More Americans trust Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump to handle issues of terrorism and national security, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found.
While Clinton has maintained an upper hand on this issue since November, her lead over Trump is up eight points against a similar poll on June 19 — in no small part because of the two candidates’ radically different responses to the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub.
Indeed, as Clinton promoted gun control policies, Trump issued one of the most most xenophobic, Islamophobic speeches of his campaign to date. She called for the U.S. to avoid demonizing Muslims; he called for increased racial profiling, monitoring mosques, and a ban on immigration.
Although Trump has boasted about his strong stance on tackling “radical Islamic terrorism,” the poll suggests that voters believe the Clinton campaign had the superior approach. More Americans said they thought she did a better job in responding to the tragedy, by 46 percent to Trump’s 28, while a whopping 34 percent more respondents said she showed better temperament throughout.
That should come as no surprise, though, when Trump’s initial response consisted of congratulating himself for “being right” on the topic.
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Finally, the poll shows that results also translate into support for Clinton on terror threats in general. Just over half of those polled said Clinton gave them confidence in responding to similar future attacks, compared to Trump’s 34 percent.
Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton comments on the just-released Benghazi report as she speaks at Galvanize, a learning community for technology, in Denver, U.S. June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking