JOSHUA LOTT VIA GETTY IMAGES. A new poll shows Americans think Hillary Clinton had the best response to the Orlando club shooting.
In the wake of the Orlando attack, more Americans would trust Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump when it comes to handling terrorism threats as president, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday.
Fifty percent said they trust Clinton on terror, compared to 39 percent for Trump. Those numbers are comparable to the split in a March poll, before the gap narrowed to just 3 points last month, when Trump’s poll numbers rose in general.
But after the mass killing at a gay nightclub in Orlando, that gap has widened once again. Far more respondents thought Clinton had a better overall response to the attacks, by 46 percent to Trump’s 28. And an even wider margin said they thought she showed better temperament in the wake of the shooting — 59 percent to 25.
Trump’s initial response to the mass killing was a self-congratulatory tweet, thanking supporters for their praise of him “for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”
Forty-nine clubgoers were killed and another 53 injured at Pulse nightclub on June 12, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The gunman, Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a 911 call during the rampage. Mateen committed the attack with an AR-15-type semi-automatic rifle and a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, reigniting the country’s debate over gun control.
In the ABC-Post poll, Americans were split on whether assault weapons should be banned. Fifty-one percent said the sale of such guns should be prohibited, while 48 percent said it should not. But a vast majority of respondents — 86 percent — said buyers should be blocked from purchasing guns if they are on the FBI’s list of people with potential ties to terrorism.
The GOP-controlled Congress has declined to take up gun control measures following the Orlando shooting, prompting a daylong sit-in by Democrats on the House floor.