Poll reveals how stressed Americans are over elections

The race to win the White House has been wearing Americans down in the days leading up to the US election, triggering a level of anxiety never seen before, according to American Psychological Association.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

The US presidential race between (L) Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be over soon, however this is not soon enough for some Americans, Las Vegas, Nevada, US, October 19, 2016. Image: AP.

More than half of the population of the United States (US) are highly stressed out by one of the most heated contests in recent years, according to a recent Harris Poll on behalf of the American Psychological Association (APA).

There are only a few days left for the US presidential elections, however this is not soon enough for some Americans who have grown tired of the full-throttle campaign and the cut-throat tactics of the candidates.

"People are always somewhat stressed during elections but I've never seen it this extreme," said Los Angeles-area psychologist, Judi Bloom.

For months on end, Republican candidate Donald Trump has harshly criticised President Barack Obama on a range of topics, such as his policies on health care, Syria or trade, deeming them a “disaster”.

He has also made repeated warnings that the country would be led to “catastrophe” if his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton were to be elected.

The intense campaign the two front-runners have decided to lead, has increased angst among Americans, file photo. Image: Reuters.

He has also taken a stab at migrants, saying they were “rapists” and “criminals”, and warned that they are trying to slip into the United States through the border with Mexico.

He also said that he wants to build a wall to keep migrants out, and that terrorists are hiding among Syrian refugees.

Clinton has been just as aggressive as her contester, saying Trump is “unstable” and has the potential of starting nuclear war for something as little as somebody getting under “his very thin skin.”

She denounced him over allegations of groping and sexually assaulting women - charges he vehemently denies.

"It's a very negative campaign, with candidates accusing each other of lying, saying the election is rigged and it generates a sense of hopelessness, of 'this is the end my friend,'" Bloom said.

Robert Bright, a psychiatrist in Arizona, said he had not seen this level of anxiety among Americans since the September 11 attacks or the financial crisis.

Image courtesy of: American Psychological Association.

"Just yesterday, I saw a woman who had trouble sleeping at night," he told AFP.

"Another patient who is very ill joked that the good thing about dying is that he will not have to watch any more political commercials."

The 2016 front runners have been opting for a more fierce campaign in the race to win the White House, which has increased angst among Americans.

Americans are worried about "their financial safety, for the national security, terrorist attacks, there’s a fear of the ‘other,’” Bright said.

He added that at the top of Republicans’ list of concerns, was the future makeup of the US Supreme Court, where the next president will likely appoint more than three new justices to lifetime seats.

Republicans are also concerned about losing control of both houses of Congress and are fearful for the future of their party, which has been left in tatters.

However, the Psychological Association noted that “life will go on” no matter what the results of the November 8 vote show.  

"Our political system and the three branches of government mean that we can expect a significant degree of stability immediately after a major transition of government," it said.

The Harris Poll conducts polls that reflect Americans’ opinions on a wide range of topics and are regularly published by national, local, consumer, business and trade media outlets.

TRTWorld and agencies