Seven in 10 Americans saw Donald Trump unfavorably in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll — up 10 points in just the past month to a new high since he announced his candidacy for president. But Hillary Clinton reached a new high for unfavorability as well, 55 percent.
The results illustrate the striking challenges facing both candidates, cementing their position as the two most unpopular presumptive major party nominees for president in ABC News/Washington Post polling dating to 1984.
Trump’s numbers reverse a boost he received after securing the Republican presidential nomination, from 37-60 percent favorable-unfavorable in mid-May to 29-70 percent this month, after a week in which he took sharp criticism for suggesting that he was being treated unfairly by a federal judge because of the judge’s Mexican heritage.
Trump’s unfavorable score is a point below his highest on record, 71 percent in late May last year, just before he formally entered the presidential race June 16. His decline in favorability in the past month was broadly based across groups.
Interviews for this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, were conducted Wednesday through Sunday, almost entirely before the terrorist attack in Orlando and the candidates’ subsequent comments on the tragedy.
Clinton, while less poorly rated than Trump, has troubles of her own, with no bounce in favorability after clinching the Democratic contest last week. From a 44-53 percent favorable-unfavorable rating last month, she was at 43-55 percent this month. While that’s within the margin of sampling error, it’s Clinton’s highest disapproval rating on record, in polls dating to her first appearance on the national stage in March 1992.
Trump’s challenge is deeper, though, in terms of strength of sentiment as well as absolute numbers. Just 15 percent of Americans surveyed saw him “strongly” favorably while a record-tying 56 percent saw him strongly unfavorably – a 41-point negative gap in intensity of sentiment. Clinton’s comparable numbers were 25-39 percent, a 14-point gap.
Looking at registered voters doesn’t change the equation. Trump was at 31-69 percent favorable-unfavorable in this group, and Clinton was at 43-56 percent.
Notably, men overall were disenchanted with both candidates — a record 63 percent saw Clinton unfavorably, while 62 percent said the same about Trump. Among women, by contrast, Trump was far more unpopular — 77 percent rated him unfavorably, a new high on his part, vs. Clinton’s 47 percent.
Even more striking is Trump’s unfavorability rating among racial and ethnic minorities: A nearly unanimous 94 percent of blacks saw him negatively, as do 89 percent of Hispanics; that declines to 59 percent among whites. Clinton was more unpopular than Trump among whites — 68 percent saw her unfavorably — but vastly more popular among nonwhites.
Their virtually even ratings among men conceal a sharp difference between white men (pro-Trump and anti-Clinton overall) and nonwhite men (the reverse, more strongly so).
Results among other groups also are telling. Trump was rated favorably by just 65 percent of Republicans, Clinton by 75 percent among Democrats — not monolithic support in their home corners. Independents, often thought of as swing voters (though they don’t always perform that way) didn’t like either one: 68 percent saw Trump negatively versus a similar 63 percent for Clinton.
Trump’s difficulties are further illuminated by the fact that he was rated favorably by just 47 percent of conservatives. Clinton, for her part, was seen positively by 59 percent of liberals, but that means 4 in 10 in this key Democratic group rated her negatively.
Although she lost young primary voters to Bernie Sanders by vast margins, there were only minor differences in Clinton’s favorability rating among age groups. The bigger gap was for Trump, rated unfavorably by 76 percent of those under 50, compared with 62 percent of those 50 or older.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellphone from June 8 through 12, 2016, among a random national sample of 1,000 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York City, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS of Media, Pennsylvania. See details on the survey’s methodology here.
The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York City, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt SRBI of New York City. See details on the survey’s methodology here.