Poll: Utahns Say This Year’s Campaign Rhetoric is Worse Than Previous Elections

Donald Trump 04Most Utahns say this year’s rhetoric in the presidential campaign is much worse than previous campaigns according to a new UtahPolicy.com poll.

84% of Utahns say the rhetoric in this year’s campaign is much more negative than past presidential elections. Just 4% say it’s more positive than in the past while 10% say it’s about the same.
It’s easy to pinpoint the reason Utahns say this year’s campaign discourse is rougher than past years…Donald Trump.
In the year since he launched his bid for the White House, Trump has insulted his fellow candidates, members of the media, and ethnic groups. 
Here’s a sampling:
  • Ted Cruz – “lyin’ Ted Cruz,” “cheater,” and “pathetic.”
  • Jeb Bush – “low energy,” “weak” and “a pathetic figure” among other insults.
  • Hillary Clinton – “Incompetent,” “sad,” and “disloyal.”
  • John Kasich – “One of the worst presidential candidates in history.”
  • Martin O’Malley – “A clown.”
  • Marco Rubio – “Lightweight” and “choker.”
  • Talk show host Glenn Beck – “Dumb as a rock.”
  • Conservative pundit Erick Erickson – “Total low life.”
  • Journalist David Gregory – “Fired like a dog.”
One of Trump’s favorite targets is Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who he has called “overrated,” “crazy,” and a “lightweight.” Their feud started when Kelly called Trump out for making derogatory comments about women, calling them “fat pigs” and “disgusting animals.” In response, Trump said of Kelly, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
I could go on, but you get the point.

It’s not just Trump contributing to the negative tone of this year’s campaign. For a week during the GOP primary campaign, the candidates hurled veiled insults about the size of each other’s…hands. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump got into a spat about each other’s wives. 
Additionally, unregulated Super PAC’s have aired increasingly critical ads about each other. For instance, look at this attack ad against Ted Cruz produced by a pro-John Kasich Super PAC.

Don’t expect things to get better as the campaign gets closer to the November election. Trump and Clinton appear poised to grab the nominations of their parties, which should ramp up the attacks from both sides of the fight.
The Dan Jones & Associates survey was conducted March 23-April 5, 2016 among 600 adult Utahns with a margin of error +/- 4.0%.