But while it's tempting to conclude the typical American is dissatisfied with both Clinton and Trump, a Washington Post-ABC News poll points to a different result: A clear majority are actually okay with at least one of the two major-party candidates, though few are comfortable with both of them.
Most Americans, 65 percent, are comfortable with at least one of the two candidates most likely to occupy the White House. Only 6 percent are comfortable with both candidates, while 20 percent are only comfortable with Trump and a larger 39 percent are only comfortable with Clinton.
The finding that most are satisfied with at least one candidate is driven by the simple fact that Americans have clear party leanings and tend to be comfortable with their party's candidate. About two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are comfortable with Clinton and anxious about Trump (66 percent), while 44 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are comfortable with Trump and anxious about Clinton (more on that disparity in a moment).
A significant minority of Americans are anxious about both candidates — 30 percent — a number that peaks at a striking 48 percent among those under age 30, and is also higher among whites (34 percent) and women (33 percent).
Double anxiety is concentrated among political independents (37 percent are anxious about both), but it's prevalent within partisan ranks as well, especially among those who favored a losing candidate in the primaries. Among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who wanted a non-Trump candidate to win the nomination, 55 percent say they are anxious about both Clinton and Trump. A smaller but still substantial 39 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who wanted Sanders to win the party's nod report being anxious about both major-party candidates.
Altogether, self-identified Republicans (excluding independents who lean Republican) are more than twice as likely to be anxious about both Trump and Clinton than Democrats (40 percent vs. 16 percent). This is almost entirely because more Republicans say they are anxious about Trump becoming president (47 percent) than Democrats say about Clinton (19 percent).
In line with heightened Republican anxiety, registered voters who are anxious about both major-party nominees favor Trump by 12 percentage points over Clinton if the election were held today: 44 percent to 32 percent. A significant 13 percent say they would support neither candidate, 6 percent mention that they would vote for someone else, 4 percent would not vote and 2 percent have no opinion.
The poll finds a mixed result for third-party candidates hoping to capitalize on voters turned off by both major parties. More than 3 in 10 voters (31 percent) who are anxious about both Trump and Clinton say they are seriously considering a third-party candidate for president — higher than the 18 percent of voters overall — though a 62-percent majority are not looking for a third-party option at this point.
Only 8 percent of voters who are anxious about Clinton and Trump volunteer Libertarian Gary Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein when asked specifically what third-party candidate they are considering, but the two fare better when mentioned explicitly as options. Johnson pulls 15 percent of the doubly anxious vote (vs. 7 percent among all voters) while Stein garners 8 percent (vs. 3 percent overall).
Third-party candidates' support in polls can be fleeting, and tends to fall off by Election Day. In past elections, the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans have put their anxieties aside and voted in favor of their party's candidate — as more than 90 percent did in 2012.
The Post-ABC poll was conducted June 20-23 among a random national sample of 1,001 adults reached on cellular and landline phones. The margin of sampling error for results is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.