Six weeks before the Iowa Caucuses open the 2016 presidential race in earnest, Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz lead the Republican field nationally, but Trump trails either Democratic candidate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and 50 percent of American voters say they would be embarrassed to have Trump as president, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released Tuesday.
Trump has 28 percent of the GOP pack, with Cruz of Texas at 24 percent. Sen. Marco Rubio has 12 percent and Dr. Ben Carson has 10 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds. No other candidate tops 6 percent with 8 percent undecided. But 58 percent of those who name a candidate might change their mind.
Among Democrats, Clinton tops Sanders 61 – 30 percent. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has 2 percent, with 6 percent undecided and 41 percent who might change their mind.
Among Republicans, 28 percent of voters say they “would definitely not support” Trump, with 24 percent who would not back Bush.
Only 23 percent of all voters would be proud to have Trump as president.
If Clinton is elected, 33 percent of all voters would be proud and 35 percent would be embarrassed.
“Half of American voters say they’d be embarrassed to have Donald Trump as their commander in chief and most Americans think he doesn’t have a good chance in November, but there he is still at the top of the Republican heap,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “Hillary Clinton tops him. Sen. Bernie Sanders hammers him and Sen. Ted Cruz is snapping at his heels. Can a candidate that half the American electorate thinks is an embarrassment win in November?”
American voters back Clinton over Trump 47 – 40 percent. In other matchups:
• Clinton gets 44 percent to Rubio’s 43 percent;
• Clinton and Cruz are tied 44 – 44 percent. Sanders tops Trump 51 – 38 percent.
In other matchups:
• Rubio gets 45 percent to Sanders’ 42 percent;
• Cruz gets 44 percent to Sanders’ 43 percent.
Clinton has a negative 43 – 51 percent favorability rating. Other favorability ratings are:
• Negative 33 – 59 percent for Trump;
• 40 – 31 percent for Sanders;
• 37 – 28 percent for Rubio;
• 35 – 33 percent for Cruz.
Clinton has the right kind of experience to be president, American voters say 63 – 35 percent, while Trump does not have the experience, voters say 67 – 29 percent. But Clinton and Trump are close on several key qualities. American voters say:
• 59 – 35 percent that Clinton is not honest and trustworthy;
• 58 – 40 percent that she has strong leadership qualities;
• 50 – 46 percent that she does not care about their needs and problems;
• 55 – 42 percent that she does not share their values.
Looking at Trump, voters say:
• 58 – 36 percent that he is not honest and trustworthy;
• 58 – 39 percent that he has strong leadership qualities;
• 57 – 38 percent that he does not care about their needs and problems;
• 61 – 34 percent that he does not share their values.
Clinton is ahead on another key measurement:
Voters say 59 – 32 percent, including 86 – 10 percent among Democrats, that she has a good chance of defeating the Republican nominee next November.
Voters say 53 – 41 percent that Trump does not have a good chance of winning in November. Republicans say 70 – 24 percent that Trump has a good chance of winning.
From Dec. 16 – 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,140 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. Live interviewers call landlines and cellphones. The survey includes 508 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points and 462 Democrats with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percentage points.