2016, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton — October 14, 2016 at 5:44 pm

REMINDER: Hillary Clinton is extraordinarily popular — if you don’t count white people


While Trump is extraordinarily unpopular among everyone but conservatives and Republicans

Hillary Clinton in Michigan August 11, 2016.
Hillary Clinton in Michigan August 11, 2016.

One of the most chewed-on pieces of cud in this election is the notion that even though Donald Trump is the most unpopular presidential candidate ever, both candidates are really hated.

During the first episode of The Sit and Spin Room — our new podcast that features Eclectablog‘s Chris Savage and myself explaining exactly how you should think about politics — I, in my role of the pedantic yet lovable host, felt the need to clarify that both candidates truly are comparably hated but only if you only count white people.

In a recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll, which gets a solid A+ rating from FiveThirtyEight, Clinton had a decided advantage over Trump, even before the first debate or the Access Hollywood tape:


See. Both aren’t equally popular.

These numbers are pretty typical of what you see in most major polling. Clinton under-performs her polling average at 43.5 percent favorable with 53.5 percent unfavorable. Trump does a bit better in his polling average of 35.8 percent favorable and 61.7 percent.

Granted, neither candidates have much to be impressed about here, until you dig in just a little bit.

This is Clinton’s approval broken down by race:


Here are Trump’s numbers:


You could look at this and say, “Well, this post could be called ‘REMINDER: Donald Trump is only extraordinarily unpopular among non-white people.'”

But Trump’s 44 percent unfavorable and 51 percent unfavorable ratings with white voters aren’t overly impressive. They’re almost exactly in line with President Obama’s approval ratings with the same group in the same poll.


But, as you see, the president’s 76 percent approval rating among non-white voters helps him pull in a 55 percent approval overall, making him about as popular as Ronald Reagan was at this point in his second term.

Even above white people, Trump doesn’t break 50 percent favorability. You can search the numbers and you’ll find that rare demographics where more people think fondly of him are Republicans and conservatives . Even among what should be his base — men,  Americans without college educations and rural voters — majorities don’t see Trump favorably.

I know there’s been a lot of thinking about who Trump supporters really are — much as there was about the Tea Party seven years ago — and more and more the answer seems pretty simple: They’re generally the GOP base, and that’s it.

They’re into Trump and most of the rest of America is with her.

[Photo by the great Anne Savage.]