Whom do the Haters Hate More?

Some potentially good news for Biden,

At Bloomberg Businessweek, Joshua Green reports: New Poll Shows a Hidden Danger for Trump: Double Haters. Specifically: Biden has an advantage with potential voters who dislike him and who also dislike Trump (the “double-haters”).

During the last weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump’s data team was obsessed with a particular subset of voters: those who disliked both Trump and Hillary Clinton. As I reported in my book about the race, Devil’s Bargain, Trump’s analysts nicknamed this group “double haters.” 

Trump eventually won this group.

At the moment, however, they are leaning Biden.

Earlier this week, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found Joe Biden leading Trump 49 percent to 42 percent among registered voters—roughly the margin by which Clinton led Trump in 2016, once it was clear she’d be the Democratic nominee. NBC News shared data with me from the poll on voters who had negative opinions of both Trump and Biden: the new double haters. These voters were clear in their preference. Biden was winning them 60 percent to 10 percent.

The 2016 race was odd for a lot of reasons, not the least of which being the historically bad likability numbers for both candidates. Trump, as we know, has done nothing to improve his likability, despite three years in office. At the moment, the likability of the two is clearly a function of partisanship, but it is worth noting that Trump is underwater with likability, and Biden slightly above water. I would note, too, that Trump’s negatives here are pretty stable. Biden was actually seen as highly likable as early as late last year/early 2020 (i.e., before he was the presumptive nominee and the question of likability became substantially more about partisan ID).

Given the closeness of our politics, not to mention the razor-thin victories in key states that gave Trump the presidency, Biden has an edge that HRC lacked.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Joe does have the advantage of not being Hillary.

    Biden was actually seen as highly likable as early as late last year/early 2020

    Yeah, and Hillary’s “approval rating stood at what the Wall Street Journal described as an “eye-popping” 69% “* when she stepped down as Sec of State.

    Jus’ sayin’.

    *source.

    10
  2. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Being seen as an “uppity woman” hurt Hillary, but mostly it was the couple years of Benghaaaazi!!, HER EMAILS!. Uranium One, and speculation about her actually squeaky clean foundation. The GOPs are off to a late start with Biden, so far don’t have much to work with, and COVID is sucking all the air out of the room.

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  3. gVOR08 says:

    I’ve said before that in an election as close as 2016 there’s a list of about twenty things that are THE thing that cost her the election, i.e. had any one of them gone the other way Hillary would have won. There now seem to be about twenty things that look to swing the election to Biden, most of which would have to flip back to let Trump in. (Always with the qualifier that it’s still six months to go, and Hillary led by this much at this point four years ago.)

    7
  4. Michael Reynolds says:

    A new poll has Trump up by just 5 in Texas. It’d be outstanding if we could make them fight for Texas.

    12
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: The hate campaign against the Clintons was long and deep. The GOP was throwing bullshit at them for decades and by the time “Benghaaaazi!!, HER EMAILS!. Uranium One, and speculation about her actually squeaky clean foundation” came along, there was well fertilized ground for them to be planted in. Facts no longer mattered.

    They don’t have the 20 year head start with Joe that they did with Hillary but they will give it their best shot. They will throw everything they can dream up at him and a certain percentage of the electorate will slop it up. To them actual facts are completely beside the point. Just looking at the reality of trump’s handling of Covid and their perception of it tells that tale.

    Will the smear campaign work with those not of the cult? I really doubt it. But there is more than one way to suppress the vote. I will crawl thru covid harboring broken glass to vote in Nov but there are those who could easily be persuaded that it just isn’t worth the trouble.

    Unlike in 2016, I’m not counting any chickens before they hatch.

    ETA dawg DAMN I can not type today.

    8
  6. Modulo Myself says:

    In swing statues, Bernie’s performance against Clinton vs his performance against Biden shows how deep the misogyny ran for Democrats. There’s no way that any Biden scandal (Hunter’s pretty obvious shadiness and Tara Reade, which will be sticking around) generates the rage that centered on Clinton. The Republicans will cry about how unfair it is that after what happened to poor Trump nobody cares one sexual assault claim when it’s a Democrat. They’re not wrong, not exactly, but that’s politics and the result of supporting Trump.

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  7. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    69%.

    Nice.

    1
  8. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Confirmation bias is a thing.

    People don’t vote rationally. I am so shocked.

    1
  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @de stijl: Heh.

    1
  10. de stijl says:

    This should not matter, but Biden has a penis. Somehow, that it is still a thing.

    3
  11. Lounsbury says:

    @gVOR08: Yes also not helped by Clinton’s own style, and defensive secretiveness – however one can understand, helped play into the negative image (take for example the 9/11 flu stumble).

