Is it an exaggeration to say that Donald Trump is the least popular presidential candidate in a generation? Only slightly. According to an analysis of ABC/Washington Post polling over the last three decades, there is only one presidential candidate who has been less popular than Trump: David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard.
The post found that 67% of voters currently have an unfavorable view of Trump, compared to just 31% who view him favorably and 2% who have no opinion. Over the last 30 years, that same poll’s record for a presidential candidate with the highest unfavorable rating was David Duke, who beat Trump by just two percentage points with a 69% unfavorable rating in 1992. That was the year that the white nationalist ran for the Republican nomination against the wishes of the party and received less than 1% of the primary vote.
Earlier this year, Duke encouraged his supporters to vote for Trump or risk committing “treason to your heritage.” Trump drew criticism from both the left and right when he declined to disavow those comments in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd. (He later denounced the white supremacist and his support.)
While Trump’s unfavorability inches toward an historic high, two of Trump’s rivals, Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, are also having trouble. Cruz has an unfavorable rating of 53% with only 36% of voters viewing him favorably. Clinton has a similarly high unfavorable rating at 52%, but with 46% of voters viewing her favorably.
In 1984, the same poll found Walter Mondale had an unfavorability rating of 49%, just one month before that year’s election against incumbent president Ronald Reagan. He went on to famously lose every state in that election, except for his home state of Minnesota.