Americans Truly Don't Like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Poll Finds
By Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams
This piece first appeared at Common Dreams.
Via a new Gallup poll, more evidence came Friday that the nation’s electorate really doesn’t like this year’s leading presidential candidates.
Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has the dubious distinction of being the most unfavorably viewed of any candidate over the past seven decades—displacing 1964 Republican candidate Barry Goldwater from the bottom spot.
The poll offers no smug moment for Clinton: her scores put her among the bottom four presidential candidates, with scores barely better than those of Goldwater.
The scores are on based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,025 adults, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Respondents were asked to give a number between +1 and +5 to give a favorable view of a candidate, with +5 being the most favorable. They were also asked for a number -1 to -5 to express an unfavorable view of the candidate, with -5 being very unfavorable.
With that data, Gallup indicated who has the highest unfavorable and highest favorable ratings, as well as overall favorable and overall unfavorable ratings.
Trump’s highly favorable rating is just 16 percent, and his highly unfavorable rating is 42. Goldwater’s highly favorable rating was 17, for comparison, and his highly unfavorable rating was just 26 percent.
Clinton, for her part, has a highly favorable rating of 22 percent and a highly unfavorable rating of 33 percent.
Democrat George McGovern had a bad image during his 1972 presidential bid as well. His scores are sandwiched between those of Goldwater and Clinton, having a 21 percent highly favorable rating and 20 percent highly unfavorable score.
Looking at total favorable versus total unfavorable ratings, Clinton edges out Trump, having 51 percent favorable to 50 percent unfavorable. The real estate mogul, meanwhile, has 42 percent favorable versus 59 percent negative.
Gallup states: “The wild card in this year’s ratings is that more Americans view Clinton and Trump highly unfavorably than highly favorably, and to an unprecedented degree.”
Looking at the other end of the list, Dwight D. Eisenhower (in ’56) leads the total favorable score with 84 percent, followed by Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter (in ’76) with 81.
The new Gallup poll is not the first survey showing voters’ distaste for both leading candidates.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released in May showed voters choosing to vote against Trump or Clinton, rather than for one of the candidates.
And an NBC News/Survey Monkey poll also released in May showed that 60 percent of respondents said they “dislike” or “hate” Clinton, and 63 percent felt that way about Trump.
Andrea Germanos is a staff writer at Common Dreams.