a college student from Lynbrook, New York, echoed those sentiments.
“I definitely think she’ll support women and minorities a lot better than Trump would. I think she has a better idea of the oppression that women and minorities face,” Sullivan said. “To me, he’s a racist, he’s a bigot. I’m not his biggest fan. I’m worried about his comments and how people can support comments like that.”
On major issues in the race, voters are divided over which candidate they trust more, reflecting the deep divisions in the electorate.
Health Care and Race
Clinton has a clear advantage on handling health care, the U.S. image abroad, filling Supreme Court vacancies, working with Congress and improving race relations, according to the poll. The numbers on race relations were particularly stark, with Americans more likely to trust Clinton than Trump to make improvements, 45 percent to 17 percent.
The former secretary of state also has a slight advantage on handling international trade.
But Trump has a slight advantage on handling the economy and creating jobs, and on handling the threat of domestic terrorism – issues that rank among the most important for Americans.
“He talks like he can deal with China and different countries in the Middle East. I think he can do better with foreign relations,” said Stewart Van Sickle, 75, a retiree in High Ridge, Missouri.
Van Sickle said that Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton “are mostly interested in what will make money for them.”
People are closely divided over who would better handle immigration, protecting the country, gun laws and making America great. On making America great – Trump’s campaign slogan – 31 percent thought he would do a better job, 28 percent favored Clinton and 34 percent said neither.
Some 55 percent thought Clinton would be better for Muslims, while just 9 percent thought Trump would be. White people and men were thought to do better under Trump, with 41 percent saying men will fare better under him, compared with 20 percent for Clinton.
Still, about one-quarter of those polled think people like themselves wouldn’t be better off under either candidate.
Ronald Knope, a 69-year-old retiree from Glencoe, Minnesota, said he was supporting Trump and thought he would do better with Trump as president. But Knope also acknowledged dissatisfaction with his options.
“To tell you the truth. I don’t think we have a good choice, but I think he’s probably a better choice,” Knope said. “I like the fact that he’s not from the political machine.”
The AP-GfK Poll of 1,009 adults was conducted online July 7-11, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using telephone or mail survey methods and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t have access to the Internet were provided access for free.