Marc Thiessen: The most incredible number in the latest Fox News poll

Editor’s note: The following column originally appeared on AEIdeas, the American Enterprise Institute blog.

The Fox News poll released Thursday night had a lot of bad news for Donald Trump.  He is now down seven points against Hillary Clinton, 45 percent to 38 percent. And after a terrible two weeks in which he spent several days attacking a former Miss Universe, then saw the release of a “hot mic” recording in which he bragged about groping women, then spent several days attacking Republicans who distanced themselves from him over the video of him bragging about groping, Trump has lost significant ground among women.

Fox asked voters whether the two candidates were “very qualified,” “somewhat qualified,” “not very qualified” or “not at all” qualified to be president.

Forty-nine percent said Trump was “not at all” qualified to be president. In other words, half of all American voters believe Trump has no business being anywhere near the Oval Office. That is a devastating number.

Another 7 percent say he is “not very” qualified, so overall 56 percent of Americans believe he is not qualified to be president, compared to just 31 percent who say that about Clinton.

Forty-nine percent said Trump was “not at all” qualified to be president. In other words, half of all American voters believe Trump has no business being anywhere near the Oval Office. That is a devastating number.

Now those numbers are not broken down by state, so it is possible that in states where Trump is competitive a smaller fraction of the electorate considers him unqualified. And with third party candidates pulling 10 percent of the vote, he only needs a plurality to win. But still, that is a tough ceiling to break through.

See the Fox News 2016 battleground prediction map and make your own election projections. See Predictions Map →

It appears that unless some Americans plan to pull the lever for a candidate they believe in unqualified for the job, Trump is going to have a hard time winning the White House.

Marc Thiessen is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he studies and writes about American presidential leadership and counterterrorism. He also writes about general US foreign and defense policy issues and contributes to the AEIdeas blog. A member of the White House senior staff under President George W. Bush, Thiessen served as chief speechwriter to the president and to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Before joining the Bush administration, Thiessen spent more than six years as spokesman and senior policy adviser to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC). A weekly columnist for The Washington Post, Thiessen is also a
contributor to Fox News, appearing several nights a week on “The Kelly File.” His book on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation program, “Courting Disaster” (Regnery Press, 2010), is a New York Times bestseller. Thiessen is also the coauthor, with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, of “Unintimidated” (Sentinel, 2013). Thiessen has done postgraduate studies at the Naval War College and has a B.A. from Vassar College



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