But the Recent Unpleasantness has highlighted a variation on this theme: the major party protest candidate. That is, a major party candidate who convinces a meaningful number of voters that "a vote for me is a vote for none-of-the-above."
Tuesday's exit polls yield some intriguing evidence that Donald Trump's ability to position himself as the none-of-the-above candidate in the minds of some voters played a material role in his success. Specifically, voters expressing dissatisfaction with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump opted for Trump by huge margins.
According to exit polls reported by CNN:
- 18% of voters held negative opinions of both Clinton and Trump. Those individuals voted for Trump by a margin of 20 points (49% to 29%).
- 14% of voters said that neither Clinton nor Trump was "qualified" to be President. They voted for Trump by a 54 point margin (69% to 15%).
- 14% of voters said that neither Clinton nor Trump had the "temperament" to be President. They voted for Trump by a 59 point margin (71% to 12%).
Of course, it's a con. A vote for Donald Trump turns out to have been a vote for Donald Trump. Ha ha. Take that, America!