Stories

Poll: Record 69% of voters say they dislike Trump personally

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

69% of the 900 registered voters polled in the September NBC News/Wall Street Journal public opinion poll said they do not like Trump personally, regardless of their feelings about his policies.

Why it matters: Despite the conventional wisdom that incumbents have an upper hand in general elections, the poll indicates that Trump is the most disliked president out of his 5 most recent predecessors.

Details: The poll found Trump's approval rating rests at 45%, which is on par with where Barack Obama and Bill Clinton stood at this point in their presidencies. Both Obama and Clinton won re-election, but neither president faced the high degree of personal animus that Trump faces today.

  • Previously, the highest share of voters that said they disliked the president personally, regardless of their views on his policies, was 42% for George W. Bush in 2006 — in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
  • 49% of those polled said they’re "very uncomfortable" with Trump's 2020 candidacy. 41% said were "very uncomfortable" with Sen. Bernie Sanders, while 33% said the same for both Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
  • At the same time, the poll shows that 26% of voters are "enthusiastic" about Trump's candidacy — compared to 17% for Warren, 13% for Sanders and 12% for Biden.

The bottom line: While the poll suggests a record level of personal hostility toward Trump, it also reflects a polarized electorate that also has doubts about the 3 Democratic frontrunners.

The NBC/WSJ poll of 900 voters was conducted Sept. 13-16. The margin of error for all adults is +/- 3.27 percentage points.

Go deeper: Enthusiasm for Elizabeth Warren surges in new 2020 poll