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6 May, 2016 10:01

Anyone but them: US voters' main motivation is blocking the other candidate – poll

Anyone but them: US voters' main motivation is blocking the other candidate – poll

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday revealed that almost half American voters are going to vote “against” rather than “for,” if only to make sure that either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump doesn't win the presidential election, overshadowing other motivations.

Nearly half the supporters of Republican candidate Donald Trump plan to vote for him out of fear that Democrat Hillary Clinton might become president. And it’s the same, vice versa, for those who plan to vote for Hillary.

“This phenomenon is called negative partisanship,” Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, told Reuters. “If we were trying to maximize the effect, we couldn't have found better nominees than Trump and Clinton.”

The poll by Ipsos market research company was conducted for Thomson Reuters April 29-May 5, 2016.

The survey questioned 1,068 Americans, including 599 Democrats and 469 Republicans, about what will motivate them when they go to the ballot boxes in the general election on November 8. The poll has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

In a shocking result, 47 percent of Trump’s supporters said they would vote for him only to queer the pitch for Hillary Clinton, with 43 percent saying they support Trump’s political stance and only 6 percent admitting they like the Republican US presidential candidate.

Almost mirroring their opponents, 46 percent of Clinton’s supporters have confessed the sole purpose in going to vote for Democrat candidate is to stop Trump reaching the Oval Office, while another 40 percent agreed with Clinton’s declared political program and 11 percent declared they loved Hillary personally.

The numbers are likely subject to change since there are still six months ahead of the vote, and Clinton and Trump will meet more than once during a series of national debates and the voters are going to be targeted with multimillion advertisement campaigns.

Still the “evilization” trend between the two candidates is likely to prevail, believes Alan Abramowitz, a professor at Emory University, and both campaign headquarters will work towards vilifying their opponent.

“It’s going to get very, very negative,” Abramowitz told Reuters.