Hillary Clinton’s Favorability Declines Except Among Partisan Democrats Who Ignore The Problem She Poses


The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll continues to show the trend of a decline in how Hillary Clinton is viewed:

Fully, 53 percent have an unfavorable impression of her, the highest since April 2008 in Post-ABC surveys. That mark is eight percentage points higher than in July, though not as far from a Post-ABC poll in late May (49 percent). Intense views also run clearly against Clinton, with almost twice as many having a “strongly unfavorable” view of her (39 percent) as “strongly favorable” (21 percent).

Concerns about Clinton’s falling popularity have fed uncertainty among Democrats about her electability, as well as speculation that Vice President Biden will challenge her for the Democratic nod. But the Post-ABC poll finds Biden’s image before starting a campaign is far from stellar, at 46 percent favorable to 46 percent unfavorable.

What’s more, among fellow Democrats, Clinton boasts a higher favorability rating of 80 percent to Biden’s 70 percent. Both Biden and Clinton garner favorable ratings above 80 percent among liberal Democrats, but among moderate and conservative Democrats, Clinton’s 3-to-1 positive ratio outstrips Biden’s 2-to-1. Clinton is also more popular with Democrats than Donald Trump or Jeb Bush among their base; each candidate’s favorable ratings among Republicans stand below 60 percent.

Biden’s edge in popularity over Clinton is due to better ratings among independents and Republicans. Fully 26 percent of Republicans report a favorable view of him — similar to Clinton’s 31 percent favorable rating in January before she entered the presidential race. After four months of campaigning, though, just 13 percent of Republicans now give Clinton positive marks — a drop Biden could also suffer if he joins the presidential fray.

While Clinton’s support has dropped nationally, making it increasingly questionable if she can win a general election campaign, she remains highly popular among partisan Democrats. This gives her a tremendous edge for winning the nomination, although things could change from a combination of the debates and if she suffers early losses in Iowa and New Hampshire to Bernie Sanders.

At this point it remains unknown if Joe Biden will enter the race.

Many Democrats continue to support Clinton for positions which they have long-opposed when coming from Republicans. Many Democrats also remain ignorant of the magnitude of the email and Foundation scandals, incorrectly thinking they are more Republican nonsense like Benghazi and Whitewater. Clinton is now sounding remarkably like Richard Nixon at the height of Watergate.

The scandals could lead to a rude awakening in a general election campaign when Republicans flood the  media with attacks on Clinton. Unlike with Benghazi, or the Swift Boat Liars, these attacks will be based upon the truth, with the fact checkers this time supporting the arguments of the Republicans over the Democratic nominee. It is far too early to predict what will happen in a general election campaign, with the Republicans having considerable negatives of their own, but I fear that Clinton could not only cause the loss of the White House, but also bring down many other Democratic candidates running down-ticket if she is the nominee. Fortunately Democrats do have a viable alternative in Bernie Sanders, whose support goes beyond partisan Democrats and has a better chance of winning a general election campaign.

1 Comment

  1. 1
    Mike Hatcher says:

    I'm not  sure it will be a big boost, but I'm pretty sure a debate is going to help Bernie with name recognition and popularity, while Hillary's safe, predictable, and insincere rhetoric will only draw more away from her.  Her best hope in a debate is that perhaps O'Mally does well enough to siphon some off of those that would have been attracted to Bernie.

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