Poll: Voters feel 'under attack,' leaders 'don't care'

Poll: Voters feel 'under attack,' leaders 'don't care'

(CNN pool photo)

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(CNN) — Americans are anxious and deeply dissatisfied, seven months ahead of the 2016 election, according to a new poll.

Majorities — and supporters of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump in particular — described themselves as "under attack" and agreeing that "public officials don't care much what people like me think," a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday said.

The widespread unease is stronger among supporters of insurgent presidential campaigns by Trump and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, though majorities in both parties express apprehension and institutional mistrust.

About 3-in-4 voters of U.S. voters — across party lines — agree that "public officials don't care much what people like me think," the poll said. That's true of 84 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of Democrats. Among Donald Trump supporters, 90 percent agree with the statement, and among Sanders supporters its 75 percent.

Capturing the deep angst moving the 2016 electorate, the poll found that 62 percent of voters agree that their "beliefs and values are under attack."

This question was more divided along party lines, as 85 percent of Republicans agreed with the statement while just 40 percent of Democrats did. About 91 percent of Trump supporters agreed, compared to about 45 percent of Sanders supporters — and 33 percent of supporters of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Voters also expressed a sense of economic insecurity, as 57 percent "strongly" or "somewhat" agreed that they are "falling further and further behind economically." About 67 percent of Republicans agreed compared to 48 percent of Democrats, and 78 percent of Trump voters "strongly" agreed.

Trump's brash and disruptive style — and, to a lesser degree, anti-establishment crusading — also appear to be well suited to the mood of the current electorate.

Majorities of voters agreed that "we need a leader who is willing to say or do anything to solve America's problems," "the old way of doing things no longer works and we need radical change" and "leaders don't worry about what other people say, they follow their own path."

More Republicans than Democrats agreed with these statements, however, while Trump supporters again stood out, agreeing with each at over 80 percent.

The poll surveyed 1,451 voters nationwide between March 16-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

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David Wright


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