CBS Poll: Trump and Clinton Have Historic Unfavorable Ratings Among Voters

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 23, 2016

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton

According to a CBS News/New York Times poll conducted between March 17-20, 2016 among a random sample of adults nationwide, 85 percent of which were registered voters, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have the highest unfavorable ratings (57 percent and 52 percent respectively) since CBS first began asking the question in its polls more than three decades ago.

The CBS poll is in line with a Gallup poll taken in January, which showed 60 percent of Americans viewed Donald Trump unfavorably versus a 52 percent unfavorable rating for Clinton.

Another noteworthy finding from the poll, which is consistent with numerous other prior polls, is that Senator Bernie Sanders would do better against Trump in a general election matchup. The CBS poll found that Sanders would beat Trump by 15 points versus a win of only 10 points for Clinton.

Fox News Graph on Hillary Clinton's Honesty Shown During Town Hall March 7, 2016

Fox News Graph on Hillary Clinton’s Honesty Shown During Town Hall March 7, 2016

The danger for Clinton is that her unfavorable ratings will continue to grow as Republican Super Pacs spend heavily on ads and TV spots to reinforce what is already an entrenched distrust of Hillary Clinton. During its Democratic Town Hall on March 7, 2016, Fox News showed a poll graphic to viewers. It revealed that voters in the Nevada and Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary viewed Clinton as “honest and trustworthy” by a dismal 12 percent in Nevada, 6 percent in New Hampshire, and 10 percent in Iowa.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted this past December also found a majority of Americans, 59 percent, do not believe Clinton is “honest and trustworthy.”

The lack of Americans’ confidence in Clinton’s honesty runs far deeper than her suggestion that it stems from some vast right wing conspiracy. Sanders’ supporters and Republican opponents are taking to YouTube to use videos of her own gross distortions or misrepresentations of facts to illustrate exactly why they don’t trust her. (See example below.)

Those leaders in the Democratic party who are holding fast to their support for Clinton are simply wearing blinders about the ramifications of this lack of trust by average Americans. The Democratic party should carefully weigh that reality against one additional finding from the latest CBS poll. The Republican party, which has failed to listen to the will of the American people, just set an all-time historic low in approval ratings: 66 percent of Americans now view the Republican party unfavorably.

And there’s one more critical point. America is still struggling to overcome the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression, caused by the 2008 Wall Street crash. The country can ill afford a President who does not command the trust and confidence of a majority of its citizens.

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