Breaking news: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are unpopular. Very, very unpopular. The May NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Clinton and Trump in a dead heat in the election — and a historic low in favorability.
Fifty-four percent of respondents had a negative view of Clinton, and 58% had a negative view of Trump — the lowest of any likely nominees in the poll’s history. And 47% of voters said they would consider a third party candidate, up from 40% in 2012 and 38% in 2008.
But between the two likely candidates, the race is narrowing. In April, the last time the poll was conducted, Clinton lead Trump by 11 percentage points. Now, she’s down to just three —46% favorability to Trump’s 43% — well within the poll’s margin of error.
Commentators attribute the tightening race to Trump’s Indiana victory, after which his two remaining opponents dropped out. Republicans seem to be closing ranks around their presumptive nominee: Before the Indiana victory, Republicans voters were split evenly between favorable and negative views of Trump. But in May, he scored 58% positive to 25% negative among the same voters.
Clinton, meanwhile, seems to be having trouble shaking her opponent. Bernie Sanders actually scored more favorably in a matchup against Trump, leading him 54% to 39%. And he crushes both Trump and Clinton in public opinion, with 43% of voters seeing him positively.
Contradicting reports from other polls show how close the race has become: The ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Trump leading by 0.2%, while the CBS News/New York Times poll shows Clinton up by 6 percent. The recent results have many voters flummoxed.
“I’ve run out of words and adjectives to describe what’s going on,” Steve Swanstrom, a Republican veteran Florida, told the Wall Street Journal.
Us too, Steve. Us too.