Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's favorability rating among Americans has plummeted to a new all-time low, a new Gallup poll reveals.
A random sample of U.S. adults identifying as Democrats or independents found only 41 percent having a favorable opinion of the former secretary of state, while 51 percent hold an unfavorable view.
"Clinton's deflated favorable rating reflects the challenging political environment she has faced recently," Gallup said in announcing the results.
"Her use of a private server and email account as secretary of state remains an ongoing controversy and has prompted congressional and FBI investigations."
According to Gallup, Clinton's latest rating is almost as low as it was in March 2001 — after her first months as a U.S. senator from New York.
"Perhaps more importantly, it was also after controversial pardons that her husband, President Bill Clinton, granted at the end of his presidency, and after the Clintons took furnishings and other gifts that were White House property when they left," Gallup said.
Clinton's favorability peaked at 67 percent in December 1998. Her favorability improved during her term as a senator, going as high as 58 percent in 2007.
Gallup said that as secretary of state, Clinton's favorability rating never plunged below 60 percent. But it has been sliding this year as the email scandal continues to dog her campaign.
Clinton does remain well-liked among Democrats and independents who lean Democratic, which Gallup says is "the key audience she needs to appeal to in a Democratic primary." She had a 74 percent favorability rating among them. Among Democrats, Clinton also remains far ahead Sen. Bernie Sanders.
"As Clinton continues to field inquiries from the media and government into her email use as secretary of state, her favorable rating among national adults has fallen to near-record lows," Gallup concludes.
"But she remains generally liked among Democrats themselves, so it is still an open question as to whether media reports of her email situation will have an effect on her ability to obtain the Democratic presidential nomination."
"Nonetheless, if Clinton's national image problem persists, this may cause concern for Democratic voters looking to back a nominee who can win the general election."
The poll was based on phone interviews conducted Aug. 19-Sept. 1, with a random sample of up to 1,000 U.S. adults. The margin of sampling error is ±6 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.
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