Poll Numbers For 2016 Candidates Show Americans Aren't Satisfied With Any Of The Options
If you’re not feeling so thrilled about the options for the upcoming presidential election, you’re not alone. According to a new political poll by George Washington University (GWU), even though the country is currently faced with 11 different options of presidential hopefuls, there isn’t even one presidential candidate Americans seem particularly impressed by. Not one of the 11 presidential candidates featured in the GWU poll had a favorability rating over 50 percent.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton boasted the highest favorability percentage in the polls, with a 47 percent favorable rating. However, her unfavorable rating trumped it by a percentage point, with 48 percent Americans reporting that they did not have a favorable impression of the current Democratic frontrunner.
But if Clinton didn’t fare that well in this GWU poll, conducted from May 3 to May 6, Republicans’ favorability ratings were notably lower. Jeb Bush, perhaps the most well known of the possible Republican primary candidates, even though he hasn't even announced a presidential run yet, had a favorable rating of 35 percent and an unfavorable rating of 48 percent. While actual Republican candidates had a more even split between their favorable and unfavorable ratings, they scored even lower than Bush did. For instance, Mike Huckabee was rated 34 percent favorable and 33 percent unfavorable. Marco Rubio was seen as favorable by 31 percent of survey respondents and unfavorable by 30 percent.
Moreover, the survey unearthed what might be an even bigger issue for Republican candidates than low favorability ratings. According to a press release about the survey, there is a “large percentage of the electorate who have never heard of them.” Just to name a few examples: More than a quarter of respondents had never heard of Marco Rubio nor Ted Cruz, nearly half of respondents hadn’t heard of Scott Walker, and a whopping 60 percent had never heard of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who officially announced last week.
While the 2012 presidential election climate wasn't exactly great, it was better than 2016's is shaping up to be. According to a 2012 poll by Pew Research Center, 54 percent of voters said that they were either "very or fairly satisfied" with their presidential options in the 2012 election. Moreover, in 2012, one of the presidential candidates — Barack Obama — consistently boasted a favorability rating of at least 50 percent. This time around, that isn't the case for anyone.
With well over a year remaining until the actual 2016 presidential election, it might be easy to jump to the conclusion that Americans’ low enthusiasm surrounding the options is a bad sign of things to come. The GWU poll reports that, rather, it means that Americans are fed up with the current system and poised to be more scrutinizing than ever in selecting a candidate that will enable a "more effective Washington apparatus." The researchers wrote:
As the 2016 presidential campaign gets underway, Americans are searching for a leader who understands the nation’s fundamental economic challenges as threats to security — both personal financial security and shared, national security — that they are, and who will act with a sense of urgency to address those challenges.
Put simply, Americans want a candidate who can actually get things done in Washington. According to the researchers, Americans are no longer so caught up on finding a candidate with views similar to their own — they really want a candidate who “will be the most effective at getting things done in Washington.” That would impress all of us.
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