MU expert on political elections: “A lot of people are dissatisfied with the choices they are offered”


If you’re feeling less than impressed with the presidential candidates, research shows you are not alone. Pew Research Center found that 63% of Americans are dissatisfied with the candidates who have emerged so far. Peverill Squire, a University of Missouri political science professor, says there is a reason for that.

“I think a lot of people are dissatisfied with the choices they’re offered,” he said. “That’s true in most elections. Occasionally, we have a particularly popular politician, but that’s relatively rare. I think, for the most part, people tend to reflect how they’re feeling about their personal situations.”

Squire says people tend to reflect how they are feeling about their personal situations when they hit the polls.

“People are under a lot of stress right now,” said Squire. “Even though the economy, by most measures, is going well. There’s still inflation. There’s still people feeling pressed about the cost of housing and the cost of food and so that all plays into their disposition about politics and politicians.”

That same study has also found that there has been a downward trend in views of the quality of all political candidates, not just those who want to run for our nation’s highest office. About 26% rate the quality of political candidates as very or somewhat good.

This dissatisfaction could impact election results.

“You can seize on a host of different social issues where we have wide differences among Americans and that just plays into this sense that people are, at this point, not as happy as they have been in the past,” according to Squire.

Interestingly, the study found that Americans’ top descriptions for the current state of politics include “divisive” and “corrupt.”

Copyright 2023, Missourinet.

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