The upcoming U.S. presidential election is certainly not America at its finest hour. Voters equally loathe the likely major party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Trump has been labeled a fascist and made countless controversial remarks. Clinton has her own negative baggage, including the FBI investigation into her use of a private server; at best she’s been Nixonesque in obscuring the truth. As pollster Tim Malloy of Quinnipiac University noted, “Voters find themselves in the middle of a mean-spirited, scorched earth campaign between two candidates they don’t like. And they don’t think either candidate would be a good president.” If you’re trying to make sense of the pending election, good luck — so is every political pundit in the country. A lot can happen between now and Election Day, but here are a few numbers that highlight the bizarre nature of this election season.
Money Donald Trump and his allies had spent on commercials in eight battleground states through June 27
Clinton and her political allies have already aired or reserved $140 million worth of commercials in Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and five other swing states, according to NBC News.
Percentage of African-Americans who support Donald Trump
A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that black voters support Hillary Clinton by 91-1 percent. That figure is in the ballpark of black support for Democrats in recent presidential elections, which has been around 95 percent. But 1 percent is a ridiculously low figure.
Percentage of voters who say they’ll vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson
This comes from a Quinnipiac University poll conducted in late June. And 4 percent of voters would vote for presumptive Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Obviously, those figures could change between now and November, as progressive and conservative voters realize a vote for a third party could usher Trump or Clinton into office. But for comparison, Johnson drew less than 1 percent of the vote in the 2012 election. As the Green Party candidate that year, Stein drew roughly one-third of 1 percent of the vote.
Chance Donald Trump has of winning the general election, according to Fivethirtyeight.com
Put another way, that would give Clinton a roughly 80 percent chance of winning the White House. And if the weather forecast called for an 80 percent chance of rain, you would probably take an umbrella.
Percentage of Bernie Sanders supporters who say they’ll vote for Donald Trump
This figure comes via a Bloomberg Politics poll in mid-June. While these two politicians are polar opposites in their politics, a large core of their support consists of voters who want sweeping change, and loathe political insiders (i.e. Clinton). So this finding is not too surprising.
Percentage of U.S. adults who feel the presidential election process is working
This is the specific question Gallup asked in a mid-June poll: “Does the way the presidential campaign is being conducted make you feel as though the election process is working as it should, or not?” Many Sanders supporters are among the dissenters, along with those in the #NeverTrump camp, but that 26 percent figure underlines the strong public discontent with this election.
“Fewer Than 50”
Number of FBI agents involved in the investigation of Clinton’s private server
A Washington Post story earlier this year reported 147 FBI agents were working on the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server while she was secretary of state. After other media outlets questioned that figure, the Post retracted its claim, amending it to “fewer than 50” agents in the investigation. That ongoing investigation is one reason why Clinton’s “unfavorable” poll numbers rival Trump’s.
Money Trump campaign had in the bank through the end of May
Compare that with $42 million in Clinton’s campaign coffers, and it’s no wonder pundits were using the term “historic deficit” to explain the discrepancy. Yet one more sign that this election will be like no other in modern times.