Trump's Unpopularity Stays Sky High; Cruz Hits a High in Negative Ratings (POLL)

Donald Trump ranks is the most unpopular top-tier candidate in history.

See PDF with full results here.

Trump’s seen unfavorably by 67 percent of Americans in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. That’s unchanged from last month and slightly off his high, 71 percent unfavorable in an ABC/Post poll nearly year ago. A majority strongly dislikes him, also unprecedented for a leading candidate.

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Within his party, 56 percent of Republicans see Trump favorably, and it’s similar for Cruz, 58 percent, while lower for the lesser-known Kasich, 47 percent. The difference among all adults is that independents and especially Democrats hold more negative views of Trump than of either of his competitors. Kasich has the most cross-partisan appeal.

Highly negative views of 2016’s leading candidates may reflect the hyperpartisan climate that has been building in recent years, also evident in previously unseen levels of ideological polarization among primary voters this year. There’s also the level of in-party factionalism this year, especially on the Republican side.

Cruz, while better-rated than Trump, has lost ground; his 53 percent negative rating among all adults is up 10 points since January to a high in more than a year of polling. Just 36 percent see him positively. Kasich’s 39-39 percent favorable-unfavorable rating makes him the only GOP candidate not under water in this basic gauge of personal popularity.


That said, within the GOP, Cruz has a +20-point net positive score; Trump’s is +14 and Kasich’s +7. Cruz does vastly better among his biggest backers in the primaries, very conservative Republicans, +55 points in favorability, vs. +1 for Kasich and -1 for Trump. (The sample size of very conservative Republicans is small, but the result is significant and aligns with exit polls.)

Cruz, though, sustains a sharp drop-off among less conservative Republicans, to +7, compared to +23 in this group for Trump (and +9 for Kasich).

Kasich breaks about even in popularity among political independents and Democrats alike. Cruz is far behind, -25 and -39 from independents and Democrats, respectively; Trump, -37 and a remarkable -75.

Among other groups, Trump continues to do much worse among women, -51 in popularity, than among men, -22. That includes a big difference among Republican men and women, +30 vs. -4. Cruz and Kasich have no appreciable gender gap.

Trump also has a massive race/ethnicity gap. While he’s more unpopular than popular by 20 points among whites, that balloons to 65 points among nonwhites, including -84 and -66 among blacks and Hispanics, respectively. Cruz is seen similarly by whites and nonwhites, while Kasich is +7 among whites, -15 among nonwhites.

Finally, Trump’s education gap also continues, and he’s joined here by Cruz: Both are more unpopular among college graduates than among non-grads. It’s the opposite pattern for Kasich.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone April 6-10, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,010 adults, including 290 Republicans, 333 Democrats and 339 independents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for the full sample, and 7, 6.5 and 6.5 points for Republicans, Democrats and independents, respectively. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS of Media, Pa. See details on the survey’s methodology here.