Friday, November 11, 2016

PEW RESEARCH ON HILLARY AND THE DONALD. As off as the polling was this year, Reason's Eric Boehm wrote about voters' views of the two major party candidates:
Trump got negative marks across the board. He scored "best" on the questions about running a transparent administration (the bar is particularly low on that point) and for improving how the government works. In both cases, 44 percent of voters said he would probably or definitely do those things. He scored worse on the "high moral standard" question, with only 38 percent of voters saying they believed he would achieve that.

As bad as Trump's numbers were, it's telling that Clinton scored worse on three of the five metrics. Only 34 percent of voters said they believed she would be open and transparent, only 37 percent said they thought a Clinton administration would improve how government works, and 57 percent of voters said they thought she would improperly use the office to enrich herself and friends (a majority, 52 percent, said they thought Trump would do that too).

From a political science perspective, the Pew survey helps explain why undecided voters broke towards Trump as the lesser-of-two-evils and why Clinton had such a difficult time dealing with questions of trustworthiness throughout the campaign.

More generally, guys, this is really bleak. The country just picked a new commander-in-chief who 57 percent of voters say is unlikely to improve the country's standing in the world and better than half say he will use the White House to enrich himself. Simple math says that at least some of those people voted for Trump, despite those misgivings, because Clinton was worse.

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