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If it weren’t for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton would be the most disliked major-party presidential nominee in recent American history.

If Donald Trump were not the GOP nominee, the Democrats would be trying to figure out how to replace Hillary at their convention, but right now they’re doing political calculus and thinking Clinton doesn’t need to be liked, so long as she is liked slightly more than Trump and Gary Johnson is kept very far away from an active microphone.

Clinton’s numbers are bad and that’s not an exaggeration. Washington Post-ABC News poll is the latest to suggest they are getting worse and, on many critical issues, they’re as bad or worse than Trump’s.

The poll shows 54% of all Americans have an unfavorable view of Clinton and 44 percent have a “strongly unfavorable” view of her. Among registered voters (who are the most likely to vote and to pay attention to the issues), those numbers tick up to 57% and 47%.

Clinton’s image is as bad or worse than it has ever been. Her 44 percent “strongly unfavorable” number among all Americans is an all-time high as is the 47% figure among registered voters.

In a two-candidate campaign where one-quarter of Americans say they don’t like either candidate, it’s apparent this race will come down to whom they dislike less and whom they “trust” more to be president enough to overcome their personal distaste. Voting for the lesser of two evils takes on a different flavor of difficulty when the stink of their character flaws keeps growing.

So just think about this. Nearly half of registered voters strongly dislike Hillary Clinton, and nearly half of registered voters strongly dislike Donald Trump. It’s 47% for Clinton and 49 percent for Trump. A virtual tie. Getting majority support will be a struggle for both major-party candidates this year.

Back in May, Trump was on much worse footing than Clinton. There was once a 15-point gap, but that gap has shrunk to 5-9 points among registered voters, which should test even Democrat assumptions that Clinton will definitely be the next president.

Popularity is important for presidential candidates, but there are other factors that also factor in. The Post-ABC poll shows 58% of registered voters say Trump isn’t qualified to be president, but just 42% say the same of Clinton. A relatively strong majority (56%) say Clinton is qualified. That’s a significant gap, and it suggests that if the 2016 election comes down to who appears more presidential, Clinton very likely wins.

BUT if voters are looking for change and to shake up the system, that’s where Trump excels. Did you listen to Donald Trump Jr.’s speech at the RNC? Go find it on YouTube and listen to the audience response when he made “change” statements and particularly when he said Trump didn’t need a focus group to decide what he ought to say. That cheering crowd graphically supports that, if people are looking for who will bring needed change to Washington, Trump is their candidate. He leads over Clinton by 11 points, 50-39. If it’s a change election, Trump probably wins, but if voters are more concerned about 3 a.m. phone calls and presidential gravitas, it’s probably Clinton.

Clinton can’t count on a popularity contest and that is largely her own fault. Her mishandling of classified emails, the Benghazi attack and her lying to the American people have clearly taken a major toll on her image. More than seven in 10 Americans say Clinton is too willing to bend the rules. To the extent elections are popularity contests, which they definitely were in 2008-2012, the public mistrust of Clinton is significant.

President Obama came out and said Republicans should disavow Trump for his obvious short-comings. I’m not voting for Trump, but I think Democrats should disavow Clinton for criminal activity and just plain being an evil person. Of course, that’s not going to happen and Republicans know that if they disavow Trump, those voters who believe in the primary system will disavow them. It would be the actual end of the Republican Party, just as Democrats refusing to support their nominee would be the actual end of the Democratic Party.

I’m not voting for either one, but let me suggest that if the two main-party candidates are this unpopular, it is a perfect time to not waste a vote on the lesser of two tyrants and try some real change to see how that works out for us.

Posted August 6, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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