In the latest sign Americans are dreading their general election options -- and particularly one of them -- negative views of Donald Trump have surged to their highest level of the 2016 campaign, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Trump's unfavorable rating, in fact, far surpasses Hillary Clinton's even as the presumptive Democratic nominee receives her worst ratings in more than two decades in public life.
The poll finds 70 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump, including a 56 percent majority who feel this way "strongly." Negative ratings of Trump are up 10 percentage points from last month to their highest point since he announced his candidacy last summer, nearly reaching the level seen before his campaign began (71 percent). The survey was conducted Wednesday through Sunday among a random national sample of U.S. adults, coming after last week's primary contests, but with the large majority of interviews completed before Sunday's massacre at an Orlando club.
Clinton is also seen negatively, with 43 percent reporting favorable impressions and 55 percent unfavorable. Attitudes have not significantly changed since last month, but negative views of the former secretary of state have technically ticked up to their highest level in all Post-ABC polls since 1992, when Clinton had yet to become first lady.
Unfavorable ratings toward both Clinton and Trump are higher than for any major-party presidential nominee in Post-ABC surveys from 1984 onward.
While interviews were conducted before and after the Orlando shooting, results from Sunday showed no significant differences from previous days, though it will take several days to know whether the attack and political aftermath impact candidates' standing.
Where Trump lost ground
But Trump's recent slide has reopened an advantage for Clinton, whose 55 percent unfavorable mark is now 15 points below Trump's. Among registered voters, Trump's unfavorable mark exceeds Clinton's by 13 points (69 percent vs. 56 percent), a break from a Post-ABC poll last month finding both candidates' standings even at 57 percent unfavorable among this group.
Negative views of Trump have risen among a wide range of groups, jumping by double digits among liberals and conservatives and among both Republican women and Democratic men. But his standing has also worsened among two key voting groups: independents and white Americans who do not have a four-year college degree.
Trump's net favorable rating (favorable minus unfavorable) among non-college whites has flipped from a plus-14 in May to slightly negative minus-7 in the latest survey. Among independents, Trump's net rating has shifted from from -19 last month to -38 in the latest survey, returning him to roughly the same standing as in April (-37).
Both groups widely dislike Clinton, setting up a hold-your-nose choice for many in November. Clinton's net favorable rating of -47 among non-college whites continues to be much worse than Trump's, while her -29 net rating among independents is slightly better.
Party unity? Maybe later.
Significant minorities of Democrats and Republicans continue to express reservations about their parties' presumptive nominees. One-quarter of self-identified Democrats say they have an unfavorable view of Clinton (25 percent) -- a number little changed from 21 percent in May despite Clinton clinching the party's nomination last week. Clinton's negative ratings peak among Democrats under age 50 (31 percent, vs. 18 percent for those 50 and older) who have been more supportive of Sanders in the primary contests this year; her image could improve if Sanders concedes the contest and endorses her candidacy.
On the Republican side, an even higher 34 percent express unfavorable views of Trump, reversing about half of the gains Trump made from April (42 percent unfavorable) to May (28 percent). Several Republican leaders have renounced Trump's complaints that a the federal judge presiding over lawsuit against Trump University is biased due to his Mexican heritage, with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan saying Trump's comments were racist.
Trump continues to be deeply unpopular with Hispanics, with 89 percent saying they have an unfavorable view of him, his highest mark in Post-ABC polling this campaign. Three-quarters of Hispanics see Trump in a "strongly unfavorable" light (76 percent), similar to 78 percent last month. Clinton has a largely positive image among this increasingly Democratic group -- 64 percent favorable vs. 34 percent unfavorable.
Clinton's biggest popularity struggles continue to be among men, where her unfavorable rating stands at 63 percent, rising to 75 percent among white men. Her standing with women is significantly better, at 51 percent favorable and 47 percent unfavorable. The barely positive mark -- almost identical to 50-48 one month ago -- is a reminder that Clinton's success at becoming the first woman to clinch a major-party nomination for president has come without widespread popularity among women nationally.
Copyright: the Washington Post
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