Donald Trump

Trump Is the Second Most Unpopular Presidential Candidate Since 1984

First place goes to former Klansman David Duke, who was disliked by slightly more Americans in 1992.


Trump campaign video

When Israelis ask me how someone like Donald Trump could be so popular among Americans, I tell them he really isn't very popular. Support from one-third to one-half of Republican primary voters (depending on the state) is not the same as support from Americans in general, most of whom do not like the guy. The latest evidence on that score comes from ABC News/Washington Post poll numbers released today, which indicate that, based on survey results during election years, Trump is the most unpopular presidential candidate in the poll's 32-year history, unless you include former Ku Klux Klan leader (and current Trump supporter) David Duke, who got just 119,000 votes in the 1992 Republican primaries.

According to the survey, 67 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Trump, just two points shy of Duke's record 69 percent in 1992. The corresponding number for Ted Cruz was 53 percent—still nothing to brag about but only slightly worse than Hillary Clinton's 52 percent in a survey conducted last month. Given the margin of error, Cruz and Hillary are equally unpopular, and both are doing substantially better than Trump. John Kasich seems to be getting on fewer people's nerves: 39 percent took a negative view of him, the same as the proportion with a positive view.

Favorable ratings for Cruz and Trump were lower than Kasich's—36 percent and 31 percent, respectively, compared to Clinton's March rating of 46 percent. As you might expect for two people who have been in the public eye for decades, almost everyone has made up his mind about Trump and Clinton. In both cases, just 2 percent of respondents had no opinion about the candidate, compared to 11 percent for Cruz and 22 percent for Kasich.

Clinton was disliked by 54 percent of Americans back in April 2008, making her the seventh most unpopular presidential candidate in the poll's history, after Duke, Trump, Pat Buchanan (60 percent in 2000), Ross Perot (58 percent in 1996), Jeb Bush (58 percent this year), and Newt Gingrich (56 percent in 2012). That puts Cruz in eighth place, followed by Mitt Romney (52 percent in 2012).

As I said, these rankings are based on poll results during an election year. Trump is actually doing better than he was a year ago, when 71 percent of respondents disliked him.

NEXT: Congress and Crony Capitalists Want to Take Over the Contact Lens Market

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. When Israelis ask me how someone like Donald Trump could be so popular among Americans,

    Is the inclusion of Israelis explicitly here some sort of dog whistle?

    1. Couldnt tell ya. Only a bitch hears dog whistles everywhere.

  2. Aw, come on. Everyone knows that polls don't mean shit unless they confirm what you already believe. Just ask John. He knows.

    1. You just had to, didn't you?

  3. A Trump/Hillary race could become just about "hate voting."

    1. In a choice between Trump and Hillary, the only real question is whether you commit suicide by hanging or firearm

      1. Defenestration for me. At least I'd get a thrill in the last few seconds of my life.

      2. The only choice voting for any republican or any democrat is how fast are they going to drive us off the cliff.

    2. There's usually a bounce for each candidate after the conventions, but I'm not sure that's in the cards for the Republicans if they have a contested convention.

      Cruz wins a contested convention, but Donald Trump isn't going to take that lying down. He'll dis Cruz before, after, and during the convention. Meanwhile, the Democrats will be lining up to kiss Hillary's gnarled, cloven feet.

      1. The Sanders people are not going to go quietly, either.

        1. I hope they bring back the giant papier mache protest puppets from the Bush years.

          1. Oh, man, remember when Democrats pretended to be against idiotic wars? They sure lost those moral qualms in a hurry.

            1. If a non-Democrat is elected, you can bet that Democrats will suddenly remember their anti-war position.

      2. Worse than that is that he will dis Cruz on two things that will really hurt him, his honesty and trade. The biggest thing Republicans have going for them against Hillary is that the entire country thinks she is a crook. If it looks like Cruz stole the nomination from Trump through a bunch of shady insider bullshit, it will be very difficult for Cruz to take advantage of Hillary being seen as a crook. And no amount of "but those were the rules" whining on the part of Republicans is going to help. The guy who got the most votes not getting the nomination is going to look bad to the casual viewer. And that is terrible news for Cruz no matter how unfair that may be.

