By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: Hobson's choice for presidential voters

Barring a come-from-behind victory by Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will win their party nominations, and one will become the next president of the United States. Americans soon will elect a president with the highest-ever “unfavorable view” by voters.

This year’s most interesting political statistic could be the combined percentage of non-votes and write-ins from the November presidential ballot.

Whatchamacolumn

Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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Here are some stunning numbers from a recent poll by NBC News/Wall Street Journal: Trump received negative ratings from 65 percent of voters, and “strongly negative” reaction from 52 percent; Clinton’s corresponding numbers were 56 percent and 46 percent.

“In both cases,” wrote The Washington Post, “not only would Trump and Clinton start the fall campaign with the highest negative rating of any nominee in the past six presidential races, but their negatives would outstrip their predecessors by double-digit margins. In fact, a Trump-Clinton face-off would mark the first time in the past seven elections that a majority of Americans had a negative view of either (or both!) of the presidential nominees.”

Clinton has been the ultimate survivor. She parlayed her scandalous First Lady years into a $10 million book deal and two terms as U.S. senator from New York; she recovered from a terrible 2008 presidential campaign to become Barack Obama’s first secretary of state; she resigned in 2013 before growing controversies could derail her plans for a 2016 presidential run, and has survived the scandal of hiding public activities in communications illegally maintained on private computers.

Trump, in contrast, just spits in the face of negative voter views during his short-but-spectacular political career. I once assumed his nomination would be an impossibility, but that began to change five months ago with this column commentary:

“Those who support Donald Trump don’t care about his specific exaggerations, insults and inanities. They stay connected to him because he panders to biases on gut-level issues that plague many Americans … He offers them an alternative to the polarized politics that prevent our system from resolving core American problems … Look closely, and you will find thoughtful essays about his appeal to everyday people frustrated with political gridlocks on such issues as health care, guns, immigration, environment, taxes, regulation and entitlements, to name a few … Trump uncovered a deep American pool of frustration, resentment and anger. The ripples he created have echoed back a level of support that continues to baffle the media and his opponents.”

As the old saying goes, “Pick your poison.”

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.

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