Democrats More Upbeat Than Republicans About 2016 Slate

Democrats More Upbeat Than Republicans About 2016 Slate

Democrats More Upbeat Than Republicans About 2016 Slate

The FINANCIAL -- By 71% to 59%, more Democrats than Republicans in the U.S. are satisfied that someone is running this year who will make a good president. While this is similar to what Gallup found in May, the latest reading is the first since Hillary Clinton effectively clinched the Democratic nomination. Donald Trump became the inevitable GOP nominee a month earlier.

Clinton secured her position as the presumptive Democratic nominee as a result of her victories in the June 7 primaries, while Ted Cruz's departure from the race on May 3 erased any reasonable doubt that Trump would be the Republican nominee. However, the narrowing of each party's field seems to have done more harm to Republicans' views of the field than to Democrats'.

Between mid-April and mid-May, spanning the time Cruz suspended his campaign and Trump became the inevitable nominee, the percentage of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who believe there is a candidate who would make a good president fell from 68% to 56% and has since held near that level. Between mid-May and mid-June, spanning Clinton's clinching of the nomination, the percentage of Democrats and Democratic leaners who believe a good potential president is still running dropped less precipitously, from 77% to 71%.

Trump and Clinton Detractors Less Confident a Qualified Candidate Remains

Shifts on this question over the past few months mainly reflect the views of Republicans and Democrats who have watched with disappointment as their party's field of candidates has narrowed to an individual they don't like.

As recently as April, a majority of Republicans who viewed Trump unfavorably -- 53% -- said there was someone running who would make a good president; however, that was when several other GOP candidates were still in the race. The figure plummeted to 27% in May after Cruz and John Kasich dropped out. Meanwhile, a consistently high percentage of Republican Trump admirers have said there is a good president in the field.

Similarly, with Bernie Sanders' path to the Democratic nomination seeming to hit a dead end on June 7, Democrats who have an unfavorable view of Clinton became significantly less likely to say a candidate was running who would make a good president, dropping from 61% in May to 44% this month. The views of those who like Clinton remained solid, with over 80% confident that a good candidate is running.

Republicans Slightly More Likely to Be Satisfied With Candidates' Issue Focus

Despite Democrats' advantage in perceptions that a good potential president is still in the race for president, the percentage of Republicans who say the candidates are talking about issues they care about reached a record high for the year in June, at 71%. The 61% figure for the Democrats on this question is about where it's been since March.

The uptick in Republicans' satisfaction with discussion of the issues this month is almost entirely attributable to an 11-percentage-point increase among those who view Trump favorably, now at 83%. By contrast, 63% of Democrats who view Clinton favorably feel satisfied about the discussion of the issues in June, essentially unchanged from May.

Notably, Clinton's Democratic detractors are far more likely to feel satisfied with the issues being addressed than are Trump's Republican detractors, 60% vs. 46%.

Bottom Line

In the aftermath of Clinton's securing of the delegates needed to become the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee at her party's national convention this summer, slightly fewer Democrats than last month -- 71% now vs. 77% in May -- are satisfied that someone is running who would make a good president. However, the drop in Democrats' satisfaction was somewhat less than the drop seen among Republicans in May after Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee. As a result, after being at parity with Republicans on this measure at the start of the year, Democrats now have an advantage in believing there is a candidate in the race who will make a good president.

While Republicans as a whole are more likely than Democrats to be satisfied with the discussion of issues they care about, there is a major breach between pro- and anti-Trump Republicans on this question. Much higher proportions of Trump's Republican admirers than Republican detractors are satisfied with the issues the candidates are talking about. By contrast, there is almost no difference between Democratic admirers and detractors of Clinton on this question. A uniformly modest level of contentment exists that the issues that matter to them are being addressed.