Clinton and Trump Are Historically Unpopular. Here’s Why.

Voters Say Clinton Is Untrustworthy and Trump Is Racist

One of the most common stats trotted out in this presidential campaign is that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are the most unpopular candidates in modern history, with more voters saying they have an unfavorable view of the candidates than a favorable one. Indeed, 23 percent of American voters we polled have an unfavorable view of both Clinton and Trump.

At Morning Consult, we wanted to find out why. So we asked voters who had an unfavorable view of either Trump or Clinton to pick the top two reasons they dislike the candidate from a list of more than a dozen negative attributes.

What we found is that the main drivers of Clinton and Trump’s unfavorable numbers play in to larger campaign narratives: Voters think Trump is racist, and Clinton is untrustworthy. Even more importantly, both are underwater in almost every state.

The results below provide an in-depth look into the study and the challenges ahead for both campaigns. You can see more about our methodology below.

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Clinton Is Seen as Untrustworthy and Corrupt

For voters who have an unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton, their dislike can be boiled down to one word: trust. Almost half (47 percent) of voters who have an unfavorable view of Clinton don’t think she is trustworthy and almost four in 10 voters (39 percent) say she is corrupt.

As former first lady and secretary of State, Clinton has long been in the public eye and attacks by Republicans over the years have resonated with voters. Their most recent Clinton criticism has been focused on her use of a private email server while secretary of State and her refusal to release transcripts of paid speeches she gave to investment banks on Wall Street.

ClintonOverall

 

It’s little surprise that 50 percent of Republicans say she is untrustworthy, but that was also the top reason for 47 percent of independents and 39 percent of Democrats who have an unfavorable view of Clinton. Republicans and independents, at 45 percent and 39 percent, respectively, also believe she is corrupt, compared with 25 percent of Democrats.

A little over one-fifth of voters (21 percent) said Clinton changes her positions when it’s politically convenient. At 26 percent, Democrats were slightly more likely to criticize Clinton for that reason, compared with 23 percent of independents and 18 percent of Republicans.

ClintonByParty

Other main criticisms of Clinton also point to concerns often raised against a career politician: 12 percent of voters say she is out of touch with average Americans and says one thing but does another, and 10 percent of voters said she doesn’t share their values. Democrats (16 percent) were most likely to say she is out of touch with average Americans, while Republicans (14 percent) were most likely to say she doesn’t share their values.

How Did We Conduct our Study?

Morning Consult surveyed 2,001 registered voters from May 27-30, 2016, asking voters with an unfavorable view of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to pick the top two reasons they dislike the candidate from a list of more than a dozen negative attributes. The survey was conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status and marital status. Toplines and crosstabs are available here and here, respectively.

To construct the state-by-state analysis, Morning Consult asked nearly 40,000 registered voters from April 2016 through June 2016 whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We used a statistical technique called multilevel regression and poststratification (MRP) to construct state-level estimates from the national survey data. You can read more about MRP in this study here.

All data is available in Morning Consult’s research database, Morning Consult Intelligence.

Trump Is Seen as Racist and Inexperienced

Voters who don’t like Donald Trump have a lot of reasons driving their distaste for the presumptive Republican nominee. But the most commonly cited ones are that Trump is racist (25 percent) and does not have the right experience to be president (20 percent).

The presumptive GOP nominee has repeatedly stoked racial and ethnic tensions, from referring to undocumented Mexican immigrants as “rapists” during the speech to launch his campaign, to calling for a ban on allowing Muslims into the country following the attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando. Trump faced bipartisan criticism for insinuating that a federal judge born in Indiana to parents who emigrated from Mexico was unable to preside fairly over the Trump University fraud case because of his “Mexican heritage.”

 

TrumpOverall

Breaking down the criticism along partisan lines, Democrats (29 percent) and independents (22 percent) who had an unfavorable view of Trump were more likely to cite the argument that he is racist than Republicans (15 percent). Democrats (16 percent) and Republicans (14 percent) were closer in their views that Trump possesses extreme political views, while that was less of a concern for independents (9 percent).

Additionally, one-fifth of voters with an unfavorable view said Trump doesn’t have the right experience to be president. While Trump spent much of the primary campaign attacking his opponents as career politicians who haven’t been acting in the best interest of Americans, voters are skeptical he is prepared for the job. Republican voters (28 percent) were the most likely to say they viewed Trump unfavorably because of a lack of experience, while 19 percent of Democrats and independents concurred with that assessment.

TrumpByParty

And while those are the main reasons voters don’t like Trump, there are many others. Sixteen percent of voters think he’s not trustworthy, 13 percent say he doesn’t know enough about the issues and 12 percent say he changes his positions when it’s politically convenient and has extreme political views. Eleven percent of voters also said Trump was corrupt, sexist and out of touch with average Americans.

How Did We Conduct our Study?

Morning Consult surveyed 2,001 registered voters from May 27-30, 2016, asking voters with an unfavorable view of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to pick the top two reasons they dislike the candidate from a list of more than a dozen negative attributes. The survey was conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status and marital status. Toplines and crosstabs are available here and here, respectively.

To construct the state-by-state analysis, Morning Consult asked nearly 40,000 registered voters from April 2016 through June 2016 whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We used a statistical technique called multilevel regression and poststratification (MRP) to construct state-level estimates from the national survey data. You can read more about MRP in this study here.

All data is available in Morning Consult’s research database, Morning Consult Intelligence.

