69 Percent Say ‘President Trump’ Makes Them Anxious

(The Washington Post) -
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Nearly 7 in 10 Americans say the idea of Donald Trump becoming president makes them anxious, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that is the latest to reinforce the fact that the GOP front-runner faces clear obstacles to broadening his appeal in a general election.

The Post-ABC poll finds 69 percent of Americans feel anxious about a Trump presidency, while 3 in 10 are comfortable with the idea — both similar to a Post-ABC poll last month.

Few of the top presidential contenders inspire great comfort with the public at-large. Nearly half say they feel anxious about Ted Cruz as president (49 percent), while 48 percent say the same of Marco Rubio.

Among Democratic hopefuls, 51 percent of Americans say they are anxious about Hillary Clinton becoming president, while 43 percent are similarly concerned about Bernie Sanders in the White House. Sanders is the only candidate tested in the poll for whom a plurality — 50 percent — says they feel comfortable with as president. (Expect the Sanders campaign to push this number as they make their case that the democratic socialist is electable.)

Despite those tepid ratings, anxiety surrounding a Trump presidency exceeds all candidates by a wide margin, with the gap concentrated with intense concerns. The 51 percent who feel “very” anxious about Trump is significantly higher than Clinton (35 percent), Cruz (26), Sanders (24) or Rubio (18).

Greater anxiety over Trump owes both to larger concerns within his own party and beyond it, despite his substantial lead in national support for the nomination. The survey finds 44 percent of self-identified Republicans saying they are anxious about Trump becoming president, higher than his closest competitors Cruz (25 percent) and Rubio (28 percent).

The Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted Jan. 21 to 24 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults reached on landline and cellular phones. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.