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Clinton and 'The Donald' seen as untrustworthy; Biden trumps

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, Clinton and Trump have the worst favorability ratings of any leading candidate, scoring poorly in honesty and trustworthiness.

But Biden — who has not yet declared a bid — polls as well as or better than Clinton in matchups against Republican candidates.

Clinton might be dipping in the polls because of her ongoing email scandal, said David McLennan, a political science professor at Meredith College. He said female candidates are held to a higher standard of trustworthiness, a characteristic many would say Clinton currently lacks.

Rob Schofield, director of research and policy development at N.C. Policy Watch, said the Quinnipiac numbers should not come as a surprise.

“It tends to be very volatile,” he said. “It’s almost as if voters are saying, ‘We want to have a contest, we want to have some sort of a debate, and we’re not ready to just anoint Clinton as the nominee nine or ten months before the convention and 14 months before the general election.’”

Should Biden decide to run, his high favorability ratings wouldn’t necessarily mean he would become the frontrunner overnight, McLennan said. Biden is performing well in the Quinnipiac poll because he’s a recognizable name and a fresh face, though not an official candidate, McLennan said. “He’s been around politics for a long time, but he hasn’t been campaigning, so he’s like the new kid on the block, even though he’s 68 years old.”

Schofield and McLennan said that once primary season gets underway, the polls will return to normal, likely with Clinton in the lead and Trump no longer a serious contender.

“There have been others like Trump who have had a meteoric rise early on, but once the anger they were tapping into played out, people got back to governing and electability,” Schofield said.

Man on the street

Sara Heikal, junior biology major

“(Clinton’s) done a lot of sketchy things. Don’t just vote for her because she’ll be the first female president. She’s kind of sketch.”

Nicole Cordero, junior exercise and sport science major

“Donald Trump is a joke. He’s very disrespectful to women. I think he’s taking the whole thing as a joke.”

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Max Bock, junior English and business major

“I regard Trump as very radical, and he appeals to a certain demographic in the U.S. But I doubt he would be a very good president.”

Ashley Overton, junior psychology and biology major

“Joe Biden seems like a frat star, and I didn’t really like him as vice president.”

Madison Moore, freshman exercise and sport science and psychology major

“Donald Trump… ew.”