Democrats in early states are divided about whether Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign should be concerned about polls indicating that her unfavorability rating is at its highest in years.
According to a weekly survey by Politico
of bipartisan activists in Iowa and New Hampshire, 50 percent say there's cause for concern while the other 50 percent say there is no reason for alarm.
"Twenty-plus Republicans beating her up, Elizabeth Warren talking about the working man issues that terrify her, a couple of candidates like Bernie [Sanders] and Martin [O'Malley] to fill in her policy blanks and a media that feels stiffed by her lack of access, so all we can focus on is emails and the notorious Clinton Foundation and newly acquired wealth that suggests, at a minimum, the appearance of impropriety," said one New Hampshire Democrat of her falling favorability ratings.
"Frankly, if Hillary could step back (and) look at herself, she would rate herself unfavorably as well."
A CNN/ORC poll
found that Clinton's unfavorability ratings were the highest of the past 14 years. And another poll by The Washington Post and ABC News
found that Clinton's favorability was just 45 percent, her lowest since April 2008.
According to those surveyed by Politico, her favorability ratings reflect the hits she has taken from unflattering stories about donations to the Clinton Foundation, as well as the controversy surrounding her use of a private email server while at the State Department.
"Emails, Clinton Foundation, etc," a New Hampshire Democrat told Politico. "She is taking the initial barrage from the punditocracy trying to frame the narrative of the race — which is largely about process and character, not very much about issues — and because she is not taking the bait, she's in a little bit of a roper-doper strategy right now. I think she needs to go on offense."
But many insiders say her falling poll numbers are the effect of becoming a candidate rather than an officeholder, and also noted that she still does better than Republican candidates in the polls.
"Any candidate facing waves of partisan attacks for weeks on end sees the impact in their numbers, but the list of folks capable of sustaining this kind of a barrage and still looking this good is very small," said one Democrat from New Hampshire, according to Politico.
In addition, three-quarters of Democrats questioned by Politico said that Clinton is generating the right amount of excitement about her campaign, particularly among women, despite the rise of negative ratings.
"Regular people, particularly women of all age groups, are beyond excited about this candidacy," a New Hampshire Democrat said, according to Politico.
"Sufficient is the right choice of words," another New Hampshire Democrat told Politico. "Hillary is, and remains, solid in the eyes of Democrats."
At the same time, among Republicans questioned by Politico, 94 percent said her campaign should be concerned by the polls and 91 percent said they are not witnessing much enthusiasm about her candidacy.
"Hillary Clinton is this cycle's version of Bob Dole. It's her turn but holy sh**!" one New Hampshire Republican told Politico.
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