Born again Christians have a different view of the personal qualities of the presidential candidates, according to a recent Barna Group survey.
The survey asked respondents which presidential candidate better embodies eight qualities: "presidential," "respected by other leaders," "able to work with people who have different views," "effective communicator," "strategic thinker," "trustworthy," "patriotic," and "authentically Christian."
The overall voter population views Hillary Clinton to be associated with six out of eight of the qualities, the survey results revealed.
Respondents viewed Clinton to be more presidential (42 percent for Clinton, 23 percent for Trump); respected by other leaders (39 percent and 17 percent respectively); able to work with people who have different views (44 percent and 22 percent respectively); an effective communicator (36 percent and 25 percent, respectively); a strategic thinker (35 percent and 30 percent); and authentically Christian (18 percent and 12 percent).
Both candidates were deemed by viewers to be equally trustworthy (25 percent) and patriotic (32 percent for Clinton, 29 percent for Trump).
However, a large share of voters say that neither candidate is trustworthy nor Christian (40 percent) nor respected by other leaders (30 percent).
In the non-born again voter segment, Clinton is considered the representative of all eight attributes.
Born again Christians express different views, deeming Trump as better exhibiting four of the eight attributes (trustworthy, effective communicator, strategic thinker, and patriotic). Clinton, on the other hand, is not seen as associated with any of the eight qualities.
One-third of born-again voters say neither candidates are presidential, trustworthy, or respected by other leaders and half say neither is “authentically Christian.”
“We have not had an election in more than a half-century in which such large proportions of voters were turned off by both candidates,” says George Barna, the founder of Barna Group and the special analyst for the 2016 election. “Currently, six out of ten Americans plan to vote for a candidate they don’t care for primarily because they are so disgusted by the other option. This election represents an ideal opportunity for a third-party candidate to burst onto the scene, but the data show that few voters like the third-party candidates any better.”
According to the survey, a small number of voters are voting for a candidate they actually accept.
Four-in-ten of voters who say they are voting for Clinton are voting for her because they actually like her. One-third say they are voting for her because of their dislike for Trump and 27 percent are doing so because they view her as the “lesser of two evils.”
Similarly for Trump, one-third are voting for him because they actually like him (33 percent), four-in-ten out of their dislike for Clinton, and 23 percent because they see him as the “lesser of two evils.”
“Granted, some people yearn for the perfect candidate, but it does not seem that such a lofty goal is underlying most people's’ disenchantment with the 2016 candidates. Enormous numbers of voters simply are not convinced that either of the major-party candidates is presidential, trustworthy, respectable, or ethical.