        Second, Cruz is all in for foreign trade and his wife is a big wall street shark. The biggest advantage Democrats will have against any Republican is the same as it always is, the "but we care about you" factor. Trump saying he was robbed of the nomination by the party elites because Cruz is going to keep the gravy train running to the fat cats on Wall Street will play right into the constant Democratic line about Republicans not caring about the little guy.

        1. Between what you say and the media running interference for her, I think you're probably right that Her Cankleness beets Cruz in the general. I also think she beets Trump as well, do in no small part to the fact that so many people have a negative view of him and so few have no opinion, so there's very little upside for him. Most people's opinions of him have been formed by now and there's probably not a whole lot that could sway someone who has a negative view of him to change their minds, especially with the aforementioned media reminding everyone what a shitheel he is while whitewashing or ignoring her record.

          I hate to say it, but I think Shirllary's going to be the next POTUS, and nothing short of an FBI indictment will change that. And that won't happen, so we're fucked*.

          *We'll be fucked no matter who wins, it's just a question of which position and whether lube is applied or not.

          1. *beats*, not beets. I wasn't talking about the vegetables, although I wouldn't be surprised if she also throws pickled beets at them too.

          2. I'm also convinced that Cruz would lose to Hillary, but Trump would win decisively. I think Bernie would be a tighter race against Trump.

          3. I don't think it is certain. Both parties have huge problems. The Democrats have no good candidates and at least 40% of their base has gone stark raving mad. This should be a cake walk for the Republicans.

            The problem the Republicans have is that they are in their own way every bit the elitist insular assholes the Democrats are. This is the year that the country finally revolted over trade, immigration and cronyism. The Sanders supporters are revolting over those things too. They are just too retarded to fully understand it. The Republicans were too stupid to realize what was going on and thought they could just run the typical empty suit and win. They are on the wrong side of the public on trade, claim to be on the right side of immigration and cronyism but have been such crap weasels no one believes them. So despite having enormous advantages and a opposition party that is tearing itself in half, the Republicans seem totally unable to take advantage of it.

            If one of the Republican governors had run on trade immigration and sticking it to Washington, they would have won the nomination by now, causing even more butt hurt among the GOP than even Trump is causing. And he would be up by 20 over Hillary.

            1. Who would that governor have been if not one of those who did enter and got his hat tossed back out of the ring?

              1. That is the other problem. I thought it would be Walker but no. Perry was the logical choice but he didn't either.

              2. The media obsession with Trump disrupted everyone's plans and expectations. Walker could have done it, I think. Christie might have, as well. But none of that mattered because OMGTRUMP!

                1. The media obsession with Trump disrupted everyone's plans and expectations. Walker could have done it, I think. Christie might have, as well. But none of that mattered because OMGTRUMP!

                  +$2 billion in free advertising.

                2. I really thought Walker was the guy. But he seemed to not really even want it or run much of a campaign. I think the governor of New Jersey running against corruption would have been a bit too much for even this country to stomach.

                  1. Walker seemed to be pressured into it by all the positive press he was getting for his trial balloon. In retrospect it seems to be the same situation as Perry in 2012. Evidently the only person that can run for president on a whim and end up getting anywhere is Bernie Sanders (no, not Trump: he's been plotting a Presidential run for at least 15 years, maybe even 25).

              3. Maybe if Perry wasn't such an unprepared disaster in 2012 and so late in entering this year he could have done it.

    3. Seems very likely.

  4. "The corresponding number for Ted Cruz was 53 percent?still nothing to brag about but only slightly worse than Hillary Clinton's 52 percent in a survey conducted last month.

