Clinton Or Sanders Would Beat Trump In A General Election Just By Being Less Awful
Since Ted Cruz suspended his campaign Donald Trump has been coasting down a clear path toward the Republican nomination. A CNN/ORC poll suggests that it won’t be smooth sailing for Trump all the way to the White House. The poll shows that voters have substantially more confidence in likely Democratic Party nominee Hilary Clinton than in the Presumptive Republican Party nominee Donald Trump.
Digging into the numbers, Four hundred and sixty-nine of those surveyed were likely Trump voters, while five hundred and ninety-nine were likely Clinton voters. Clinton was more trusted on a variety of issues from immigration (51 percent trusted Clinton, compared to only 44 percent who trusted Trump), healthcare (55% Clinton, 39% Trump), to climate change (63% Clinton, 30% Trump). Trump did come out on top for handling the economy as 56 percent of those polled trusted him. Trump’s overall unfavorable ratings were a bit more than, at 56 percent of respondents who had an unfavorable opinion of Trump while, 49 percent had an unfavorable opinion of Clinton.
The poll also shows that Bernie Sanders would do even better against Trump in a general election than Clinton would. However, in spite of her recent loss in the Democratic primary in Indiana, Clinton still holds a substantial lead in the delegate count over Sanders. And as such she is the likely nominee to face Trump. Therefore the fact that polls show she can beat him is the most significant takeaway.
— CNN (@CNN) May 4, 2016
Clinton’s Advantage Over Trump Comes With Some Big Caveats
While the CNN poll might bolster hopes of Clinton supporters, a recent Reuters poll puts a considerable damper on those results calling the match up an “unpopularity contest”.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) May 6, 2016
Reuters, like CNN, found that Clinton would likely have a comfortable win against Trump in a general election match-up. But they also found that 46 percent of those who said they would vote for her would do so to prevent Trump from winning. Around 46 percent of those that said they would vote for Trump also indicated that they would do so to prevent Clinton from winning, in both instances voting against the opponent came out as the top reason voters would vote for their candidate. One clear example of that phenomena: in spite of the “Bernie or bust” slogan 86 percent of Sanders supporters would rather vote for Clinton than risk Trump getting elected, according to CNN’s poll. As Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz explained,
[contentblock id=7 img=gcb.png]
“The reality of staring at Donald Trump over there as the Republican nominee, now that that’s settled, I think will do wonders to concentrate the minds of Democrats,”
Republicans were not as likely to rally around Trump, as only 70 percent who supported another candidate indicated that they would support him in the general election. As Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics told Reuters, the match-up highlights the strong ideological divide of current US politics,
“This phenomenon is called negative partisanship,” Sabato said. “If we were trying to maximize the effect, we couldn’t have found better nominees than Trump and Clinton.”
Given the bleak general election outlook in these numbers for Trump against any Democratic candidate, it is no surprise that he is breaking his promise to self-fund his campaign and revving up a “world-class finance organization.”
Featured image by by Joe Raedle/Getty Images