I've been following the political moods, for my Cat President game.
I think one of the major political moods is "angry and frustrated". People are unhappy with the government, for a lot of reasons. The economy is bad, college is expensive and increasingly less useful, it's hard to find jobs, and wages have been stagnant for decades. The politicians in the government are too busy fighting with each other, to address the country's issues. For the past few years, Congress has been setting new records for "least amount of work done in a year". Whenever one party tries to get something passed, the other party immediately blocks it. The problem is exasperated, because more politicians are voting along party lines all the time, as opposed to working with the other side and reaching a consensus.
I think the budget problems this year are the perfect example. It was a huge, drawn out production, in which both sides threatened to shut down the government, multiple times, because they'd rather see the US Government crash and burn, than let the other party write a budget. President Obama gave them an emergency ten-week budget extension, and what was the final solution? "Eh, we'll just copy/paste the current budget for two years and let the next Congress deal with it."
Yeah, all that fighting, for nothing.
So people are kind of mad at the government right now. I think that's why the non-politicians are doing so well in the current Presidential election. Donald Trump, Ben Carson (and Carly Fiorina, to a lesser extent) are the candidates with no political experience. They are outsiders, in a field of lifetime politicians. That's normally a recipe for disaster, but in this case, it's great news for them, because people are sick and tired of politicians. Put their poll numbers together, and those three have the majority of the vote, in addition to a commanding lead.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is riding the same wave of "frustrated with the government" popularity. Like Trump, he's anti-establishment, and he's not afraid to break the norms and standards of his political party. For example, they both want to go after the billionaires on Wall Street. They refuse to be funded by super-PACs and influenced by lobbyist money. They're considered to be "tough guys", not huggy, friendly folks. They also both have crazy hair and say outrageous things that politicians normally don't say, but that's probably a coincidence.
Trump and Sanders are currently dominating, when it comes to support from young voters, because they're different from the others. Another Bush/Clinton election means business as usual; they pretty much have the exact same policies as their relatives did in the 1992 Bush/Clinton election. If you want to see something different from what we have now? Trump and Sanders are your best bet.
There's been a lot of backlash against the anti-establishment candidates. The media keeps trying to portray Ben Carson as a liar and an idiot, while Bernie Sanders is portrayed as a crazy old man who doesn't understand economics. Donald Trump is getting the worst of it, since mainstream Democrats AND Republicans want to see his campaign crash and burn. Of course, he kind of makes it easy for them to insult him and his campaign, but all the criticism in the world doesn't seem to be working. His campaign is still chugging along, at the top of the race.