Poll shows the primary reason almost half of Trump’s and Clinton’s supporters will vote for them is desire to defeat the other candidate

By Dave Andrusko

trump-clintonThe headline on the AOL News post was, “Top reason Americans will vote for Trump: ‘To stop Clinton.’”

Why might you find this a remarkable headline? Well, while it is true that Donald Trump has received (according to studies) billions of dollars in free media coverage, all but $.98 of it has been negative.

The headline could have been more accurately along the lines of “Top reason Americans will vote for either Trump or Clinton: They don’t want their opponent to win.”

Specifically, 47% of those who said they would support Trump in the general election said the primary reason they are voting for him (assuming Mrs. Clinton is his opponent) is, “I don’t want Hillary Clinton to win.”

The position of Clinton supporters is virtually identical, only in reverse. 46% said the primary reason would be because “I don’t want Donald Trump to win.” The results are from a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday. [1]

But what AOL giveth, AOL taketh away. Chris Kahn wrote that “Trump has won passionate supporters and vitriolic detractors.” Okay, but what about Clinton?

“Former Secretary of State Clinton’s appeal to voters seeking continuity with President Barack Obama’s policies, has won her a decisive lead in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but finds strong opponents among those disillusioned by what they see as lack of progress during Obama’s tenure,” according to Kahn.”

Pardon? The only reason she has “strong opponents” is because there are those who think Obama didn’t go far enough? It has nothing to do with Clinton?

Not a word about her massive popularity/unpopularity deficit; persistent questions about her basic honesty and her leadership qualities; her ghastly numbers among Independents; even her inability to rally women in expected numbers.

Mr. Trump is behind Mrs. Clinton by an average of  roughly 7 points, although a CNN poll released this week conveniently found him 13 points behind.

Without mentioning the horse race aspect, Kahn concedes that “To be sure, voters’ opinions could change over the next several months.”

Of course they will. If somebody tells you they have a good feel how those opinions might change, take it with a salt shakers worth of salt.


[1]   43% of Trump’s supporters said the primary reason they’d support him in the general election is, “I agree with most of his political positions.” 40% of Clinton’s supporters said, “I agree with most of her political positions.”