America’s two-party system is inherently polarizing, but the current presidential election cycle is proving especially divisive, judging by the results of a recent national poll.
The Monmouth University poll found that the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents agree that the presidential campaign has brought out the worst in people.
Specifically, according to the poll, that is the sentiment of:
- 78 percent of Democrats
- 65 percent of Republicans
- 66 percent of independents
The survey of a national random sample of 802 registered voters was conducted from Sept. 22 to Sept. 25 by the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey.
Overall, the institute found that:
- 70 percent of voters said that this year’s presidential campaign has brought out the worst in people.
- 4 percent said it has brought out the best in people.
- 5 percent said it has done a little of both.
- 20 percent said the campaign has done neither.
Perhaps contributing to that negativity is that, overall, many voters (65 percent) said they felt the harsh language used in politics today is unjustified. Meanwhile, 30 percent felt it is justified “given the current state of the country,” according to the institute.
The percentage of voters who said harsh language is justified include:
- 47 percent of Donald Trump supporters
- 17 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters
- 21 percent of voters who are either undecided or are supporting a third-party candidate.
Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, adds:
“Half of Trump supporters seem to be saying let the expletives fly, but many voters blame both sides equally for the negative tone of this year’s campaign.”
Voters’ discontent this year stems from more than just the presidential candidates, though. When asked to choose which word best describes how they felt about Washington, D.C.:
- 66 percent of voters said “dissatisfied.”
- 20 percent said “angry.”
- 9 percent said “satisfied.”
- 3 percent said “happy.”
That pattern generally held regardless of party affiliation.
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