“Negative Partisanship” – the Largest Motivating Factor for Voters in 2016

Trump and Clinton

The morning after Sen. Ted Cruz delivered his speech announcing he was suspending his campaign, former candidate Mike Huckabee posted an important note on his website regarding his intentions in the remainder of time before the country makes its decision. “Donald Trump broke the code, owned the media, and inspired the masses. I will be all in to help him defeat Hillary Clinton and I call upon all fellow Republicans to unite in defeating Hillary and abandoning and repudiating the hapless “Never Trump” nonsense,” the former Arkansas governor wrote. He added, “The dirty little secret is that the “Never Trump” movement was more about providing high dollar work for the political consultants than stopping the disaster of an Obama third term which is the result of electing Hillary Clinton.”

“Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot on behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as The Donald himself,” stated an editorial released Thursday night by National Review.

A recent poll of 1068 participants, including 469 potential Trump voters and 599 likely Clinton voters, with a credibility interval of 5 percentage points brought up a very disturbing picture. The poll found that the #1 reason for supporting both candidates is not to allow the other one into the White House. Almost half of supporters on both sides said their vote was based mostly on keeping the other one out of power because they see the opposite as “a threat to the nation’s well-being.” That’s compared to only 43% of Trump supporters and 40% of Clinton supporters who actually like their candidate’s policies. This long-term trending phenomenon in US politics called “negative partisanship.” Since negativism is the largest motivating factor for voters, analysts expect this campaign to get as nasty as you cannot even imagine.

From Reuters: “The U.S. presidential election may turn out to be one of the world’s biggest un-popularity contests … The results reflect a deepening ideological divide in the United States, where people are becoming increasingly fearful of the opposing party, a feeling worsened by the likely match-up between the New York real estate tycoon and the former first lady,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “If we were trying to maximize the effect, we couldn’t have found better nominees than Trump and Clinton,” Sabato said.

Trump with his blunt talk attracts 43 percent of his supporters for political positions, while 6 percent said they liked him personally. Clinton’s appeal to voters based on 40 percent agreeing with her political positions, and 11 percent said they liked her personally.

Mike Huckabee is right to beg his fellow Republicans for unity. If Republicans will hear that cry in a desert … Who knows, maybe the beloved country still can get back on the track  …

As they say, “Almighty, please send us in the right direction.”

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.

Leon Lunsky

Retired marketing professional consulting on effective Business Development, Sales & Marketing and Customer Relationship Management. Extensive 30-year engineering and entrepreneurial experience in Latvia and Russia, and over 20 years of broad engineering and marketing involvement with an international engineering corporation in USA.

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