Trump and Clinton both widely unpopular: Poll

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a fund-raising event in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, on Thursday. Nearly two-thirds of voters say Mr Trump is not honest and trustworthy, according to a new poll.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a fund-raising event in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, on Thursday. Nearly two-thirds of voters say Mr Trump is not honest and trustworthy, according to a new poll.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • An overwhelming majority of Republican voters say their party's leaders should get behind Mr Donald Trump, even as he enters the general election saddled with toxic favourability ratings among the broader electorate, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

And as Mr Trump is viewed with deep scepticism by general election voters and some Republican holdouts, Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton is grappling with Senator Bernie Sanders and how to win over his impassioned supporters.

Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton are widely disliked by voters, and both parties will need to repair schisms that might spell doom in an ordinary election year.

But this, of course, is no ordinary year. Mr Trump's and Mrs Clinton's soaring levels of unpopularity are extraordinary for the likely nominees of the two major parties.

Nearly two-thirds of voters, for example, say Mr Trump is not honest and trustworthy. Just as many say the same of Mrs Clinton. Strong majorities of voters say the candidates do not share their values.

Mr Trump's difficulties appear to be more troublesome at the moment. If the election were held now, 47 per cent of registered voters would support Mrs Clinton, versus 41 per cent for Mr Trump.

Mrs Clinton's head-to-head advantage has narrowed somewhat since Mr Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee: Last month, she led him by 10 points in a CBS News poll.

The survey reveals that Republican voters are starting to fall in line with Mr Trump now that he is their apparent nominee, and they expect party officials to do the same.

Eight in 10 Republican voters said their leaders should support Mr Trump even if they disagree with him on important issues. And unfavourable views towards Mr Trump among Republican voters have plummeted 15 percentage points since last month; 21 per cent now express an unfavourable view of him, down from 36 per cent in April.

But Mr Trump is hampered by a high level of contempt among important voting blocs. Only 21 per cent of female voters view him favourably, while 60 per cent view him unfavourably.

A mere 14 per cent of voters aged 18 to 29 view him positively, while 65 per cent of such voters have a negative opinion about him. And just 12 per cent of non-white voters view Mr Trump favourably, while 68 per cent view him unfavourably.

Mrs Clinton fares little better. Just 23 per cent of white voters view her favourably, while 63 per cent of whites have an unfavourable view.

Men dislike her almost as much as women dislike Mr Trump: Only 26 per cent of men view her favourably, and 58 per cent hold an unfavourable perception of her.

The nationwide telephone poll was conducted from May 13 to 17 with 1,300 adults, including 1,109 registered voters.

NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2016, with the headline 'Trump and Clinton both widely unpopular: Poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe