Clinton’s Virginia lead in recent CNU poll based on temperament, experience

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speak at the same time during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. (Rick T. Wilking/Pool via AP)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead over GOP rival Donald Trump appears to be based on voters’ belief that she is more qualified on temperament, experience, and key issues, according to data from Christopher Newport University.

The data released Wednesday by CNU’s Wason Center for Public Policy is the second part of a survey taken earlier this month. The first part of this survey was released on Monday.

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According to the newly released data, twice as many voters — 58-28 percent — said Clinton has the right temperament to be president. CNU says more than twice as many voters, 60-26 percent, said she has the right experience.

The first part of the poll showed Clinton with a 10 percentage point lead over Trump ahead of Monday’s first presidential debate.

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By a close margin — 35-32 percent — voters in CNU’s poll say they believe Trump is more trustworthy and honest than Clinton. Dr. Rachel Bitecofer, assistant director of the Wason Center for Public Policy, spoke to 10 On Your Side and says around one third of voters polled had no response to this question.

However, voters also say they believe Clinton is more qualified to handle North Korea and Iran, has a better grasp on national security issues and is better able to handle terrorism threats.

“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.

CNU says that, if Clinton wins in November, Virginia Democrats want to see current Gov. Terry McAuliffe appoint Congressman Bobby Scott to Tim Kaine’s seat until a special election is held in 2017.

Kaine, who is Clinton’s running mate, would become vice president in that scenario.

“Congressman Scott is really buoyed by his high name recognition and robust support in Richmond and in Hampton Roads,” said Bitecofer.

The survey was conducted Sept. 15-23 among 1,003 likely Virginia voters, and contained a +/- 3.9 percent margin of error.