US Presidential Election: A choice between two evils?
By – Andrew Airahuobhor (International Correspondent)
If current polls from various polling agencies are anything to go by, the United States of America’s electorates are indeed in a dilemma. Washington Post-ABC News poll indicate that the electorates will literarily be voting candidates they do not like in November.
The poll conducted in May 16-19 among a national sample of 1005 adults shows that the coming presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is a competition between two candidates viewed unfavorably by a majority of the current electorate and with voters motivated as much by whom they don’t like as by whom they do. This is unprecedented in the history of the post ABC poll.
Nearly 6 in 10 registered voters say they have negative impressions of both major candidates. Overall, Clinton’s net negative rating among registered voters is minus-16, while Trump’s is minus-17, though Trump’s numbers have improved since March. Among all adults, Trump’s net negatives are significantly higher than those of Clinton.
“We really do not have a better choice of Presidential candidates. It is quite unfortunate for us,” said Ryan Walker, an American business owner who said “we are hoping that the two major parties’ conventions come up with alternatives that will be pleasing to Americans.”
For Nurudeen Mohammed, an African-American originally from Ethiopia, “I am confused about the choice for president. Trump has bad intentions for Muslims and Africans but I don’t even like Hillary Clinton. This is a serious challenge and we just have the two of them to choose from, forget about the Libertarians represented by Gary Johnson” he said.
Democrats holds convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while Cleveland, Ohio hosts the Republican convention. Democrats and Republicans have begun to consolidate around their presumptive nominees, even though Republican voters remain divided on the question of whether Trump reflects the core values of their party. Partisans in both parties say they are confident that they will be unified for the fall campaign, though one-fifth of Republicans express doubts.
In all, the survey foreshadows a hard-fought, competitive and negative general election. At this point, the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat among registered voters, with Trump favored by 46 percent and Clinton favored by 44 percent. That represents an 11-point shift toward the presumptive Republican nominee since March. Among all adults, Clinton holds a six-point lead (48 percent to 42 percent), down from 18 points in March.
Nonetheless, Clinton is rated ahead of Trump across a range of attributes and issues, and she is seen as having superior experience, temperament and personality to be president. Trump is viewed as unqualified by a majority of adults, but he has strong appeal to voters as the anti-Clinton candidate who can bring change to Washington in an election year in which outsiders have thrived.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has given Clinton a stiff challenge in the contest for the Democratic nomination, enjoys the most positive rating of the three. Among registered voters, Sanders is net positive — 49 percent to 41 percent — and has seen his image improve steadily the longer he has been a candidate.
The other politician who is judged positively at this moment is President Obama. This is important to Clinton’s prospects in the fall. His overall approval rating among all adults remained at 51 percent, as it was in March, while his disapproval rose from 43 percent to 46 percent, within the margin of error.