"Jerk," "idiot," "buffoon": Voters choose brutal words to describe Donald Trump

"Dumb" and "stupid" are invectives apparently not just reserved for The Donald's use

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published September 30, 2015 8:42PM (EDT)

Donald Trump may be riding high in the Republican presidential primary polls but he is not held in high esteem by most Americans, according to a new Suffolk University/USA Today poll.

The national survey found 23 percent support for Trump, with fellow political neophytes Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina tying for second place at 13 percent. Meanwhile, former Florida governor Jeb Bush's support dropped from 14 percent in the last survey to just 8 percent.

Clearly a good showing for Trump, right? Well, only superficially at best, as a deeper dive into the numbers reveals real issues for the frontrunner.

Trump, for his part, clearly hadn't read the entire poll when he tweeted his excitement:

“Trump is the Jekyll and Hyde candidate — strong when among conservative voters but viewed much differently once Democrats and independents are in the mix,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said in a statement explaining the results.

When 1,000 Republicans, Democrats and Independents were asked to describe Trump in word, the results were hardly flattering.

9.8 percent of respondents described Trump with either "idiot," "jerk," "stupid," or "dumb." Another 5.6 percent described him as "crazy/nuts," with 4.7 percent using the words "buffoon/clown/comical/joke" to describe The Donald.

The most commonly used positive descriptor for Trump was "opinionated," "outspoken," or "frank" at 3.1 percent.

Here is the full breakdown of one word responses to describe the GOP frontrunner and as you can see, they follow a similar sentiment:

9.8% — "Idiot/Jerk/Stupid/Dumb"
6.0% — "Arrogant"
5.6% — "Crazy/Nuts"
4.7% — "Buffoon/Clown/Comical/Joke"
4.3% — "Unfavorable/Dislike him"
4.1% — "Egotistical/Narcissist/Selfish"
3.8% — "Bombastic/Showoff/Pompous"
3.1% — "Outspoken/Frank/Opinionated"
2.9% — "Entertaining/Entertainer"
2.7% — "Businessman/Successful"
2.7% — "Honest/Trustworthy/Truthful"
2.7% — "Cunning/Untrustworthy/Dishonest"
2.6% — "Blow hard/Boisterous"
2.6% — "Favorable/Like him"
1.8% — "Exhilarating/Exciting/Ballsy"
1.7% — "Aggressive"
1.5% — "Blunt/Brash"
1.4% — "Big mouth/Mouthy"
1.3% — "Unqualified/Incompetent"
1.2% — "Bully"
1.2% — "Disgusting/Despicable/Horrible"
1.1% — "Bigot/Racist"
1.1% — "Intelligent"
1.1% — "Rich"
1.0% — "Bold/Brave"
0.9% — "Obnoxious"
0.9% — "Ridiculous"
0.8% — "Different"
0.8% — "Competent/Capable/Intelligent"
0.7% — "Rude"
0.7% — "Leader"
0.6% — "Confident"
0.5% — "Scary"
0.4% — "Ignorant"
11.2% — Other
10.5% — Don't know/refused

Trump’s favorability was the lowest of the 10 candidates polled, standing at 27 percent. 61 percent of all voters also said they disapprove of him.

Trump words

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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