The number of voters volunteering they would not cast a ballot for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton has nearly doubled from 6% in January of this year to 11% in the June survey.
As perspective, the race in 2012 between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama steadily held around 3% of those volunteering they would vote for neither candidate.
For a more robust sample size, we merged the last two NBC/WSJ surveys (May & June) to get N=2,000. This gave us N=195 voters who identified as saying they would vote for neither candidate.
At first glance, Neither/Other Candidate Voters are much less enthusiastic about the upcoming presidential election and have a much more pessimistic view of the direction of the country compared to the overall electorate. Even when Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are removed from the ballot and replaced with “generic” candidates, a quarter of these voters would still rather not vote for either party’s candidate.
Key Numbers Among Neither/Other Candidate Voters
Below are feeling thermometers (positive/negative impression) of the two major parties and their most prominent political figures. Both presidential candidates and their parties see dramatic drops in their overall image. The images for President Obama, Senator Sanders and Speaker Ryan stay relatively unchanged within the margin of error.
Feeling Thermometers Among Neither/Other Candidate Voters
The demographic charts below show that Neither/Other Candidate Voters are more likely to be younger, whiter and more independent-minded than the electorate at large.
Demographic Profile of Neither/Other Candidate Voters