It's the land of the free and the home of the brave, but voters are not feeling so great about America on the eve of the presidential election.
A majority of Americans – 62 percent - say they are less proud of America as a result of the 2016 presidential contest, while only seven percent say they are more proud of the country because of the race.
The numbers are a grim reminder of the nation’s mood despite the history that will be made regardless of the outcome on Tuesday night. Hillary Clinton would be the first female president of the United States, leading a global superpower that denied women the right to vote less than a century ago. And business magnate Donald Trump would be the truest outsider ever elected, serving as the first president in American history to have no previous political or military experience.
But the history-making potential of both candidates has been overshadowed by the record-breaking unpopularity of the two nominees. Only 33 percent of voters view Trump positively, while 59 percent view him negatively. For Clinton, it’s 38 percent positive and 53 percent negative.
The data are also particularly stark compared to 2008, when voters had a choice between the first black presidential nominee, Barack Obama, or a widely-respected war hero, John McCain. In the final NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll before the 2008 election, 34 percent of voters said they were more proud of their country because of the presidential race, 45 percent said their pride in the country had not changed, and just 12 percent said they were less proud of the United States because of the election.
In the latest poll, Clinton voters expressed more pessimism about their pride in the country than those voting for Trump. Almost three-quarters – 74 percent – of Clinton voters said they are less proud of America as a result of the election, compared to 49 percent of Trump voters who said the same. But both groups were about equally unlikely -- just nine percent for Trump supporters and six percent for Clinton voters -- to say they are now more proud of America.
In addition to gloominess about what the presidential election illustrates about the state of the nation, most Americans have a bleak view of the press’s ability to fairly referee the clash.
Just 29 percent of respondents said that the news media mostly gave fair and balanced coverage of the election, while a total of 66 percent said that the press attempted to influence the outcome. Forty-four percent suggested that the news media used its clout to influence the election in favor of Clinton, while nine percent said Trump was the benefactor of media bias.