Hillary Clinton isn’t winning the 2016 presidential race. She’s just losing less than Donald Trump, a new Quinnipiac University poll out Wednesday suggests.
Clinton leads Trump in the most recent poll by five points nationally, with 48 percent of those polled saying that she was their gal compared to just 43 percent who said they were towing the Trump line. That’s a drop for Clinton since last month but what is perhaps more interesting is that more than half of the supporters for each candidate aren’t even casting their votes because they like the candidates.
Fifty-four percent of Clinton supporters said that their vote was mainly a protest vote against Trump compared to just 32 percent of them who say they’re actually with her. On Trump’s side, 66 percent of his support is a protest vote compared to 23 percent who are on Team Trump.
“It’s the definition of ‘damned by faint praise,’ a presidential contest where a vote for a candidate is less an endorsement of that candidate than a stinging rejection of his or her opponent,” Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the poll, said in a statement. “Priority one for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the election looms: lure the cynical, disaffected, downright disgusted electorate into their camp. That’s no mean feat as clouds of distrust loom over both campaigns.”
Those results, of course, may not come as a surprise. Clinton and Trump have broken records this cycle as the most disliked major party nominees in modern history.
Those record breaking levels of dislike for the candidates have even persisted when one or the other was able to manage a big lead over their competitor. For instance, after the Democratic National Convention this summer, Clinton held double digit leads in several swing states across the country. At the same time, a full 56 percent of Americans at the time harbored an unfavorable view of her.