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The #1 Thing Driving People To Polls? Their Hatred For Trump and Clinton

Hatred For Trump and Clinton Is The Main Thing Getting Out The Vote This November, Poll Finds

When you were in grade school, a teacher most likely told you that voting was an honorable and noble civic duty, and that your responsibility as a voter was to learn all you could about the candidates and choose the one that best suits your views. Well, that’s what a teacher was supposed to tell you, anyway. But in this year’s presidential race, most likely between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, that’s not even remotely what voters are motivated by.

A new Reuters/ Ipsos poll released this week shows that an alarming number of Americans — roughly half — are voting on one issue over every other. It isn’t about foreign policy. It’s not about domestic policy, either. And in some strange way, you might even say it’s something that is bringing Americans together, in a manner of speaking anyway:

Their hatred for the two likely presidential candidates.

With Donald Trump sewing up the Republican nomination earlier this week, and with Bernie Sanders holding out for a contested Democratic National Convention, The presidential contest this November will most likely be between Trump and Clinton… the two most disliked presidential candidates in American history. And that, according to the poll, is the primary factor inspiring people to back one of the two candidates.

The poll shows that approximately 47% of Republicans backing Donald Trump are doing so only with the hopes of stopping Hillary Clinton, while 43% say they agree with his political positions. Only 6% say they’re voting for him because they like him personally.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton fares no better. 46% of Democrats say they’re voting for her because they don’t want Donald Trump to ascend to the presidency, while 40% agree with her positions. On personality, she does a little bit better than Trump does, though by an unnoticeable margin: 11% say they like her personally.

The numbers aren’t that shocking when you consider the fact that Trump and Clinton are, respectively, the #1 and #2 most disliked presidential candidates in American history, both of them overtaking George W. Bush in 2004. All of that disgust will translate into votes, but with majorities voting only to prevent the other side from taking the Oval Office in January of next year.

Those numbers will probably keep party insiders on both sides of the aisle up at night where the presidential race of 2020 is concerned, and the winner in 2016 could potentially be a big-time loser four years later. No one hopes for only a four-year presidency, but with these two candidates being so massively disliked by the American public, many a political wonk will surely be turning early eyes toward the 2020 contest, with the potential for the president facing one or more primary challenges, as well as an opportunity for the other party to field a more likable candidate that people could see as a unifying figure.

The Trump and Clinton race is probably most disheartening to Bernie Sanders’ supporters, who are vividly fired up for their candidate. Sanders is dramatically more liked than Clinton; 52.9% have a favorable view of Sanders, with 39.6% viewing him unfavorably, as opposed to Clinton’s negative balance of 54.2% unfavorable/ 42.4% favorable. If Sanders managed to win through a contested democratic national convention, people would most likely be voting for him because they like his positions, rather than simply attempting to stop Donald Trump from getting into the White House. He is the only 2016 presidential candidate on either side of the aisle running in 2016, current or former, with a positive favorability rating.

Comedian Bill Maher has described the race between Trump and Clinton as a “hate-fuck” for voters. This Reuters poll showcases just how correct that is. With two candidates so strongly disliked by the vast majority of the American public, one is left to wonder if the 2016 general election will go down in history as the most upsetting political contest in American history.

Photo by storyvillegirl

Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He's now moving into more "serious" subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots