Whether you are Republican or Democrat, Clinton fan or Trump lover, or neither of the two, a new poll shows that it’s likely you are less proud of America than you were four years ago, specifically because of the antics and perceived scandalous behavior demonstrated by both candidates in their election campaigns. That is troubling because while the election will end, the feelings of voters about the candidates and their country may not – for many, this election has caused them to view America in a negative light, according to MSN.
A recent poll showed that 62 percent of Americans held a poorer perception of America and are less proud to be American than when the same question was posed to likely voters at this time four and eight years ago. In fact, when President Obama was running against John McCain in 2008, only 12 percent of voters said that particular election made them feel less proud of America. At that point in time, a third of Americans said that campaigns made them more proud to be an American. Only 7 percent of those polled now say that they feel more proud to be American as a result of presidential campaigns.
Although the election of either candidate would result in history being made in America – either a woman president for the first time or a business mogul with no political experience for the first time – the majority of Americans are not feeling good about it, and the most common reason given is that voters do not like the candidates, perhaps even going as far as not liking who they are voting for. The numbers are stark and represent a dark mood for America – only 33 percent of voters view Trump positively, while 59 percent view him negatively. For his opponent Hillary Clinton, it’s 38 percent positive feelings and 53 percent negative, meaning that people are much more likely to not like either candidate than to like one or both.
When one looks at the data among potential voters and their presidential choice this election, far more Clinton voters are likely to say that this campaign has made them less proud to be an American – a staggering 72 percent versus Trump supporters, of which 49 percent say this election has made them less proud to be American.
The 2016 presidential election has been fraught with scandals and deep division, sometimes even within party lines. From the vetting of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders to WikiLeaks suggesting that the Clinton foundation may be involved in improper use of funds, to a tape-recorded conversation of Donald Trump saying that he “grabs women in the p***y,” and deeply insulting words being hurled by both candidates, many parents aren’t sure what to tell their children about the election and need guidance to talk to them about it, according to PBS.
Many Americans speak about the “incivility” associated with this election and fear that the division is too great to come together as a nation after such viciousness on the campaign trail. Both Clinton and Trump have been criticized for their generalizations of certain groups – with Trump being perceived by some to call Mexican immigrants “rapists” and Clinton calling supporters of Trump “deplorables.” Frequent insults have been hurled back and forth by the two candidates which have been personal in nature and not just a disagreement with policies.
Another sobering statistic found in the NBC poll is that many Americans feel that the coverage of the election by the media has not been fair. Only 29 percent of respondents said that the news media mostly gave fair and balanced coverage of the election, while 44 percent suggest that the media uses its influence to favor Clinton, and only 9 percent polled said that the media uses its influence to favor Trump.
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