This quote is remarkable.

“Trump is just insane,” said Joe Place, 57, a retired autoworker who is undecided. “I vote Democrat, but I can’t vote for Hillary. . . . I think she’s beholden to interests other than mine or the middle class.”

It comes from a WaPo story about Hillary Clinton's struggles to lock down parts of the Rust Belt and Upper Midwest despite broad dislike for Donald Trump in those areas. But even without that context, the quote is a striking window into how many people view the onrushing general election between Trump and Clinton — as a battle for last, a fight over who can be the least worst come Nov. 8.

Place thinks the presumptive Republican nominee to be president of the United States is "insane." But that lack of sanity isn't ensuring that he will vote for Clinton — even though he's a Democrat! Like I said: Remarkable.

There's lots of polling evidence to suggest that Joe Place isn't alone.

Polls have consistently shown that Trump and Clinton are the two least popular major party presumptive presidential nominees ever — and that's before the general election has even really turned nasty. The NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday paints a dire picture of the images of both Clinton and Trump.

Taken in a vacuum, Clinton's numbers would be disastrous and would launch 1,000 questions among Democrats and the media as to whether someone about whom only one in three voters feel positively could possibly win the White House. But as bad as Clinton's numbers are, Trump's are somehow worse! Less than three in 10 people in the NBC-WSJ poll have positive feelings about him.

There's a tendency to assume that such distaste-bordering-on-disgust with the two party's presidential nominees opens the door for the likes of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld, who are running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket.

Meh. There will be some people who turn to the third party options given how strongly they feel — and not in a good way — about Trump and Clinton. But presidential elections tend to be the ultimate example of (1) even soft partisans lining up in their respective party corners and (2) independents unwilling to throw away their ballot on a third party candidacy that looks more like a protest vote than a genuine contender.

What the remarkably bad numbers underlying the images of Clinton and Trump more likely mean is that the 2016 election will go down as one of the nastiest (and least substantive) in modern memory.  Knowing that they won't win by trying to convince people how great they are, both candidates and their campaigns will fully commit to tearing down the other in an attempt to be the last one standing on election night.

This is a race to the bottom between a man who voters wonder whether has any idea what he is doing and a woman whom they simply don't trust. Or, in Joe Place's construction, between a crazy person and someone he can't vote for. That isn't going to change.

The comforting thing for Clinton and Trump? One of them has to win. I think.