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Why both presidential candidates are disliked by a majority of voters

Never have two presidential candidates been more disliked than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Trump has an unfavorable average of 59 percent. Clinton is at 55 percent, according to RealClearPolitics.

“We’ve not seen something quite so passionate in people’s dislike, as these two,” said Brooks D. Simpson, presidential historian and foundation professor with Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. “I think it reflects a polarized electorate, but I also think it reflects the intensification of personal aspects in politics.”

But now it is more intense and there are more people involved, he said.

There have been candidates who have been disliked before. John Adams’ people hated Thomas Jefferson and vice versa for a while, he said.

“And we know from the musical “Hamilton” that everyone hated Hamilton enough to have somebody shoot him,” Simpson said.

But in this case, the dislike is also balanced by a fierce partisanship, he said.

“I sense that in both parties, both Trump and Clinton have their supporters,” Simpson said. “There are a lot of other people who are biting their lip as they decide to fall into line behind the party’s standard bearer.”

There has always been dirty politics, he said, and it could be very personal at times in terms of the personal qualifications of the candidates.

“But I think that has multiplied in the 21st Century with the 24-hour news-cycle, and the posting of social media links,” Simpson said, “and the immediately adoption of those links as somehow true.”

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