Press Releases

Reputation Institute releases 2016 Presidential Election RepTrak® study

Sanders Leads, Trump Trails Among Candidates for President in New Reputation Survey

Despite ‘weak’ overall Pulse score, Vermont senator leads Rubio, Cruz, Clinton and real estate mogul in survey measuring voters’ emotional connection to candidates

Press release: BOSTON – Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has the strongest emotional connection to U.S. voters among presidential candidates, according to the 2016 Presidential Election RepTrak® study released today by Reputation Institute, but all candidates suffer from major reputational weaknesses.

“Regardless of political party, a presidential candidate’s success in November will require him or her to build a strong emotional bond with voters,” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, VP of U.S. Strategy Consulting. “By measuring the public’s perception on seven dimensions of leadership, the Presidential Election RepTrak® provides the most comprehensive analysis of voter sentiments available, providing a deeper understanding of not only who voters support, but why.”

The monthly 2016 Presidential Election RepTrak® study evaluates the U.S. general public’s perceptions of the candidates’ platforms across seven reputational dimensions: economic growth, national security, education and innovation, global relations, health and wellness, social investment and executive leadership. It is based on a survey of 1,524 Americans, with an analytical focus on registered voters.

The March data show that Sanders, a Democrat, leads all candidates, albeit with a “weak” Pulse score of 58.2 out of a possible 100. Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, and Democrat Hillary Clinton also earned “weak” scores of 47.3, 41.8 and 40.7, respectively. Republican businessman Donald Trump was the only candidate to earn a “poor” overall Pulse score, with 29.3.

“The data highlight the intense partisanship of the 2016 presidential campaign, with each candidate evoking visceral feelings of love or hate,” Hahn-Griffiths said. “The majority of respondents either give candidates an ‘excellent’ or a ‘poor’ score, and no single candidate is currently positioned with a strong reputation or deep-seated appeal across the general public.”

Even among his or her own party, no candidate fares better than “average.” Sanders and Clinton earned average Pulse scores of 68.5 and 63.9, respectively, among Democrats. Cruz, Rubio and Trump all scored “weak” among Republicans, with Pulse scores of 59.8, 59.3 and 43.6, respectively.

The Presidential Election RepTrak® study is based on the same approach to reputation measurement at the foundation of Reputation Institute’s Global RepTrak®, Country RepTrak® and City RepTrak®, among

other studies focused on the general public’s perceptions of companies, countries and cities around the world. The Presidential RepTrak® will be updated monthly between now and September 2016.

The full data can be found online at About Reputation Institute

Reputation Institute (RI) is the world’s leading consulting and advisory firm for reputation. RI enables many of the world’s leading companies to make more confident business decisions that build and protect reputation capital, analyze risk and sustainability topics, and drive competitive advantage. RI’s most prominent management tool is the RepTrak® model for analyzing the reputations of companies and institutions — best known via the Global RepTrak® 100, the world’s largest and most comprehensive study of corporate reputations, as well as Country RepTrak® and City RepTrak® studies that look at reputation across organizations within a given geography.

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Press Releases

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