The three contenders: Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and None of the Above
MercatorNet is not the only internet magazine interested in America’s election. Over at Common Dreams, the editors surveyed their readers about their intentions. Although three-quarters of respondents were over 50, 80 percent supported Bernie Sanders during the nomination process. After the convention they have reluctantly shifted to more viable candidates: 33 percent favour Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, and 42 percent for Hillary.
We wanted to find out how MercatorNet readers see the election, since most of our readers are in the United States and Canada. Nearly a thousand responded, far more than we anticipated. Here are the results.
At least four-fifths of our readers reported that they were “conservative”, although some described themselves as “liberal” and “progressive” and a handful as “paleoconservative”. Somewhat surprisingly, 42 percent said that they were members of the Democratic Party and 52 percent members of the GOP.
At the moment in this volatile election, 65 percent of MercatorNet readers would vote for Donald Trump. Only 5 percent would vote for Hillary Clinton; even Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate is more popular, with 6 percent. There is a wide range of write-in candidates and 11 percent declared that they are not going to vote at all. They are unhappy with both Trump and Clinton.
Although Trump is the Republican candidate, MercatorNet supporters are not die-hard supporters of the flamboyant businessman. In the nominations, 26 percent supported Ted Cruz, 24 percent Marco Rubio, 10 percent Ben Carson, and only 21 percent Trump.
Our demographic is younger than Common Dreams, with only 65 percent reporting that they were over 50. About 65 percent are male and 35 percent female. (No one chose the “other” option, which we snuck in, somewhat mischievously.) They are well educated, with 43 percent having a college degree, 28 percent a Masters, and 18 percent a JD, MD or PhD.
What is amazing is that 93 percent of our readers feel that the United States is “on the wrong track”. That’s a sentiment which the readers at Common Dreams shared. Only 13 percent of them felt that the country is headed in the right direction.
Similarly, 92 percent of MercatorNet readers felt that “there is a divide between the political elite and the people they represent”. Only 5 percent thought that this was an exaggeration. Whoever wins the election must take into account this widespread discontent and foreboding.
We asked readers to list the three issues uppermost in their minds as they considered whom to vote for. About a third mentioned immigration, terrorism and foreign policy. The economy obviously concerns a lot of people – about 44 percent mentioned this. (Overseas readers may be surprised that only 11 percent thought that gun policy was important. In the media it is depicted as an obsession.)
The two hot-button issues were abortion (51 percent) and Supreme Court appointments (62 percent). This suggests that a lot of Americans – or at least our readers – feel that US legislators cannot be trusted to keep the country “on the right track” and that the Supreme Court is needed to pull them into line.
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.