Supporters of both Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton are more motivated by fear about the other candidate getting elected as president than they are by excitement about their own candidate prevailing, a new poll finds.
The nationwide USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll found that 80 percent of Trump supporters and 62 percent of Clinton supporters say if the other candidate wins in November, they would feel “scared.”
Only 29 percent of Trump supporters and 27 percent of Clinton supporters would feel “excited” if their candidate claims the White House, the survey found.
About 30 percent of Clinton supporters say they are mostly voting against Trump, not for her and about 40 percent of Trump supporters say they are voting mostly against Clinton, not for him.
“I believe the alternative of a Trump presidency would be disastrous, not just for our country but for the whole world,” says Carol Fisher, 56, a Clinton supporter and registered nurse from Teaneck, New Jersey.
“I’ve never been so afraid of a Republican before,” said in a follow-up phone interview.
Noel Hartman, 64, a retired farmer and rancher Humboldt, Arizona, feels the same way about Clinton. “I know he [Trump] doesn’t say stuff right, but I’m so tired of being lied to,” Hartman says. “I’m hoping for change.”
Unprecedented negative ratings for both candidates and fierce polarization between the two political parties highlights the challenges ahead for whichever candidate wins in November. The new president will face a significant number of voters who view his or her election as catastrophic for the country.
The poll also found that a majority of Americans hold an unfavorable view of both Trump and Clinton.
The former secretary of state is viewed negatively by 51 percent of voters and the celebrity billionaire by 59 percent. About 20 percent of likely voters say they don’t like either major-party nominee.