Thecoming presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump begins in a virtual dead heat, a competition between two candidates viewed unfavorably by a majority of the current electorate and with voters motivated as much by whom they don’t like as by whom they do, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Never in the history of the Post-ABC poll have the two major party nominees been viewed as harshly as Clinton and Trump.
Nearly 6 in 10 registered voters say they have negative impressions of both major candidates. Overall, Clinton’s net negative rating among registered voters is minus-16, while Trump’s is
minus-17, though Trump’s numbers have improved since March. Among all adults, Trump’s net negatives are significantly higher than those of Clinton.
They didn’t have to wonder for long.
Sanders credited Clinton’s victory to “a closed primary, something I am not all that enthusiastic about, where independents are not allowed to vote.” He commanded the Democratic Party to “do the right thing and open its doors and let into the party people who are prepared to fight for economic and social change.” And then he promised that he’s staying in the race until the convention. “Let me be as clear as I can be: We are in ’til the last ballot is cast!”
The performance prompted cheers across a crowd of about 8,000 in Carson, Calif., highlighting the mistrust and alienation that Sanders’s most ardent fans feel about Clinton, the Democrats and their “rigged” system. Yet the whole spectacle also sent shudders through those supporting Clinton, who are growing increasingly irritated by Sanders’s ever-presence in the race —
and nervous that he is damaging Clinton.
All of it seems to have come to a head in recent days, as bitterness on both sides has boiled
over and prompted new worries that a fractured party could lead to chaos at the national convention and harm Clinton’s chances against Trump in November. Two realities seem to be fueling it all: The nomination is, for all intents and purposes, out of Sanders’s reach yet his supporters are showing no signs of wanting to rally behind Clinton.