Poll: Most voters underwhelmed by presidential field

A recent poll conducted by the Associated Press and GfK finds that a majority of Americans report none of the remaining presidential candidates represents their opinions well.

Reuters/File
A voter leaves a polling stations after casting their ballot in the Wisconsin presidential primary election in Milwaukee, Wisc., last week.

According to one national poll, Americans are not enthusiastic about the presidential candidates, with a majority reporting that none of the five currently running represents their positions on issues they care about.

According to a 1,076-person poll by the Associated Press and Boston-based market research firm Gfk Global, at least half of Americans say they would be disappointed or angry if either party's nomination goes to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

But if the two candidates do win, 63 percent of registered voters say they would not consider voting for Mr. Trump, and half say the same for Mrs. Clinton. About one-fifth of survey responders, who were interviewed online between March 31 and April 4, say they would probably or definitely vote for a third-party candidate instead. 

Though a majority of the people polled believe that none of the candidates represents their interests, the largest proportion, 44 percent, said that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont represents the issues they care about very or somewhat well. Among all the candidates, Sen. Sanders generates significantly more positive than negative ratings from survey responders, with 48 percent saying they have a favorable opinion of him and 39 percent unfavorable.

Sanders is also the only candidate described by a majority of Americans as at least somewhat likable, civil, honest, and compassionate, the AP reports.

By comparison, Clinton scored favorably among 40 percent of responders and unfavorably among 55 percent, and Donald Trump scored 26 to 69 in the favorable vs. unfavorable categories. John Kasich scored 34 to 31, and Ted Cruz 26 to 59.

The margin of sampling error for all respondents was plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

A Gallup poll conducted March 21-23 showed a somewhat different picture among a random sample of 1,358 registered voters who were interviewed by phone.

Among Republicans and Republican leaners, voters who support Trump were the most enthusiastic by far, says Gallup, with 65 percent of his fans describing themselves as extremely or very enthusiastic. This was well above Kasich's 39 percent of enthusiastic or very enthusiastic voters.

On the Democratic side, 54 percent of Clinton supporters said they were extremely or very enthusiastic about Clinton. Of Sanders voters, 44 percent said the same about their candidate.

"Voter enthusiasm is not necessarily a good indicator of voter turnout, but it could play a role come convention time when the parties need to bring the losing candidates' supporters on board with the party's choice for nominee," Gallup wrote in the poll results.

The public opinion research company also wrote:

In both parties, people's enthusiasm for voting in the election could reflect a combination of factors – including excitement about their preferred candidate's presence in the race as well as confidence that the candidate will succeed in winning either the nomination or the general election. The latter could be particularly relevant on the Democratic side, where Clinton is widely seen as the likely nominee and is poised to be the first female major-party nominee. That contrasts with the Republican nomination, which remains unclear given the real likelihood that no candidate will garner the necessary number of delegates to secure the nomination before the convention.

This report includes material from the Associated Press. 

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