There is no doubt that Americans want major changes in the way government operates, and they see Mr. Trump as much more likely to change business as usual in Washington. But this does not necessarily translate into support for his overall approach. When asked to choose by WSJ/NBC, only 38% want the next president to “protect what has made American great,” compared with 58% who want him or her to “focus on progress and help move America forward.” To the extent that his agenda is seen as an exercise in nostalgia rather than a workable plan for the future, Mr. Trump will lose ground.
Hillary Clinton represents continuity, while Donald Trump represents change: advantage Trump. But Mrs. Clinton represents security while Mr. Trump represents risk: advantage Clinton. Sixty-one percent of Americans think that she has the better temperament to serve effectively as president, according to the ABC/WP poll, compared with 31% for the presumptive Republican nominee. Sixty-three percent believe that she is qualified to be president; only 39% say the same about Mr. Trump.
It won’t be easy for Mr. Trump to change these judgments. His overall approval rating is no higher than it was last August, and the share of Americans who “strongly” disapprove of him has risen from 43% to 49% since then (ABC/WP).