    Hillary Clinton's negatives are actually higher than Cruz's. Hillary Clinton's negative rating now stands at 55%. Ted Cruz is at 53% still.

    One of the interesting things about pitting those two against each other is that about 4.8% of people polled had no opinion of Hillary Clinton. Approximately 11% had no opinion of Cruz.

    That might suggest that views of Hillary have calcified in the general electorate while Cruz still has some upside.

    Pit Cruz against Hillary, and my money is on Cruz.

    1. Cruz definitely has more upside than Hillary. Hillary is what she is. She has been a major national figure for 25 years. She is not reinventing herself for good or bad.

  5. You know who else was a politician with popularity inexplicable to Israelis?

    1. Moses?

    2. Yasser Arafat?

    3. Antiochus IV Epiphanes?

    4. King Herod?

    5. The Pharaoh?

    6. Nebuchadnezzar?

  6. As I said, these rankings are based on poll results during an election year. Trump is actually doing better than he was a year ago, when 71 percent of respondents disliked him.

    Trump = David DukeTrump unpopularity measures declining rapidly

  7. Speaking of unpopular people...

    Spot the Not: Osama bin Laden

    1. Look at Vietnam, look at Lebanon. Whenever soldiers start coming home in body bags, Americans panic and retreat. Such a country needs only to be confronted with two or three sharp blows, then it will flee in panic, as it always has.

    2. Every nation imposes its own system as far as its armies can reach, and America and Israel are the best examples of this.

    3. The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies ? civilians and military ? is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim.

    4. I am one of the servants of Allah. We do our duty of fighting for the sake of the religion of Allah. It is also our duty to send a call to all the people of the world to enjoy this great light and to embrace Islam and experience the happiness in Islam. Our primary mission is nothing but the furthering of this religion.

    1. 5. The pieces of the bodies of infidels were flying like dust particles. If you would have seen it with your own eyes, you would have been very pleased, and your heart would have been filled with joy.

      6. In today's wars, there are no morals. We believe the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets.

      7. And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.

      1. THAT is what it is to be a devout muslim. Radical muslim is not a correct term, those who think and act like uncle binny are devout muslims. (The devout muslim idea is not what I came up with, I heard a convert from islam to christianity coin the phrase.)

    2. 2. That's Stalin.

    3. Hard to say for sure. They're all the ravings of a lunatic, it's just a question of which lunatic.

  8. You know who was totally down with David Duke? Murray Rothbard.

    (sorry, no game, I had a link so I just gave the correct answer)

    1. Of course, the Koch-Crane types often choose this path not just for strategic reasons, but because they themselves lean toward cultural and social leftism: toward egalitarianism, and toward a libertine lifestyle

      Those squishy-lefty Kochs have sold us all out!!

      1. they themselves lean toward cultural and social leftism

        You know who else leaned left? Murray Rothbard, before the 90s.

  9. First place goes to former Klansman David Duke, who was disliked by slightly more Americans in 1992.

    So Reason takes it's cues from Politico.

    1. At least they left out "top tier".

    2. What place does former Klansman Robert Byrd come in?

      1. Did he ever run for president?

      2. Robert Byrd wasn't a "real" klansman because he had the right letter (D) after his name. /DERP

        1. Right. No Democrats of his era were ever racist.

          1. They still are, look what happens with one of their "property" tries to leave the democrat plantation.

  10. When Israelis ask me how someone like Donald Trump could be so popular among Americans...

    Same way Netanyahu got so popular among Israelis: by convincing people he's the only one who could protect their children from murderous immigrants and promising to bomb more muslims.

    1. But all the right people hate Netanyahu so there's that. They didn't know anybody who voted for him.

    2. I don't think it takes much convincing in Israel - the Arabs have that handled.

    3. You mean those same muslims who are freely given the opportunity to worship in Israel, the same freedom that is not afforded jews in muslim states?


    ...for about the millionth time...


      But you repeat yourself.

