If this current trend of electing unfavorable candidates continues, Donald Trump will be America’s next president
In the United States of America, voter turnout in federal elections has not eclipsed 60% since before Watergate. However, many believe this trend will change in 2016 given the importance of this coming election and who will be vying for the presidency. I wholeheartedly disagree.
In truth, we hear the same things every election cycle about its importance and implications, about the direction of the country, the new Supreme Court nominees, the promises of a better future, and the dangers of the other side gaining power. Nothing ever changes, it’s just politics as usual.
People don’t seem to understand that America almost always gets the government it deserves. They are the ones pushing the buttons and marking the ballots. If it’s garbage in, garbage out year after year, perhaps there isn’t anyone to really vote for.
For starters, let’s take a look at our deeply divided gerrymandered Congress. According to realclearpolitics, its approval rating has lingered at or below the 20% range for the last five years and hasn’t topped 40% since they started keeping track in 2009.
Meanwhile, despite approval ratings that currently stand at 14%, more than 95% of total incumbents in the house and senate get re-elected. So 95 percent of our politicians are getting re-elected despite only one in six people approving of them. Only in America!
I was hoping 2016 would be the time to reverse this type of idiocracy, but judging from our presumptive 2016 presidential candidates, it appears we’ve learned nothing. Before the primaries even began, Donald Trump, out of seventeen different candidates, had the worst favorability rating. In the meantime, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton had the worst.
To everyone’s shock and horror, Donald Trump won his nomination and he has a 53% unfarvorability rating to show for it. At the other end, Clinton has all but wrapped up her nomination and she is strongly disliked by 37% of the electorate. Trump and Clinton are essentially the most despised presidential candidates in history.
Because of the yuge gap in unfavorability between the two candidates, you might be one of those Democrats or liberals who think Clinton is going to blow Trump away come November, and you might be right. After all, people have a far worse view of Mr. Trump, but let’s not forget this is America.
As a chart from fivethirtyeight.com suggests, since 1980, the candidate with the higher unfavorability rating has gone on to win all but two elections. The exceptions being Gore in 2000 and Bill in 1992. In every other election, the more hated candidate won. Anyone else feeling nervous?
Some people will no doubt point out that these unfavorability numbers are likely due to increased polarization, an astute observation, but not the whole truth. No major party nominee before Clinton or Trump had a double-digit net negative “strong favorability” rating (strongly favorable rating minus the strongly unfavorable rating). Clinton’s would be the lowest ever, if not for Trump.
Either way, why does the more hated one almost always win? Why do we continually insist on reaching deep into the bottom of the barrel of American politics every election to find the worst candidates who don’t represent us? Are we fucking stupid?