How Their Popularity Plays Out at the State Level

Morning Consult combined nearly 40,000 interviews since April and found there are only five states and the District of Columbia where Clinton or Trump are above water. Clinton has higher favorable than unfavorable ratings in New York and D.C.; Trump has higher favorable ratings in North Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Where the candidates are most unpopular generally breaks neatly along partisan lines. States that vote reliably Republican tend to dislike Trump less than Clinton, whereas reliably blue states are more likely to prefer Clinton.

And in many battleground states it’s a near tie on who voters dislike more, including Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa.

But in other states that are usually safe bets for one party over the other, the dislike for both presumptive nominees could expand the map for either party. South Carolina, Georgia, and Kansas are usually gimmes for Republicans, but Trump is about as unpopular as Clinton there. It’s a similar story for Democrats in states such as Michigan, New Mexico and Connecticut.

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DemographicClinton FavorableTrump FavorableClinton UnfavorableTrump UnfavorableLeast Favorite CandidateClinton Margin of ErrorTrump Margin of Error
DC68.9%18.4%28.5%77.7%Trump4.7%4.5%
HI47.9%33.5%48.9%62.7%Trump5.7%5.7%
NY53.2%38.7%44.1%57.6%Trump2.0%1.8%
MD48.8%34.5%49.0%62.2%Trump2.7%3.0%
CA47.6%34.4%49.3%61.9%Trump1.6%1.4%
MA44.0%32.5%53.9%64.9%Trump3.1%2.5%
WA40.0%29.2%57.6%68.1%Trump3.0%2.8%
VT38.3%28.4%59.4%68.9%Trump4.9%4.8%
IL44.8%35.1%52.5%62.0%Trump1.8%1.8%
RI39.9%30.4%57.7%66.9%Trump2.8%4.8%
VA44.6%37.5%51.5%58.0%Trump2.3%2.8%
MN39.3%32.7%58.3%64.7%Trump3.1%3.7%
DE44.8%37.8%52.8%58.9%Trump4.9%4.3%
NJ43.7%37.3%54.0%59.8%Trump2.3%2.7%
OR37.2%31.8%59.7%65.3%Trump3.6%2.9%
WI38.1%34.0%59.5%63.3%Trump2.5%2.8%
FL44.8%42.6%52.6%54.4%Trump1.5%1.9%
SC41.0%38.6%56.2%57.5%Trump2.5%3.0%
GA42.2%40.3%54.3%55.6%Trump1.7%2.5%
NM35.5%34.0%62.4%63.2%Trump3.3%4.0%
CT39.9%39.2%56.9%57.6%Trump3.2%3.7%
NV40.7%39.3%56.7%57.3%Trump2.8%4.4%
OH38.7%38.0%58.6%58.8%Trump1.7%2.3%
MI37.5%37.0%59.9%59.6%Clinton1.7%1.9%
CO36.5%38.0%61.4%59.5%Clinton2.9%2.8%
TX38.8%40.6%58.5%55.9%Clinton1.5%1.4%
NC39.2%41.4%57.6%54.7%Clinton1.6%2.7%
KS34.7%38.1%62.6%59.1%Clinton2.4%4.2%
PA39.2%42.5%58.4%54.8%Clinton1.4%2.2%
IA35.9%40.2%61.4%57.3%Clinton3.3%4.3%
UT28.6%33.3%69.0%63.9%Clinton3.3%4.4%
MS40.7%45.2%55.9%50.5%Clinton2.7%3.4%
ME33.4%40.2%63.8%57.2%Clinton3.3%5.4%
NH34.0%41.0%63.9%56.6%Clinton3.9%4.7%
OK33.3%40.2%64.0%56.7%Clinton3.0%3.2%
LA37.3%44.6%58.9%50.8%Clinton2.6%3.1%
IN31.2%39.9%66.2%57.1%Clinton2.2%2.7%
MO32.9%41.9%64.6%55.3%Clinton2.7%2.5%
AR36.4%45.8%60.6%50.4%Clinton3.2%3.4%
SD30.9%41.6%66.5%55.6%Clinton4.1%4.7%
AZ33.6%44.8%63.3%52.4%Clinton1.9%2.6%
MT31.9%43.1%65.4%54.0%Clinton3.9%6.0%
ND31.2%43.3%65.6%53.1%Clinton3.4%7.0%
KY33.7%46.0%63.2%50.7%Clinton2.2%3.0%
AK32.7%46.1%63.6%50.4%Clinton3.1%5.5%
AL35.8%49.9%61.0%46.6%Clinton2.3%3.0%
ID27.3%43.0%70.3%54.4%Clinton3.0%4.4%
TN32.0%49.4%64.9%47.0%Clinton2.3%3.2%
NE29.9%47.9%67.3%49.2%Clinton4.1%4.3%
WV27.6%53.3%69.7%44.0%Clinton3.2%4.1%
WY25.2%52.3%72.0%44.9%Clinton2.7%5.3%

How Did We Conduct our Study?

Morning Consult surveyed 2,001 registered voters from May 27-30, 2016, asking voters with an unfavorable view of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to pick the top two reasons they dislike the candidate from a list of more than a dozen negative attributes. The survey was conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status and marital status. Toplines and crosstabs are available here and here, respectively.

To construct the state-by-state analysis, Morning Consult asked nearly 40,000 registered voters from April 2016 through June 2016 whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We used a statistical technique called multilevel regression and poststratification (MRP) to construct state-level estimates from the national survey data. You can read more about MRP in this study here.

All data is available in Morning Consult’s research database, Morning Consult Intelligence.