The majority of voters are motivated by contempt for the opposite party’s nominee, not love for their own candidate, according to a new survey.
A Reuters/Ipsos online poll finds that 46% of voters who would support Clinton in a head-to-head matchup against Trump say they are primarily backing her because they don’t want to see the business mogul become President, compared to 43% who say they agree with most of Clinton’s political positions. Similarly, 47% of voters who plan to back Trump say they’re doing so because they don’t want Clinton in the White House, compared to 40% who agree with most of Trump’s positions.
Voters on both sides also overwhelmingly dislike their favored candidate. Only 6% of Trump supporters said they like the business mogul personally, and just 11% said the same for Clinton.
“This phenomenon is called negative partisanship,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, in an interview with Reuters. “If we were trying to maximize the effect, we couldn’t have found better nominees than Trump and Clinton.”
The poll also finds Clinton beating out Trump if the 2016 election were held today, with the former Secretary of state receiving about 40% support, Trump taking 32% and 27% declining to commit their support to either candidate. The poll was conducted April 29 through May 5, polling 469 likely Trump voters and 599 likely Clinton voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.
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