    While one should grant the misogyny contribution to her problems and the attacks, her own lack of campaigning gut-savoir-faire and general public persona style regrettably played to reinforce the negative image being sold and a negative image that played well (in gaining negative traction) to the lower-middle class “ordinary Jane & Joe” population.

    This appears different than Biden’s lack of polish or verbal stumbling as it plays more like Bush the Younger, the Common Man, not-overly-polish, not overly cunning elite…

    I hope Bloomberg et Co unless a Tsunami of negative ads come the Fall drawing on Trump’s Covid briefings, a veritable gift.

    (I hope too that the Opposition is able to provoke Trump into returning to his briefings. Maybe Gov Cuomo’s briefings will irritate him enough to return, since Trump has poor impulse control)

    5
  12. Lounsbury says:

    @Modulo Myself: Biden’s son has about f-all to stick with Biden himself. And of course the Trump Family multiplies anything Hunter did by 1000 so rather difficult to make stick.

    Just like the attack on Biden re China via various distortions.

    Rather weak when Trump owes Chinese state bank Bank of China some pretty pennies

    Donald Trump’s business empire owes $211 billion to state controlled Bank of China – and was first American company ever to get credit from Communist party controlled bank

    Of course Daily Mail but that’s to illustrate the wonderful possiiblities of attack ads. One can confirm the parameters in sober publications.

    This in contrast with Clinton Foundation, which while yes, not dirty was also deeply compromised in political positioning as it simply looked like compromised “globalist” dealing and one has to have a fairly sophisticated understanding of these things not to find it smelly (the bad appearances problem-not suggesting actually dirty, not at all). Staggeringly bad politics for that election cycle.

    Again, yes, Clinton suffered from misogyny. But reducing to that as principal rather collosally underestimates multiple other political positioning malpractice.

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  13. Sleeping Dog says:

    Biden, having been around forever, with huge name recognition and generally being well liked, is a major advantage for him. It will be difficult to define Biden since the voters already know the guy and unlike Clinton, they like him. The Hunter Biden line of attack is turning out to be a boat that doesn’t float, the Reade accusations? Who knows. But the big problem for Tiny’s reelection campaign is their candidate. Clutching pearls: Biden has been accused of sexual assault, yeah and women are taking numbers to accuse Tiny of sexual assault. Hunter! Yeah and the Freedo brothers are running around leveraging Tiny at every opportunity and the princess is cutting deals with China while on the payroll as an advisor to the president. Cult45 will dismiss the allegations about their leader and believe everything about Biden, but what about the other 60% of the voters? Haters will hate and they’ll likely stay home.

    2
  14. de stijl says:

    Meta on double haters

    Demographically who are they?

    What do they want?

    If it’s just libertarians hard pass. I know that scene.

    1
  15. de stijl says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Who does not know the 69 = Nice! protocol?

    Buncha rubes

    1
  16. Gustopher says:

    @de stijl: If Hillary had a penis the right would have been even more hateful…

    1
  17. de stijl says:

    @Gustopher:

    Michelle Obama got crap heaped on her her because she didn’t have girly stick arms. Plus, she’s tall.

    Obviously, thus, QED, she was a man.

    Screw the lot of them.

    7
  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: No. Just no. Maybe you weren’t aware in 1994, but no.

  19. Polimom says:

    Fascinating comment thread. So much speculation in the room, and somehow nobody’s yet mentioned the main problem? Hillary’s problem was Bill. She was married to Bill. And right or wrong, agree or disagree… the truth is that he was as polarizing as it gets for lots and LOTS of people.

    Hillary came into the race (both times) dragging so much baggage, it was almost impossible to see just her. She was sunk before she ever tried to swim.

    5
  20. Teve says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    . The Hunter Biden line of attack is turning out to be a boat that doesn’t float, the Reade accusations? Who knows.

    I would bet my stimulus check that GOP operatives are right now conspiring to induce or fabricate a second rape allegation. For the same reason that Trump was desperate for the guy to announce an investigation into Biden—if you can get it out there even remotely plausibly, shitty DC reporters and talking heads will But Her Emails it into a Trump second term.

  21. Teve says:
  22. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    1.) That was awesome. So bonkers.
    2.) You owe me a hat tip see:

    @de stijl:

  23. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    Racism, misogyny, anti trans and anti queer.

    All about a straight cis-woman with two biological daughters.

    A lot of baggage there just because you dislike her husband, Alex.

    Michelle Obama has amazing arms.

    1
  24. Kylopod says:

    @Teve: @de stijl: A while back Alex Jones was spotted looking at trans porn. Just sayin’.

    2
  25. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    Probably just research. Wink. Wink again way more suggestively.

