While obviously not all of the electorate is crazy about a Donald Trump presidency, and there remains a faction within the Republican Party establishment that has vowed never to support him, the billionaire businessman and reality TV mogul is nonetheless finding new support among another group: Americans who say they’ll cast a ballot for The Donald because they want to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming our next president.
As reported by Reuters, the next presidential election in November may just go down in history as the world’s biggest un-popularity contest, that is, which candidate is least liked.
In a recently released Reuters/Ipsos survey, the news wire service reported that nearly half of voters who support Trump or Clinton said they will mainly be voting to block one or the other from winning:
The results reflect a deepening ideological divide in the United States, where people are becoming increasingly fearful of the opposing party, a feeling worsened by the likely matchup between the New York real estate tycoon and the former first lady, said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.
“This phenomenon is called negative partisanship,” Sabato said. “If we were trying to maximize the effect, we couldn’t have found better nominees than Trump and Clinton.”
According to the survey, 47 percent of respondents who said they would back Trump will do so to keep Clinton out; that compares with 43 percent who back him because they agree with his political positions.
Contrast that with Clinton: 46 said they would back her over Trump to keep the billionaire businessman out of the Oval Office, with just 40 percent saying they support her political positions.
The Reuters poll went on to report that Clinton, after pledging to essentially govern as a third Obama term, has given her the lead over Trump nationally, 40.5 – 32.3 percent, with 27.2 percent saying they won’t vote or have yet to decide. But the Trumpster, having only recently vanquished the other 16 GOP candidates, is only now beginning to focus on Clinton, and his initial assault – that she is no champion of women as an enabler for her philandering husband by trashing his mistresses – was sharp. Expect more of these kinds of attacks.
Because he is blunt, plain-spoken and not inherently tied to either of the major political parties, Trump has managed to attract a very loyal base of supporters who have consistently said he is the only candidate who is actually speaking for them or has ever truly spoken for them. This connection that Trump has with tens of millions of voters is often criticized in the media, in elite political circles and in academia, who like to characterize “Trumpists” as uneducated louts who are racist, bigoted, homophobic nationalists.
But as more of these kinds of attacks against a broad swath of the American electorate were launched, a funny thing happened: Trump began to garner more and more support, winning many state caucuses and primaries in commanding fashion after vaulting to the top of the GOP race after his entrance speech, in which he lashed out at Obama’s unrestricted illegal immigration policies while promising to built a border fence that Mexico would have to pay for.
And while polling data will likely be all over the place between now and November – assuming the GOP does not underhandedly steal the nomination from Trump at the August convention – one thing is already apparent, as this Reuters/Ipsos poll also demonstrates: A sizeable portion of Democrats – many who are long-time party loyal but whom have been cheated and hurt by Obama’s pathetic economy – are ready to defect to Trump.
The willingness of some Democrats to change sides could be a major problem for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton this fall,” The Hill reported.