Though Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are ahead in the primaries, a large percentage of Americans don’t favor either candidate.
A recent poll conducted by CBS and the New York Times finds that more than half of registered voters nationwide hold unfavorable views of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Among registered voters, 52% find Clinton unfavorable and 57% find Trump unfavorable.
These percentages are higher than any seen for previous front runners from both parties since 1984, when the poll began. Most Democrats hold negative views of Trump and similar is true for Clinton among Republicans, but among independents, over half find both candidates unfavorable.
More Democrats have positive feelings about Clinton than Republicans for Trump. Six out of 10 find Clinton favorable whereas, only half feel favorably for Trump. Only 28% of Americans view the Republican Party favorably while 46% view the Democratic party favorably. In a general election matchup, Clinton has a 10-point lead over Trump among registered voters. In a Clinton-Cruz matchup, Clinton leads Cruz by 3 points, but would lose to John Kasich by 4 points.
What is it about the candidates that make them poll so poorly? What characteristics and personality traits hurt them most? What role does empathy play?
Charles Prysby, professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the co-author of the book, “Candidate Character Traits in Presidential Elections” (Routledge, 2014)
Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and a fellow at the New America Foundation. His latest book is, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society” (Penguin Press, 2015)