Donald Trump and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke have something in common — their unfavorable ratings among Americans.
For the first time in more than 30 years of the ABC News/Washington Post poll’s history, Trump earned the highest unfavorable rating among Americans as a front-running candidate in a presidential election, just barely falling behind the unfavorable rating of Duke during the 1992 election.
Trump received an unfavorable rating by 67 percent of Americans surveyed in the ABC/Washington Post poll released Thursday, which is unprecedented for a leading candidate during an election season. The only other time a candidate saw such strong dislike during an election, was Duke who was rated unfavorably by 69 percent of Americans in an ABC/Post poll in February 1992. Unlike Trump, Duke was not successful in his campaign, winning fewer than 120,000 votes and zero delegates in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Meanwhile, Trump has currently won more 8 million votes in pursuit for the GOP nomination.
Duke stirred up controversy for Trump’s campaign in February, after he encouraged his listeners on his radio show to vote and volunteer for the Republican front-runner. Trump was later confronted about Duke’s public support for Trump on CNN’s “State of the Union” when host Jake Tapper asked if Trump would condemn Duke and all other white supremacists. Trump responded that he couldn’t condemn a group he knew nothing about, saying “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”
Consequently, figures from both parties heavily criticized and distanced themselves from Trump and his delay to condemn Duke and other white supremacists. Shortly after the CNN interview, the real estate mogul tweeted out a video from an earlier press conference in which he initially disavowed Duke’s support.
Trump’s main adversary, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also reached his highest level of unpopularity among Americans in the poll, with an unfavorable rating of 53 percent. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has equal favorable and unfavorable ratings, both at 39 percent.
Clinton also saw one of her highest unfavorable ratings in March with 52 percent of Americans surveyed finding her unfavorable. The last time Clinton received such disapproval was in April 2008 when 54 percent of Americans found her unfavorable, which is the highest rating among Democrats in the ABC/Post poll’s history.
This most recent ABC/Post poll surveyed 1,010 adults from April 6 - 10 over the phone. Of those surveyed, there were 290 Republicans, 333 Democrats and 339 Independents, with a 3.5 percent margin of error for the full sample of people surveyed.