    I am not gonna bust someone on adult, mutually consented behavior.

    But if their profession is queer bashing, I might wink.

    Michelle Obama is a cis-woman. Two daughters. Husband. This is known.

    Speculating she is in fact a man is really goddamned fucking rude.

    She does have amazing arms.

    1
  26. de stijl says:

    @Kylopod:

    Welcome back!

    I hope you feel well.

    Be safe and strong!

  27. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @gVOR08: Actually, I think the biggest subconscious thing working against HRC was that she was former First Lady. I think Americans are ok with 1 round of parent-child dynasty for POTUS. But as we saw with Jeb Bush, they are not receptive to 2 rounds. I really think the biggest factor to HRCs demise is that Americans don’t want to see a Husband and Wife BOTH be President. I don’t think a State has even done that at the Executive level.

    1
  28. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @de stijl: Not to mention legs and caboose. I’ll bet she smells like cocoa butter too. Barry has good taste in black women.

    3
  29. de stijl says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    You went there first, but I will second on the gams.

    That woman has it going on.

    Barack has very good taste and ended up with a fine strong cool smart woman.

    4
  30. de stijl says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    And a booty like Pow!

    H/t to Tiny Tina

    1
  31. Kathy says:

    One wonders what Trump will campaign on. The best economy ever? hardly. record highs in the stock markets? I’d like to see him try. “We’d have had the best economy ever and record high stock markets, if it weren’t for this Democratic-Chinese virus?”Kind of lame, no? Biden developed the coronavirus in his spare time? Who’d believe that, outside of his base? Crazy great handling of the pandemic? I’d really love to see him try that one.

    All I can see he has left is xenophobia and more protectionism. this may rile up the base, but his “wall” and tariffs didn’t keep the virus from getting in, nor did his travel bans and immigration restrictions.

    1
  32. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Polimom: You may well be right, tho I’m hard pressed to see how people can hold a grudge against him for an Oval Office dalliance and yet vote of a serial philanderer in trump.

    Or is it the “lie under oath” they hold against him while proudly supporting the sociopathic liar currently residing in the WH?

    And while it might sound like it, I am not disagreeing with you, just saying I don’t understand how those people think.

    3
  33. James Joyner says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    I really think the biggest factor to HRCs demise is that Americans don’t want to see a Husband and Wife BOTH be President. I don’t think a State has even done that at the Executive level.

    Alabama elected Lurleen Wallace to succeed her husband, George, to get around the state’s prohibiition on a governor serving consecutive terms. She only served from January 16, 1967 – May 7, 1968 because of her untimely death from cancer.

    Verifying her dates, I stumbled on this: Miriam Wallace Ferguson won the 1924 election for governor of Texas, as her husband James E. Ferguson remained the de facto governor.

    That doesn’t really disprove your theory, of course, since they were essentially running as surrogates for their husbands. Hillary was not doing that.

    5
  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim Brown 32: @de stijl: Michelle Obama is just plain hot as in smokin’!

    2
  35. de stijl says:

    @Kathy:

    Grievances.

    The ritual sharing thereof.

    Served with a sauce of Dolchstoss legende.

    On a bed of paranoid xenophobia.

    Plus a side of frites or rice. Your choice.

    You know, the usual RW butt-hurt bullshit recipe they always use.

    2
  36. de stijl says:

    @James Joyner:

    I had always assumed that the name “Lurleen” as in Lurleen Lumpkin was made up by The Simpsons writers when Homer, sorry Colonel Homer, briefly became her manager.

    Homer is a lout, but he has never strayed.

    Until just now, I never knew Lurleen was an actual name.

  37. John430 says:

    Well, just hope that Biden’s encounter with Tara Reade gets as much exposure in the media as Kavanaugh did. Have the FBI prepare a “Steele-like” dossier on Hunter and Ukraine and China.
    Oh, and lest I forget, develop nasty things to say about Biden’s wife. Just like they do with Melania Trump. Now that’s a level playing field.

    1
  38. @John430: I was going to provide a real answer, but instead, I will ask: do you intend to sound like one driven by grievance and vengeance (not to mention one who thinks of their side as the only aggrieved party?).

    6
  39. @Steven L. Taylor: And the real answers are:

    1. I expect Tara Reade will get quite a bot of coverage (and already has gotten a goodly amount) The lack of focus on Biden has to do with something called “Covid-19”–perhaps you have heard of it?

    2. The president you support has already tried to put together smears about Biden–and used the presidency to do so. He was impeached over it (as you may recall). And I am sure that attacks on Hunter Biden will be a mainstay of the general election campaign.

    And BTW: the FBI did not compile the Steel Dossier. (Let me guess: you think the entire Russia investigation was predicated on that document, yes?).

