Think about all the things you look for in a presidential candidate: a solid economic plan. Maybe some foreign policy experience. And how about insatiable bloodlust and multiple rows of serrated teeth?
As it turns out, the shark from the Jaws movies has better favorability numbers than any politician included in the latest Washington Post-ABC News survey. Ditto for The Terminator. Same for Darth Vader.
You can see it all this chart, which tracks the net favorability of presidential candidates (the favorable ratings minus the unfavorable ratings). It plots favorability ratings from the latest Post-ABC News and Quinnipiac polls against a survey we did of Internet users about their feelings toward four of Hollywood's favorite villains.
The real-world surveys show that the overwhelming majority of presidential candidates are running negative favorability scores. Quinnipiac has Bernie Sanders at +1 overall, although that's partly because 62 percent of Americans say they haven't heard enough about him to form an opinion. The closest Republican is Marco Rubio — the same number of Americans say they view him positively as those who view him negatively, meaning his score nets out to exactly zero. Clinton and Obama are tied at -4.
And it's all downhill from there, all the way down to Donald Trump. Only 15 percent of Americans view him favorably, compared to 71 percent who have a negative opinion. That gives him a net favorability of -56, more than twice as bad as the next-lowest candidate, Chris Christie, with his -26 score.
To put some context behind these numbers, I ran a few Google Consumer Survey questions on famous movie villains. I worded them as similarly as possible to the Post survey for maximum comparability, although to be clear: We are comparing fictional people/robots/animals/wizards with real ones here, so let's try not to take any of this too seriously.
Among the movie monsters, the Terminator polls best. This makes a certain amount of sense, since the most famous Terminator was played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who later gave a convincing performance as governor of California. (And the Terminator became a good guy.)
Only one of the villains — Voldemort, the evil wizard from the Harry Potter series — has a lower favorability rating than some of the candidates. You'll recall that Voldemort killed Harry Potter's parents, fed his enemies to a giant snake, and tortured and killed muggles just for fun. But he's still polling better than Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie and Donald Trump.
The GOP field has become so large and unwieldy that Fox News is only allowing 10 candidates to participate in the first debate to be held this August. Fox could make things simpler by narrowing the field even further, allowing only the candidates who are currently polling better than Lord Voldemort.
After all: How are you going to defeat ISIS on the battleground if you can't beat a fictional wizard without a nose?