Describing a Donald Trump presidency in just one word


Landmine, shit, Canada.

Those are just a few of the words that popped into the minds of young people when they were asked to entertain the notion that Donald Trump might become president.

Fusion’s latest F2016 Poll asked 983 people ages 18 to 35 to describe their feelings about the potential of a Trump presidency in one word, and 920 answered. Not surprisingly, their answers were overwhelmingly negative: About 70% of respondents chose a word or phrase with negative connotations.

The most frequent answer was a variation of “scary/scared,” which 55 respondents chose. Another 46 respondents used some variation of the word “horror.” Thirty-nine volunteered the word “terrified” or “terrifying,” while 38 more simply responded with “no.”

One 18-year-old from New Jersey who will be voting for the first time this year chose “anguish” to describe a Trump presidency. A California woman in her 20s replied with “nausea.”

Some respondents did have positive reactions to the idea of Trump in the White House. Sixteen people chose the word “good,” the most frequently chosen positive response in the poll. The same number chose “OK” and “indifferent.” A 19-year-old from Ohio said he was “ecstatic.”

Other answers where less easy to decipher. An Oklahoma woman used the word “proudness” to describe a potential President Trump, which is either a failed attempt to remember the word “pride” or a callback to an out-of-use term meaning “arrogance and haughtiness.”

Five people managed to express ambivalence about both Trump and the parameters of the question by offering multiple-word answers like “I don’t care.” Another person appears to have narrated their experience trying to answer the question by responding with “thought processes.”

You can read the full analysis of the poll from Langer Research Associates here.

METHODOLOGY—This Fusion 2016 Issues Poll was conducted by landline and cell phone interviews June 1-14, 2016, among a random national sample of 983 adults age 18 to 35. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for the full sample, including the survey’s design effect. This survey was produced for Fusion by Langer Research Associates of New York, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS/Social Science Research Solutions of Media, Pa. See methodological details here.

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