    3. I have already seen attacks on Jill Biden’s usage of the honorific, “Dr. ” so yes, I am sure plenty of attacks are coming. And, of course, if you think attacks on wives are new to Melania, I have Michelle Obama on the line.

    BTW: none of this really has much to do with the OP, which is looking at the degree to which voters who dislike both candidates and how they might vote.

    6
  40. mattbernius says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:
    It’s also telling that he chooses to appear on a Biden post after apparently having nothing to say for weeks about any of the other topics of the day.

    Honestly, that’s something I’m curious about — the posts and themes that (now infrequent) posters decide to jump in on: JBK is pop-uping up, with largely fact-based posts, around spread and Polimom suddenly reappeared to comment on the Clintons. About the only one who fits his typical patterns is G (albeit very infrequently).

    1
  41. john430 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Hardly. I’m just wondering when this blog would show some balance. Everybody here claims to be a “progressive” but demonstrates some of the ugliest traits of authoritarianism I’ve ever seen. Over the past few years, even you have evolved into a caricature.

  42. mattbernius says:

    @john430:

    Everybody here claims to be a “progressive” but demonstrates some of the ugliest traits of authoritarianism

    Can you describe the traits you are seeing?

    5
  43. Polimom says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: FWIW, I don’t understand how they think either. Anecdotally, though, I’ve never heard complaints that Bill was a philanderer; it’s always “he lied under oath”. Myself, I’ve always heard “rationalizationrationalizationrationalization” when the conversations end up there.

  44. mattbernius says:

    @Polimom:
    FWIW, welcome back to commenting. Though it often comes out sideways here, it’s great to have another voice/POV present.

    3
  45. @john430:

    Hardly. I’m just wondering when this blog would show some balance. Everybody here claims to be a “progressive” but demonstrates some of the ugliest traits of authoritarianism I’ve ever seen. Over the past few years, even you have evolved into a caricature

    How in the world is your comment above an illustration of any of this?

    How is this post unfair? (It is based on polling).

    Care to expound on how I am a caricature?

    Have at.

    3
  46. @Polimom:

    Hillary’s problem was Bill. She was married to Bill. And right or wrong, agree or disagree… the truth is that he was as polarizing as it gets for lots and LOTS of people.

    I honestly think a huge part of HRC’s problem was that see was the focus of relentless attacks for multiple decades.

    And, quite honestly, I don’t think she is inherently charismatic nor charming.

    And I think some amount of sexism played a part.

    The Bill thing is more complicated than you suggest, I think. Yes, Reps hate Bill. But Dems largely love Bill. And yet she could not fully capitalize on that sentiment.

    It is worth noting that Bill left office quite popular (Gallup).

    According to a recent YouGov survey he is currently the fourth most popular Dem (After Obama, Carter, and Sanders).

    See, also, these as would be relevant in 2016.

    I am not sure the empirics support your position.

    1
  47. Polimom says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I honestly think a huge part of HRC’s problem was that see was the focus of relentless attacks for multiple decades.

    Well yes. That’s directly related to her being married to Bill imho (ymmv). I was being very very succinct. The criticisms leveled at her for a long time were tied to “her” health care plan, for instance. And although I’m sure you’re right about empirics and analytics, I have been subjected to any number of heated lectures and discussions about “two-fers” and how having her back in the White House meant bringing HIM back — evidently a fate worse than death for some. I have never understood the intense reactions about Bill Clinton, btw.

    Some of the more interesting discussions I’ve heard on the subject of a woman president (more broadly) have come up around the role of her spouse in the White House. I would really enjoy seeing a couple develop those roles from new gender perspectives, but the mess created by all the exploding heads would be less-enjoyable. 😮

  48. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @James Joyner: Yes, I remember the ’66 gubernatorial election in Alabama. Lurleen ran under the slogan, “Let George do it.” I kid you not.

  49. mattbernius says:

    @john430:

    I’m just wondering when this blog would show some balance.

    One other question, I’m genuinely curious about what “Balance” looks like to you. Perhaps you could point to any political blogs that you think do a good job at it.

    2
  50. @Polimom:

    Well yes. That’s directly related to her being married to Bill imho (ymmv).

    It is certainly true that she never would have been attacked without being married to Bill. But she received her own, very direct vitriol from the right. Rush Limbaugh was relentless.

    have been subjected to any number of heated lectures and discussions about “two-fers” and how having her back in the White House meant bringing HIM back

    I am sure that is true. But I am betting most were not with people who typically vote Democratic (although I sure some may have been).

    And, ultimately, the empirics trumps personal conversations. Bill is still pretty popular nationally, especially with Democrats–moreso than HRC.

    1