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WaPo: Clinton's Unpopularity May Be Campaign's Biggest Challenge

WaPo: Clinton's Unpopularity May Be Campaign's Biggest Challenge
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 27 July 2015 01:57 PM

If getting elected president comes down to a popularity contest based on likability, Hillary Clinton’s chances are slim, according to Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza.

The former secretary of state’s national poll numbers have nearly imploded over the past eight months, he writes, citing Clinton’s "near Trump-ian" unfavorables in the early primary swing states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Despite leading among Republicans in many polls, outspoken real estate billionaire Donald Trump’s unfavorable ratings rose to 42 percent in a recent Economist/YouGov poll, according to Slate.

Clinton has received a barrage of negative press since announcing her candidacy, according to Cillizza, specifically the seemingly never-ending story surrounding the use of her private email account and server for official business during her tenure as secretary of state and questions about whether there was a quid pro quo of sorts at play for donors to the Clinton Foundation.

As Clinton’s star has dimmed, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' has begun to sparkle. The other Democrats in the race — former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee — trail considerably.

A recent Gallup poll found that Sanders' favorable rating has doubled since March — from 12 percent to 24 percent — while Clinton’s has fallen from 48 percent in April to 43 percent.

Her unfavorable rating has grown to 46 percent, "tilting her image negative and producing her worst net favorable score since December 2007," according to Gallup.

She still enjoys solidly favorable status among a majority of Democrats, though even those numbers have dropped from 79 percent in April to 74 percent.

NBC/Marist College polls
conducted polls in Iowa and New Hampshire and found that in the Hawkeye State, 23 percent more people viewed Clinton in an unfavorable light than a favorable one, and in New Hampshire it was 20 percent, according to Cillizza.

As campaigns heat up, pollsters expect candidates' favorability ratings to drop, but in Clinton’s case, "the pace of their drop and the depths to which they have fallen are surprising," according to Cillizza.

"Presidential politics tends to be dominated by personality and how people perceive their candidate choices," he writes. "These are the races least decided on paper; if they were, Mitt Romney would have beaten President Obama in 2012 and John Kerry would have defeated George W. Bush in 2004.

"For Clinton, these polls argue that she may be hard pressed to win a traditional presidential election in which likability matters most. To get to the White House, Clinton almost certainly needs to turn the choice into one about experience and readiness to do the job at hand. If it's a popularity contest, these early returns suggest she will lose."

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If getting elected president comes down to a popularity contest based on likability, Hillary Clinton's chances are slim, according to Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza.
hillary clinton, polls, likable, unpopularity
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2015-57-27
Monday, 27 July 2015 01:57 PM
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