The final weeks of the election of 2016 have plummeted into uncharted territory as allegations from several women claim Donald Trump groped them, while new WikiLeaks revelations show a Clinton machine that toyed with the idea it could operate around the law.
"It is plummeting the American voter into a choice between two people they find very unappealing," said Terry Madonna, political science professor at Franklin and Marshall College.
"It is the most disgusting, dirty off-putting election of my lifetime," said Madonna. "We are looking at a presidential election that turns so many people off that the down-ballot races might outperform the presidential candidates in some states."
Polling shows the U.S. Senate majority in play, while the GOP will likely hold the majority in the House.
Point Park University student Amedea Baldoni said most of her friends are so underwhelmed by their choice they have no plans to vote, "People are not inspired and just turned off," she said.
The presidential turnout in 2012 between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was down 2 million votes from the 2008 change election contest between Obama and John McCain.
While the Romney-Obama was a particularly nasty campaign – most of the nastiness centered on ridiculing the policies of either man.
"Rarely did it go this low," said Madonna.
"The WikiLeaks revelations would be a very big story were it not for the media hyper-focus on allegations against Donald Trump," said Mark Rozell, dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government and Ruth D. and John T. Hazel chair in public policy at George Mason University.
"And to be sure, Trump's defensive and threatening responses have a way of escalating the media emphasis on the allegations against him rather than tamping them down," he said.
The result is turning voters off in a big way.
"It is hard to find anyway to make sense of a campaign when 90 percent of it is about the past and the personalities and much less about the policies moving forward," said Madonna.
They are not giving the voters any reason to turnout, "If you look at the most recent Gallup surveys a plurality of people are dissatisfied with the status of American politics, voters are deeply disturbed with politics as it is being engineered," Madonna said.
"I have never seen anything like this, not to the degree we seen now," said Lara Brown, political scientist and chair of George Washington University’s graduate school of Political Management. "It is hard to find any redeeming values about this election."
Brown predicts many voters will decide instead to vote third-party.
Madonna says anecdotally people come up to him regularly and tell him they have no plans to vote for either Trump or Clinton this year.
"The people who are voting are motivated because they hate the other candidate, not because they love the one they are voting for," he said.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll taken as Trump fought off accusations and Clinton faced the WikiLeaks revelations showed her leading by seven percentage points with 44 percent of likely voters support Clinton while 37 percent back Trump.
Salena Zito covers national politics for Newsmax.
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