Two Unique…and Unpopular…Presidential Candidates

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been in the public eye for most of their adult lives. In that time, the American people have formed pretty definitive opinions about each – with the consensus turning toward the negative.

According to the NBC/WSJ Survey, both presumptive nominees head into the general election contest with the highest negative scores of any candidate (for either side!) since the survey began tracking the question in 1992. To drive home the point, there is simply no precedent for the high negative ratings for both potential nominees.


Another data point that bears this out – after being asked to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the presidential ballot, respondents were asked a follow-up question, “Are you voting for that person more because you want that person to be president or more because you do NOT want the other person to be president?”

The results are astounding. We have compiled data reaching as far back as the 1980 election, and there has been no other recent presidential campaign where a majority of voters are voting against both candidates rather than voting for the candidate of their choice.


This data made us want to take a deeper look at the topic of what we presumed would be the record number of people who were negative to both candidates.

Our work helps detail the fact that 2016 is unique – as 27{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} have negative views of both candidates.

The following deck contains:

  • Profiles of those negative to both Trump and Clinton;
  • Presidential election matchups amongst those negative to both voters; and
  • Analysis of each candidate’s attributes among these voters
Public Opinion Strategies