    2. I assumed it was one of the old high-pressure, high-intensity gas-discharge lamps that's easier and more efficient/cost effective just to leave lit rather than turning it on and off constant.

    3. And spare us, O Lord, from the fury of the Trumpaloes. Amen.

      1. What is a Trumpalo?
        Let me think for a second, well
        Oh, he gets butt-naked
        And then he walks through the streets
        Winking at the freaks
        With a two-liter stuck in his butt-cheeks

        What is a Trumpalo?
        He just don't care
        He might try to put a weave
        In his nut hair
        'Cuz he could give a fuck less
        What a bitch thinks
        He tell her that her butt stinks
        And all that

        What is a Trumpalo?
        He drinks like a fish
        And then he starts huggin' people
        Like a drunk bitch
        Next thing, he's pickin' fights
        With his best friends
        Then he starts with the huggin' again

    4. Light the signal on the wall so all can see.

  12. I'm pretty sure Hillary would motivate more Republicans to vote for Trump than vice versa

    1. I think you are right. The interesting thing is that the people who seem most upset about Trump are movement conservatives. The liberals of course think he is Hitler, but they think every Republican is the new Hitler.

      1. You know who actually was the new Hitler?

        1. A failed 1970s punk band by that name?

        2. Ultimate Hitler?

      2. They even think hitler was hitler, crazy bastards.

    1. Hitler?

  13. Wasn't this ridiculed in the AM Links already? Oh well, if it's for the cause...

  14. It would be nice if Reason had higher standards and reported the context of this poll and who it was a poll of rather than just the numbers. Here is the money quote

    This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell
    phone April 6-10, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,010
    adults, including 290 Republicans, 333 Democrats and 339 independents.

    This poll isn't even of registered voters much less likely voters. It is also over represents self identified Democrats by 4%. . You would think Reason would notice that since the magazine keeps touting how party identification is at an all time low. More importantly, since ti doesn't poll likely voters, it doesn't measure the intensity of either side.

    The poll really doesn't mean anything regarding the election.

    1. I agree it doesn't mean a whole lot, but forecasting the "likely voter" is going to be especially difficult this year, IMO. I think delving into the traditionally unpolled might end up being more relevant than usual.

  15. Also, since when does your popularity or unpopularity completely a function of the number of people who view you unfavorably? Doesn't the number of people who view you favorably and are willing to vote for you also factor into your unpopularity? If 70% of the country doesn't like one guy and no one really likes him, it would seem that person would be a lot more "unpopular", than someone who has an actual following and supporters even if they have equal "unfavorables".

  16. Nothing to fear

    Federal drug enforcement agents and local authorities are raiding dozens of homes and warehouses across the Front Range on Thursday morning.

    The Associated Press reports the operations are part of an investigation into illegal marijuana growing operations that include sites as far south as El Paso and Elbert counties.

    Several arrests have been made.

    The El Paso County Sheriff's Office told The Denver Post its SWAT team is assisting the Drug Enforcement Agency in serving search warrants east of Colorado Springs.

    Jacqueline Kirby, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said she could not comment further because the DEA is the lead agency. She also declined to say what federal agents were looking for.

    Kirby said there are warrants being served at "multiple" locations.

    Nice little "legal pot" operation youse gots heah...

    Ooooh, lookit all dat CASH MONEY!

    1. Obama: Funny thing happened on the way to reclassifying pot...

    2. This should come as a surprise to no one. Politicians and, especially, prosecutors, are power-hungry liars. Pot is illegal at the federal level and no amount of speeches will change that.

  17. Self-identified Libertarians in South Carolina seem to like Trump. 51% said they would vote for him.

    SC Presidential Primary Survey

    1. That is funny. You know what they say "South Carolina; too small to be a country, too big to be an insane asylum".

  18. "Not As Shitty As Duke" is not a winning campaign slogan.

    1. Howzabout "Trump: He Sucks Less than the KKK"?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.