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Poll: Most Americans Unhappy With Presidential Campaign

  • Wayne Lee

FILE - Voters look on as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign a campaign event, Jan. 29, 2016, in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. A new poll has found 70 percent of voters are frustrated with the current election campaign, while 55 percent feel helpless and similar percentage are angry.

FILE - Voters look on as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign a campaign event, Jan. 29, 2016, in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. A new poll has found 70 percent of voters are frustrated with the current election campaign, while 55 percent feel helpless and similar percentage are angry.

A new poll has found that most Americans are not happy about this year’s presidential election campaign.

Seventy percent of Americans are frustrated, while 55 percent feel helpless and a similar percentage are angry, according to a poll conducted by The Associated Press and the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC).

“A lot of it has to do with the feeling they are not being heard,” said AP-NORC Senior Fellow Marjorie Connelly in an interview with VOA.

Connelly added that the negative feelings are not unique to either major party.

“I can say that self-identified Republicans and Democrats are just about equally frustrated," she said.

Although many Americans are not excited about the presidential race, 65 percent of them said they are interested in this presidential election.

Some of the negative feelings are fueled by the perception that neither the Democratic nor Republican party is receptive to new ideas. Seventeen percent of the respondents said the Democratic Party is open to new thoughts about solving the country's problems, compared to only 10 percent of those responding about the Republican Party.

Asked if this is a reflection on the presidential candidates, Connelly said, “People always want more choice. You ask them who [they want as candidates] and they wouldn’t be able to come up with somebody.”

FILE - A voter wears a "Dump Trump '16" shirt at a Democratic caucus in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 22, 2016. A poll has found that a Sanders presidential nomination would be better for the Democratic Party than a Trump candidacy would be for the GOP.

FILE - A voter wears a "Dump Trump '16" shirt at a Democratic caucus in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 22, 2016. A poll has found that a Sanders presidential nomination would be better for the Democratic Party than a Trump candidacy would be for the GOP.

Outsiders in spotlight

The poll was designed to look at candidates who were not considered typical Washington political insiders. As a result, Connelly said Republican Donald Trump, who has never held elective office, and Democrat Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist who was an independent before announcing his Democratic presidential run in November 2015, are the primary focus.

The poll found that a Sanders presidential nomination would be better for the Democratic Party than a Trump candidacy would be for the GOP.

"He has a very high unfavorable [rating] and I think that was reflected in the fact that people said that he was not good for the party," Connelly said of Trump. "At the same time, Senator Sanders has more favorable numbers out there in terms of favorability ratings, and so more people said he was good for his party."

The feedback on Trump and Sanders was mostly partisan, with most self-identified Republicans saying Trump was good for the GOP and Democrats saying the opposite. The reverse happened for Sanders, Connelly explained, but much fewer Republicans said Sanders was bad for the Democrats.

"There's not as much dislike for Sanders," she said.

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