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The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

The Intersection of Insight and Journalism

The Frustrated Public: Views of the 2016 Campaign, the Parties, and the Electoral Process

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research conducted a national survey of 1,060 adults, using AmeriSpeak, finding that Americans lack faith in their political parties and the presidential nominating process.

​Seventy percent of Americans say they feel frustrated about this year's presidential election, including roughly equal proportions of Democrats and Republicans, according to a recent national poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. More than half feel helpless and a similar percent are angry. 

Nine in 10 Americans lack confidence in the country's political system, and among a normally polarized electorate, there are few partisan differences in the public's lack of faith in the political parties, the nominating process, and the branches of government.

Americans do not see either the Republicans or the Democrats as particularly receptive to new ideas or the views of the rank-and-file membership. However, the candidacy of Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination is more likely to be viewed as good for his party than Donald Trump's bid for the Republican Party. 

The nationwide poll of 1,060 adults used the AmeriSpeak® Omnibus, a monthly multi-client survey using NORC at the University of Chicago's probability based panel. Interviews were conducted between May 12 and 15, 2016, online and using landlines and cellphones.

Three Things You Should Know
From The AP-NORC Center's Poll on the health of the electoral system:
Among all American Adults:

  1. Nine in 10 Americans lack confidence in the country's political system, and 4 in 10 say the two-party system is seriously broken.
  2. While 65 percent of the public is interested in the 2016 presidential campaign, 70 percent of Americans are frustrated by this year's election. 
  3. Few Americans say either party is particularly receptive to new ideas or responsive to the views of ordinary voters.