Trump seen as least likely to do what’s best for economy

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Donald Trump, the billionaire New York businessman, scores lowest among the five remaining major-party presidential contenders when it comes to public confidence in their ability to manage the world’s largest economy. And during this topsy-turvy campaign season, it may not come as a surprise that Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, scores best, a recent Gallup survey shows.

But Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the only remaining candidate with any direct experience in managing a major economy, scores just below Sanders, the Vermont Senator, who tops the field. About 46 percent express confidence in Kasich’s ability to do or recommend the right steps for the U.S. economy, Gallup said Monday about the results of its survey. About 47 percent say the same about Sanders, who is listed as an independent in the Senate but has said he is a socialist.

Trump scores lowest, at 30 percent who say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in his ability to do what’s right for the economy, followed by Ted Cruz, at 35 percent, and Hillary Clinton at 43 percent. Cruz, a U.S. Senator from Texas, has battered Trump in recent primaries and caucus contests, while Kasich remains an also-ran.

The Donald, who prides himself on being a winner, did notch the highest score from survey respondents identifying the candidate most likely to be incapable or unwilling to do the right thing for the economy – 68 percent say they had little or no confidence that Trump would choose the right course, according to Gallup. Cruz isn’t far behind, at 60 percent who express that view of him, while more respondents say Clinton would fail the economy, at 56 percent, than who say she could be trusted to do what’s right.

The survey results track closely with the overall favorability ratings of each candidate, Gallup said, indicating that the views on their economic abilities may reflect respondents’ favorable or unfavorable impressions. Only Kasich and Sanders have net favorable ratings among the five, Gallup said.

Forty-six percent of American adults hold a favorable view of Sanders, to 39 percent unfavorable, while Kasich is rated as favorable by 38 percent to 24 percent unfavorable, the polling organization said. Trump has the widest negative gap, at 64 percent unfavorable to 31 percent favorable, followed by Cruz at 51 percent to 31 percent unfavorable and Clinton, at 55 percent unfavorable to 39 percent favorable.

Kasich, who appears to be hanging on in hopes that Republican Party leaders will turn to him at the national convention in Cleveland and make him the GOP presidential nominee, outscores his party rivals among Democrats and independents on the economy question. But he trails them both among Republican survey respondents.

Among Democrats, Clinton tops Sanders in terms of confidence she would do the right thing for the economy, but not by much, at 79 percent to 74 percent. Among independents, Sanders scores best, at 46 percent, trailed closely by Kasich at 43 percent, and both significantly outscore the other three candidates, who were all in the low to mid-30 percent range.

Gallup surveyed 1,015 adults by telephone April 6-10, and said the results have a margin of error of 4 percentage points.