CNN Poll: Does Trump have the right stuff to be president?
May 6th, 2011
11:50 AM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Does Trump have the right stuff to be president?

Washington (CNN) - Most Americans don't think that Donald Trump has many of the traits they typically look for in a president - including honesty, empathy, and an ability to manage the government, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday does indicate that the public says the billionaire businessman, real estate mogul and reality TV star is intelligent, tough enough to handle a crisis and not a typical politician. Trump has been flirting with running for the White House and says he'll announce by June whether he'll launch a bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Eighty-two percent of people questioned in the poll, which was conducted last weekend, before the news of the killing of Osama bin Laden, say Trump is intelligent, with 67 percent saying he is not a typical politician. Fifty-seven percent say he's tough enough to handle a crisis, 51 percent say he can get the economy moving and half of those questioned say he's likeable.

But only 37 percent say Trump can manage the government, 34 percent say he's honest and trustworthy and 32 percent say he's someone they admire. Only 27 percent say Trump has the right experience to be president, 26 percent say he's in touch with Americans and 24 percent say he shares their values.

Even among Republicans, who would be the first to vote for him if he runs for the GOP nomination, he's not getting rave reviews.

"Republicans are generally considered more pro-business than Democrats or independents, but most Republicans don't admire Trump or think he has the right experience to be president, and most GOPers don't think Trump shares their values or is in touch with ordinary Americans," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

According to a CNN poll released Thursday, nearly six in ten say they have an unfavorable view of Trump. The survey also indicated that Trump trailed Obama by 22 points in a hypothetical 2012 general election matchup.

"Slightly more Americans think Trump can get the economy moving than feel that way about President Obama, but the president has a major advantage over Trump on honesty, likeability, and skills at managing the government," adds Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted April 29-May 1, with 1,034 adult Americans questioned by telephone. All interviews were completed before the president announced that bin Laden, the founder and leader of the al Qaeda terrorist network and the man responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • CNN Polls • Donald Trump • Polls
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. lancem

    A country can not be run as a business. Should we have a balanced budget? Of course. She we be financial prudent like a business? Of course. But a business only stays a business if it make a profit. A government is not run to make a profit, it there to serve the common needs of its citizens.

    May 6, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. GrogInOhio

    Donald Trump has got to be only person on the planet that takes credit for someone else making him look like a complete fool.

    May 6, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. BB

    I'm tired of reading about Trump. He's not a real candidate. He's a media sideshow. What's Ron Paul up to?

    May 6, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Enough
    You're taking care of business today with some of these so-called contributors to the discussion!
    I'm with you all the way.

    May 6, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. jim

    obama has proven himself. he thnks before he acts. he doesn't blunder about bellowing obscenities. he thinks calmly through and well beyond issues. he understands that we aren't alone on this planet and that we've got to get along with others ... even when we don't want to. he's shown he's not afraid to make the tough decisions. and. he's asked time and time and time again for bipartisan cooperation. yeah, i'll vote for obama.

    but trump? he should be on the saturday morning cartoons.

    May 6, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Thankfully not from Alaska

    in today's world of say something and hope nobody checks the facts...there's a reason donald won't show his financials...he bankrupted an airline, his casinos and hotels (several times), his mortgage company. "mr. bring jobs back to america" needs to explain why his clothing line is manufactured in china and pakistan. he's a joke but republicans are too narrow minded to do a little someone else said, he's not a republican...up until recently he was pro-choice and made most donations to democrats. he's nothing more than a cheap press hound. my guess is he will drop out in several weeks, and then announce a new tv show the next week (this is basically what he did the last time he was contemplating running...dropped out then released a new book the next week). get outta here you sleazy, unethical slime bucket!

    May 6, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. Walter

    Thank goodness Republicans are finding out who should and shouldn't run for president. Whoever runs on the Republican ticket will be running against a weak and damaged president. If Republicans can't beat Obama, they better hang it up.

    May 6, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Indiana Voter


    What's scary is that regardless of how bad Obama does with the economy, you will support him, with no questions asked. You definitely need to start practicing what you preach and do some research of your own. I bet you haven't even looked yourself.

    May 6, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Seattle Sue

    Trump the Stump has always polled less tha zero with me.

