Donald Trump may be the Republican front runner. But according to Frank Newport, Gallup's Editor-in-Chief, the Donald is the most unpopular candidate of either party. Trump's 60% unfavorable rating among all Americans is higher than any nominated candidate from either of the two major parties going back to the 1992 election when Gallup began to track favorability using the current format.
Trumps 60% is significantly higher than other potential 2016 nominees:
Hillary Clinton currently has a 52% unfavorable rating among all Americans, while Jeb Bush is at 45%, Chris Christie 38%, Ted Cruz 37%, Marco Rubio 33%, Bernie Sanders 31% and Ben Carson 30%. Trump's 60% is clearly well above all of these. Putting his favorable and unfavorable ratings together yields a net favorable of -27 for Trump, far above the -10 for Clinton and for Bush, the next lowest among the major candidates.
Trump's 60% unfavorable rating will only get worse. According to Newport, unfavorable ratings tend to rise in the heat of a general election campaign as all the barbs, negative ads and heightened partisanship are taken to their highest levels.
- In 1992, Bill Clinton's highest unfavorable rating was 49%. George H.W. Bush's unfavorable reached 57% as election day neared.
- In 1996, Clinton's highest unfavorable was 44%. Bob Dole never rose above a 47% unfavorable.
- In 2000, Al Gore's highest unfavorable was 42% before the November voting and rose to 52% in December during the recount. George W. Bush was more popular; his unfavorable rating never rose above 41% before the election, but also rose during the recount.
- In 2004, George W Bush's highest unfavorable was 47%. John Kerry's highest was 45%.
- In 2008, Barack Obama's unfavorable rating maxed out at 37%. John McCain's unfavorable rating reached 44%.
- In 2012, Both Obama's and Mitt Romney's unfavorable ratings maxed out at 48%.
Even outside of the presidential elections, of all of these candidates' unfavorable ratings only George W. Bush ever had an unfavorable rating of 60% or higher. George W Bush's unpopularity reached 66% during his final year in office.