Alex Constantine - April 3, 2016
Americans aren’t optimistic about the front-running presidential candidates’ ability to lead the country, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
Between January 7 and 14, Pew surveyed 2,009 adults across the country, 1,525 of whom are registered voters. Of those polled, almost a quarter said Hillary Clinton would be a great president, but 28 percent said she'd be terrible. Donald Trump fared even worse: 38 percent of those polled said he would be a terrible president and 14 percent said he would be a poor president. He was the most divisive candidate, with only 12 percent saying his presidency would be “average.”
Though Jeb Bush and Chris Christie were described as great presidents by only 2 percent of those polled, 35 and 33 percent, respectively, said they would each be average leaders of the free world. That makes Bush the most average candidate running on either side of the political spectrum.
Among exclusively registered republicans, 36 percent described Trump as a good president and 20 percent said he would be a great president. Republicans were most put off by Bush; 21 percent of those polled said he would be a poor president. Fifteen percent of Republicans said Bush would be a terrible president.
As for the Democrats, Clinton fared better than Bernie Sanders across the board: 43 percent said she would be good, compared to 33 percent saying Sanders would be good. Only 7 percent said Clinton would be poor, compared to Sanders' 10 percent. Three percent of Democrats said each candidate would be terrible.
Pew also polled Republicans about the Democratic candidates and vice versa. Not surprisingly, 64 percent of democrats described Trump as a terrible president. Democrats had kinder words for Bush, who 11 percent called good—more than any other Republican candidate. John Kasich, trailing in the polls, was dubbed least terrible by Democrats, with only 7 percent of respondents thinking he would fit that bill.
As for Republicans, they were partial to Sanders: Clinton was considered terrible by 57 percent of registered Republicans polled, compared with Sanders’ 34 percent. Nine percent said Sanders would be a good president, compared to 7 percent for Clinton.
The survey also looked at education levels of those polled. “The prospect of Donald Trump in the White House is viewed more positively by GOP voters who have not completed college than Republican college graduates—the only Republican candidate tested for whom this is the case,” the center wrote in its findings.
Notably, Republicans are more interested in the 2016 race than they were in 2008, with 56 percent giving the possible candidates “a lot” of thought, compared with 50 percent eight years ago.