Although Donald Trump is fond of claiming that he leads in all of the current polls, there is a new statistical bellwether making the rounds that is far from flattering. Respected polling organization Gallup has compiled a ranked listing of Americans’ perceptions of presidential candidates going back to 1992 and, as reported by the Washington Post, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump fares rather poorly in the charisma department.
The Gallup findings indicate that the real estate mogul trumps George H.W. Bush in the 1992 elections – where Bush went on to lose to Bill Clinton – as well as his present Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Twenty candidacies are listed in the report by the Post, including both of Barack Obama’s bids for high office as well as Republican contenders like Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Bob Dole. But irrespective of the name of candidate or the election year, the Donald tops them all.
All told, three out of every five Americans – or 60 percent – view Donald Trump as unfavorable according to Gallup’s most recent two-week averages.
“I wanted to see how Trump’s unfavorable played out in the context of previous elections, so I went back to look at the unfavorable ratings of the major-party candidates from 1992 through the current election,” said Gallup editor in chief Frank Newport in comments published by the Weekly Standard. “The bottom line is that Trump now has a higher unfavorable rating than any candidate at any time during all of these previous election cycles, and that conclusion takes into account the fact that unfavorable ratings tend to rise in the heat of a general election campaign as the barbs, negative ads and heightened partisanship are taken to their highest levels.”
Writing for the Financial Times, Edward Luce described Donald Trump’s position atop Republican primary polls as a kind of “middle-finger appeal” for disenfranchised voters.
“There is nothing whimsical about Mr. Trump’s fan base. Those who support him are sending a calculated message of contempt for career politicians. The more Mr Trump offends their sensibilities … the more effective he is. ‘Even Trump is better than you,’ they are saying. ‘That’s the low regard we hold you in.’ “
“Unfavorability” is actually a characteristic that Gallup has been tracking throughout the present election cycle and while Trump has registered in these ratings before, his present standing is a historic low. But the revelation stands in remarkable contrast to another distinction bestowed upon Donald Trump just a month earlier in a completely different Gallup poll.
As noted by Rolling Stone, Donald Trump tied with Pope Francis as the second most admired man in the world in a survey conducted by Gallup late last year. The billionaire candidate and the head of the Catholic Church garnered five percent each in the poll, while President Barack Obama – who came in first place as the world’s most admired – landed 17 percent of the total votes.
Despite his decidedly waning likability, Donald Trump remains on a footing to win many early primaries. Polling data compiled by Real Clear Politics show Trump ahead of Ted Cruz by six percentage points heading into the Iowa caucuses and his lead in the field is far more substantial in the New Hampshire and South Carolina polls. Even gambling sites such as Paddy Power, a site that typically lists odds for sporting events, are showing Trump as the heavy favorite to win the Republican nomination in July. Looking ahead to the November election, the worm turns as odds makers presently regard Hillary Clinton as more likely to win the presidency than Donald Trump.
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