    May 6, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Trump is a clown, and not a particularly amusing one at that.

    May 6, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Clwyd

    He is just another republican animal running for office!

    May 6, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Barbara

    When someone says "how does that jive with his leading from behind in Libya?" – what does that mean exactly. To me it means you read a quote or heard those words "quoted" and seem to think that it actually means something. NONE of us are privy to how someone is engaged in matters of foregin affairs. If you think bulldozing our way into these countries is the way to go so we can be leading "from up front" then I guess you will need to elect someone else. For me – I prefer the current methods being pursued by this administration.

    May 6, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. Chipster

    Trump is a con-man who inherited his fortune. His revealing comment that HE never went bankrupt, just his companies and/or business partners have, says a lot about how he passes the buck. I'm a little startled by how quickly the self-righteous right, who blasted Clinton for his escapades and moral weaknesses, has so quickly embraced people like Trump and Gingrich. The word "phonies" comes to mind.

    May 6, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Eileen Schenck Mr. Trump for President. Give him credit where credit is due...but is he a team player or just gives orders?
    His style of "Negotiation" seems to be very one-sided and in dealing with other people, other countries would not
    work well.

    Who wants a foul-mouthed obviously well-dressed however uncultured person lacking manners to represent this
    country?. Leave the "Fn" where it belongs and less of it we hear the better.

    Who is he to say what is appropriate and what is not? He has fallen in love with himself ,the sound of his own voice and

    May 6, 2011 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. ART

    Trump is a bloated idiot and an embarrassment to all New Yorkers.

    May 6, 2011 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. shawn

    Take A look at the last two, I believe Trump has MUCH more experience in becoming present.

    May 6, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Dale

    As an independent, how can I take the Republican party seriously when over 40% of Republicans supported the "birther" hateful racist conspiracy theory?? It shows a definite disconnect with reality.

    May 6, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. chris

    @Rick McDaniel, uh what planet you on buddy, the President has been doing a fine job cleaning up the mess left by the Republicans. The problem lies more with the folks in Congress than the President. Many of those folks both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are self serving and don't give a crap about the American people. The President has been doing things that he hopes will help the American people, but those in Congress (the self serving body they are) mess it up!! You need to go check the President list of accomplishments and revisit your response!!

    May 6, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. Sick of Trump

    Do us all a favor Trump go some where and sit down. We don't need someone with your arrogrance to lead our country. Save that for your real estate deals!

    May 6, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. ExGOPer

    Blowhards never make good presidents and they are usually hypocrites and cowards. Every nation in the world would look at us as a joke again. Bush was bad enough to make the U.S. a laughing stock. What in the heck do you think would happen with a guy like Trump? Let's stick to level headed candidates demonstrating at least half a brain and a personality to match.

    May 6, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. GaryB

    Let's be honest. Had Trump not been born rich, an assistant manager's position at McDonalds would probably have been out of his reach. Time and time again, he has deomnstrated business judgement that is highly questionable, and the only thing that has kept him from going bankrupt is a complete lack of ethics. Top that with his horribly annoying over-inflated opinion of himself, and it's hard to imagine that he would have ever accomplished much of anything without having received a huge head start.

    May 6, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. chris

    I couldn't imagine this guy near the "Football", I mean think about it he is so thin skinned it is ridiculous. So, what if the leader of another Country said something bad about the man? He would probably nuke the Country!! We all remember the Rosie fight, the Cosby fight; oh and now it is Letterman? LOL

    May 6, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Duncan

    It is so easy for these arm chair presidents to make quick decisions on what they will do in a given situation, but I would much prefer a president who considers all information and makes a rational decision. Trump is not someone who would do that.. and most of the current GOP are so quick to jump in with baseless opinions.

    May 6, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Dianne

    He would be an disaster. I hope he gets the Republican nomination though, it will be great for the late night shows...

    May 6, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  25. PK California

    Let's try to find one trait that Trump has that makes a president.
    1. Tact
    2. Patience
    3. A kind heart
    4. Intelligence
    5. Understanding
    6 Ability to negotiate
    Guess I'd better quit. I see none of the obove that fit Trump.Some day someone is going to take a shot at that chin when he puts it out there! He's FIRED!!!!!!

    May 6, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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