2016 Campaign: Strong Interest, Widespread Dissatisfaction
As Republicans and Democrats prepare for their party conventions later this month, a new national survey paints a bleak picture of voters’ impressions of the presidential campaign and the choices they face in November.
Electorally competitive counties have grown scarcer in recent decades
There are fewer electorally competitive counties, and more counties in which Democrats or Republicans hold overwhelming vote advantages, than at any time in the past three decades or so.
Candidates who don’t win on first convention ballot usually go on to lose
In 11 of the 18 conventions since the Civil War that went more than one ballot, the first-ballot leader ended up losing the nomination to someone else.
Voters have a dim view of primaries as a good way to pick the best candidate
Just 35% of voters say that the primaries have been a good way of determining the best- qualified nominees.
Republicans skeptical their party would unite behind Trump
Roughly half of Ted Cruz’s and John Kasich’s supporters say that Trump would make a “poor” or “terrible” president.
So far, turnout in this year’s primaries rivals 2008 record
So far this year, Republican primaries are experiencing record turnouts, much as voting in Democratic primaries surged in 2008. But the longer-term trend in primary turnout has been down.
Near-record number of primaries this year, but not quite as early
All but five states will hold at least one primary this year, cementing the primary’s dominance over the older caucus system in the presidential nominating process. But compared to 2008, the last time both parties had open nomination contests, the voting started later this year and is a bit more spread out.
Contested presidential conventions, and why parties try to avoid them
There hasn’t been a seriously contested nominating convention in decades, and a look at history helps explain why: Candidates who needed multiple ballots to get nominated usually didn’t go on to win the White House.
Partisan divide grows over value of Washington experience
With the first 2016 nomination contests at hand, a new survey underscores the extent to which Republicans have come to place less value on a presidential candidate’s prior experience in office – especially experience as a Washington official.