Kyle Wingfield

Political commentary and opinion from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's conservative blogger

Gee, why is it that voters dislike both Trump and Clinton?

Another day, another poll showing voters don't actually like either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. From NBC News :

"This week's (NBC News|SurveyMonkey Election Tracking Poll) probed how American voters feel about both Trump and Clinton. A majority of voters expressed negative feelings about both leading candidates. Traditionally a fair number of partisans on either side of the aisle express negative opinions about the other party's candidate, but the latest poll found that a majority of voters express negative feelings about both leading candidates.

"Nearly six in 10 Americans said they either 'dislike' or 'hate' Clinton, while slightly more — 63 percent — expressed negative opinions about Trump. Four in 10 voters said they 'admire' or 'like' Clinton, and 36 percent said they 'admire' or 'like' Trump."

This is in line with the results from other polls, including the AJC's recent poll of Georgians, which showed Clinton is seen negatively by 62 percent of Georgia voters with Trump's number only slightly lower at 59 percent.

I could enumerate many reasons for the double disdain on display here, but instead I think I'll share a story from the Daily Beast  that perfectly captures it:

"It seemed like an outpouring of veteran anger against Donald Trump: over a dozen former service members protesting outside Trump Tower.

"But the reality was more complicated. The protest was actually a coordinated effort, led in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign, to embarrass her Republican rival for his failed efforts to raise money for veterans. It only looked like a grassroots demonstration.

"A spokesman for the demonstrators insisted they had no affiliation with any campaign. Later he said the protesters had reached out to the Clinton campaign for press contacts, but that's all. Then the activist finally admitted that, yes, the Clinton campaign had helped organize the protest.

"It all started over the weekend, after The Washington Post broke the news that Trump had not raised the $6 million for veterans groups he promised earlier this year. (His campaign manager  acknowledged the figure was less but has given conflicting accounts on how much less.) The Trump campaign's admission followed months of silence to reporter questions on where the money had gone, since millions had been unaccounted for.

"The Clinton campaign swiftly organized a conference call for Saturday, led by the Clinton campaign's veterans and military families outreach director, Jonathan Murray. According to one of the people on that call, participants were told that the Clinton campaign should not be seen viewed as behind the organizer of the protest." (links original)

So, to recap: Trump's campaign tried to boost his political fortunes on the backs of veterans with a fund raiser, exaggerated how much they had raised, and still won't say definitively what the total was; Clinton's campaign, in turn, "astroturfed" a protest about the sketchy fund raiser, and then tried to obscure its role.

Trump uses vets and lies about it, while Clinton ... well ... uses vets and lies about it.

Yeah, I think I can see why majorities of voters say they don't like either one.

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About the Author

Kyle Wingfield joined the AJC in 2009. He is a native of Dalton and a graduate of the University of Georgia.