May 8, 2016
Poll: Top Reason To Vote Trump -- To Stop Hillary Clinton

A recent poll from Reuters showed that the majority of Trump supporters were voting to stop Hillary Clinton from getting into the White House. The majority of Clinton's supporters said they were also voting simply to stop the other side. The poll reflects America's growing ideological gap and the poor opinion people have of both candidates.

According to the poll, 47 percent of Trump's supporters were voting for him because they "don't want Hillary Clinton to win." Another 43 percent of the people said they approved of his policies, and just 6 percent said they were supporting him because they "liked him personally."

The same was true on the other end of the ideological spectrum.

About 46 percent of Clinton's supporters said they were voting because they don't want Trump to win, 40 percent because of her policies, and 11 percent because they like her personally.

The biggest factor in this years election might be which candidate is least hated. [Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]
The biggest factor in this year's election might be which candidate is least hated. [Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]

The numbers lend to the idea that America has a problem with political polarization, but Larry Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, has another word for it.

"This phenomenon is called negative partisanship. If we were trying to maximize the effect, we couldn't have found better nominees than Trump and Clinton."

Reuters explained this year's race may be "one of the world's biggest un-popularity contests."

Or as the Los Angeles Times asked after the April 26th primaries, "Who does America hate less?"

"Momentous victories in Tuesday's primaries drove Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ever closer to a November face-off in which the strongest argument each can make for election is the threat posed by the other."

Adding, "Together, Clinton and Trump are the two most unpopular presidential candidates in memory."

The Huffington Post's aggregated polls show about 42 percent of respondents have a favorable opinion of the former Secretary of State; 54 percent have an unfavorable opinion. For Donald Trump, it's 35 percent favorable; 60 percent unfavorable.

Those opinion numbers have plenty of time to change with the election still about seven months away, but the two candidates are probably going to become less popular as the attack ads begin.

Both sides have already lashed out against the other.

Hillary Clinton launched an attack ad that highlights the GOP's top leaders condemning Trump as a bigot, bully, and narcissist. As Gawker pointed out, it might have been a slightly tone-deaf approach considering that the real estate mogul rose to the nomination by positioning himself as an outsider willing to take on the establishment (the people who said all those negative things).

Donald Trump didn't wait to go straight for the jugular either, going after Bill Clinton's adultery.

"He was a disaster. I mean, there's never been anybody like this, and she was a total enabler. She would go after these women and destroy their lives. Have you ever read what Hillary Clinton did to the women that Bill Clinton had affairs with? And they're going after me with women? Give me a break, folks."

An election where the best tactic is vilifying the opponent has potential drawbacks for Americans. Instead of focusing on policies and ideas that make people excited to vote, spiteful elections are more like to produce little substance, which already appears to be what's happening.

There are also rumors of potential third-party runs. According to the Washington Post, Mitt Romney met with William Kristol to discuss the possibility of him running as the ultimate non-Clinton, non-Trump choice.

Kristol confirmed the meeting in a phone interview with the Post.

"He came pretty close to being elected president, so I thought he may consider doing it, especially since he has been very forthright in explaining why Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should not be president of the United States."

Mitt Romney couldnt beat Barack Obama, but he was far more popular than this years candidates. [Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]
Mitt Romney couldn't beat Barack Obama, but he was far more popular than this year's candidates. [Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]

Current polls on Real Clear Politics show that Clinton is currently the least-hated candidate, beating Trump by about 6 percent.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]