Part of the reason for the bad polls could be a lingering bump for Hillary Clinton from last week's Democratic National Convention. But it's hard to overstate just how awful some of the new poll numbers are for Trump.
To wit, here are four of them:
1. Just 15 percent say he’s “very qualified” to be president
This has long been an area in which Trump has struggled, but he’s now struggling more than ever and moving in the wrong direction. The new Fox News poll released late Wednesday shows just 43 percent of Americans think Trump is qualified to be president. That's not ideal, but perhaps he could bump that up to 50 percent eventually.
But then you drill down and see that just 15 percent – only about 1 in 6 Americans – say Trump is “very qualified” to hold that job. That's the worst that number has been for Trump in any Fox News poll this campaign — down from 17 percent in June and 19 percent in August.
These numbers are even worse when you consider how strong Clinton is on this measure. The same poll shows about two-thirds of Americans — 65 percent — say she’s qualified to be president, and 40 percent see her as “very qualified.”
So the number of Americans who see her as "very qualified" (40 percent) is close to the number who view Trump as qualified in any way (43 percent).
2. Seven in 10 say they wouldn’t be “proud” to have him as president
This is from the CNN poll released earlier this week. It asked people whether the following statement applied to them when it comes to Trump: "Someone you would be proud to have as president."
A whopping 69 percent of Americans said they would not be proud to have Trump as president; just 30 percent would be. In other words, there are people who are voting for Trump — at least about 1 in 10 Americans — who nonetheless say they wouldn't be proud to have him as president.
Trump needs to get around 50 percent of the vote, though. And because right now just 30 percent would be proud to have him as president, that means he would need to get about 20 percent of those Americans who wouldn’t be proud to have him as president — 1 in 5 — to vote for him anyway. That's probably a tougher crowd to win over.
3. Sixty-nine percent say he was "out of bounds" in criticizing Khan family
Trump supporters and Trump himself will regularly accuse the media of unfairly targeting his controversial comments and making a mountain out of a molehill. But it's clear that Americans see Trump's widely denounced attack on the parents of a fallen U.S. Muslim soldier as being a mountain, rather than a molehill.
A whopping 69 percent in the Fox poll say Trump was out of bounds in his criticism of Khizr Khan and his wife, Ghazala, after they spoke out against Trump's Muslim immigration ban at last week's Democratic convention. Trump suggested Khan's wife wasn't allowed to speak because of their religion and that Democratic speechwriters put words in Khizr Khan's mouth.
Just 19 percent said his criticism of Khan was acceptable.
Much as with previous Washington Post-ABC News polling, this suggests people have indeed been consuming the various Trump controversies and judging him poorly for them. Americans were similarly critical of Trump's comments questioning the neutrality of an American judge of Mexican heritage, Gonzalo Curiel, who is deciding his Trump University case. After that controversy, 68 percent said Trump's comments were inappropriate.
And the sum total of all of it is that, according to the June Post-ABC poll, two-thirds of Americans believe Trump is unfairly biased against women, minorities and Muslims.
Given Trump's apparent decision to keep going down this road over and over again and not to back down in the face of criticism, you can bet there will be plenty more instances of Americans thinking he just went too far.
4. Two-thirds say he doesn’t have the right experience
From the CNN poll: 68 percent say Trump doesn’t have the right experience to be president of the United States.
This, again, would seem to be a big hurdle for around 1 in 5 Americans to get over. How do you elect a man you don’t think has the right experience for the job? Or who you don't think is qualified or would make you proud? Or who you think is prejudiced?
The answer is likely twofold: If the alternative is even less appealing (which Clinton has been for many people at times) and if voters are voting on something other than experience and qualifications (which some are in Trump’s case).
The question, as it has long been with Trump, is whether enough people who don’t have much regard for his preparedness for the job find another, more important reason to cast a ballot for him.
You could make a strong case that simple partisanship gets Trump from the 30 percent of people who would be proud of/confident in his presidency to 40 percent (his average in national polls). Many Republican-leaning voters might not love Trump, but they'll vote for him because of the party he represents.
But getting from 40 percent to 47, 48, 49 percent — the vote total Trump will likely need — means persuading lots of people who wouldn’t be proud of or confident in a Trump presidency to vote for him.
That's a pitch Clinton won't have to make.