By Pat Caddell, Scott Miller and Bob Perkins
Over the past five years, Armada Publishing has conducted national polling of United States voters. We’ve seen the rising anger, frustration and alienation of the American people from what they see as the corrupt political elite in Washington. Our latest poll, completed at the end of September shows those attitudes still rising. In fact, they are off the charts.
This election is still turbulent and still undecided. The only clarity is the overwhelming support for powerful leadership that will lead to radical political reform and an end to crony capitalism in Washington.
In fact, this new poll makes it clear just how volatile the final days of this campaign may be. Just thirty days from November 8, and it’s possible to predict a landslide that goes either way. It’s not just about those who declare themselves “undecided” to pollsters. It’s about another 20+% who are still uncommitted; they don’t really like either candidate or they like both candidates, and are still likely to vote on November 8th.
And our hypothetical “Candidate Smith” shows how to capture this uncommitted/undecided 30% of the electorate. Neither Donald Trump, nor Hillary Clinton have won the “Smith” vote. The winner of this segment will be the winner of the Presidential election. Of that “uncommitted” 30% of American voters, six in ten are favorable to Candidate Smith and the reform platform that Smith would bring to Washington. That platform is the foundation for victory in November.
First, look at the numbers on alienation from and anger toward our government, the establishment and political/media elite. As you read these numbers, remind yourself that this poll represents all voters, all party affiliation, all ages and every demographic.
• More than two thirds of voters (67.6%) believe America is on the wrong track. 62.9% believe the American way of life is changing for the worse, and 72.2% believe America is actually in decline.
• 83.7% believe that ordinary people are losing the power to influence our Government.
• 80.4% believe people with money and position play by different rules than the rest of us.
• 80.7% say they believe we have a “two-track economy,” where ordinary people struggle and the elites get the spoils.
• Do politicians even “care about people like me?” The answer is a resounding “no!” according to 69% of voters.
• 87.3% of American voters feel politicians and other elites like lobbyists, big business, big banks, big unions and big media rig the system to protect their own power and prestige,
• Both parties are seen as too beholden to special interests to help the middle class (75.5%). And that bipartisan corruption is seen as the reason the middle class economy is stuck in neutral (84.6% agree).
• 75.7%) believe the real struggle in this election is not between Democrats and Republicans, but between the political elites and mainstream Americans.
• According to America’s voting citizens, the status quo must go. 53.2% say they want big change in our government and economy. And the “old way” versus “radical change” loses by 77.8% to 18.7%.
• 83.4% say the economic policies of both parties have failed the middle class. 75.5% say the two parties are too beholden to special interests to do what’s right for the American people.
In an election in which both major candidates are seen unfavorably by American voters, Candidate Smith – an outsider with no political experience and a platform of reform for Washington, DC -- is seen favorably by 75.7% of all voters. Among those who are unfavorable to both candidates, Smith’s favorable rating is over 80%.
• The Smith reform platform has overwhelming support. 73.5% agree we must “fix the broken political system first,” before we take on the other challenges facing our country
These voters who are unfavorable to Clinton and Trump, but favorable to Smith believe even more strongly than other voters that our country is on the wrong track, that we need change from President Obama’s policies and that the economic policies of both parties have failed.
In an environment of disappointment and dismay, the reform policies of Candidate Smith offer hope to American voters. And they offer a path to victory for the candidate who can adopt and communicate them to the American people. In thirty days we’ll learn whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton has been able tap into the strength of Candidate Smith.