Elections

Poll: voters say 2016 presidential campaign is ‘crazy’

Republican presidential candidates John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul appear during Republican presidential debate at Milwaukee Theatre, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Milwaukee.
Republican presidential candidates John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul appear during Republican presidential debate at Milwaukee Theatre, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Milwaukee. AP

Voters have some choice words about the 2016 presidential campaign, but “crazy” tops them all, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

The survey finds that 40 percent of registered voters think the word aptly captures the tone and nature of the White House chase by Democratic and Republican candidates.

“Crazy” ran across party lines with 45 percent of independents, 40 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of Republicans selecting the word as their top choice for characterizing the campaign thus far.

“It’s numerically across the board,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducts the survey. “This campaign started early, has divergent personalities, people from different backgrounds – from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders and everything in between – and it’s a huge roster of candidates running for an open seat.”

That large field, Miringoff said, also contributed to 14 percent of registered voters calling the 2016 campaign “mean-spirited,” 13 percent describing it as “passionate,” and another 13 percent labeling it a “traditional” contest.

The descriptions “informative” and “principled” only registered 9 percent each.

“Trump has made things a little circus-y,” said Kristy Casey, principal of La Casa de Esperanza, a school in Waukesha, Wis. “I love his entrepreneurial spirit, but I don’t think we’re talking education issues as seriously as we need to be.”

Kay Kimmel, an 85-year-old retired music teacher from Goldendale, Wash., said he’s disappointed with most of the 2016 presidential field.

“They just rant and rave,” said Kimmel, a Democrat. “I think Donald Trump has done a good job stirring (things) up. I won’t vote for him.”

At the the Fox Business/WSJ Republican debate in Milwaukee on November 10, the remaining GOP candidates took a shots at each other: Rand Paul jabbed at Marco Rubio's tax plans, Carly Fiorina jabbed at Donald Trump's relationship with Putin, and Be

McClatchy’s David Lightman contributed to this report

William Douglas: 202-383-6026, @williamgdouglas

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