This election, the Republican and Democratic candidates are both exceedingly well-known, for better or for worse. Large majorities of voters consider each candidate’s weaknesses to be “serious” concerns, according to the latest NBC/WSJ poll. For example, 65% of voters say they are concerned Donald Trump is “too volatile” for the job. Sixty-four percent are concerned he “makes statements that are offensive and intolerant;” 61% are concerned he “lacks core principles;” and 60% are concerned about his “record of taking advantage of people.”
Hillary Clinton’s problems are no better. Sixty-nine percent of voters say her “record of being dishonest” and untrustworthiness are serious enough to cause concern. Sixty-one percent say they are concerned she has been wrong on foreign policy; 61% say they are worried she is “more of the same” and “will not make the changes that the country needs;” and 60% are concerned she is “too close to Wall Street.”
It may be difficult for either candidate to alleviate these concerns and reassure voters. The election may come down to which candidate can drive their opponent’s negatives higher on the major dimensions on which voters decide their choice.