A new CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday shows that 50% of registered voters consider Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “more honest and trustworthy,” versus 35% who said the same about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The result is a stunning turnaround from earlier this year. A similar CNN/ORC poll conducted March 17-20 showed that Clinton led Trump, 43% to 38%, on the question of which candidate was “more honest and trustworthy.”
Trump led, 45% to 37%, in a similar CNN/ORC poll taken June 16-19.
Voters were asked specifically: “Thinking about the following characteristics and qualities, please say whether you think each one applies more to Hillary Clinton or more to Donald Trump. Please feel free to name a candidate even if you may not support him or her. … Is more honest and trustworthy.”
The answer to the question could be decisive. Fully 5% of registered voters in the poll said that the question of honesty and trustworthiness was the “one issue” most important to them in selecting a candidate.
That puts the “honest/trustworthy” factor in the top five criteria, after immigration (16%), the economy (14%), terrorism/national security (8%), and jobs (6%). It was ranked by voters in the poll as the most important personal quality of the candidates.
The poll was conducted Sep. 1-4 among 886 registered voters, and had a sampling error of 3.5%. It was partially conducted after the FBI released documents Sep. 2 showing the lengths Clinton and her staff went to dissemble and to destroy evidence.
Perhaps in reaction to the poll results, Clinton was aggressive with reporters aboard her campaign plane on Tuesday in detailing what she referred to as Trump’s past “scams” in business. She also pounded him on the question of why he has not released his tax returns, accusing him of having “something to hide.”
Democrats used the same accusations against former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, suggesting that he never paid taxes. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid later acknowledged that the attacks had been false.
The overall CNN/ORC poll result, conducted among 786 likely voters, showed Trump leading Clinton 45% to 43%, with a 3.5% margin of error.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.