NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a joint poll today which found that Hillary Clinton’s popularity has declined significantly since the 2016 election and is now at a new low. From the WSJ:
Right before the election, the share of people who viewed Hillary Clinton unfavorably was 10 points larger than those with a favorable view of her, according to the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll — a bigger gap than any other recent losing presidential candidate. Our latest poll is a reminder of just how unusual a figure Mrs. Clinton is in terms of her unpopularity.
Historical WSJ/NBC polling shows that recent losing presidential candidates — Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Kerry and Al Gore — experienced post-election declines in positive sentiment. But Mrs. Clinton’s dropoff is a bit steeper–her positive rating is at a new low of 27%, compared with 52% who have a negative opinion. That spread of 25 percentage points is greater than President Trump’s, who is under water by 18 points.
Her negative numbers make her something of a natural target for Republicans who want to associate their opponents with her as the party heads into a potentially difficult midterm election this fall. In doing so, they have managed to put some vulnerable Democrats in states Mr. Trump easily won, like Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, on the defensive. That was driven home last month when Democrats took distance from comments Mrs. Clinton, attending a conference in India, made about middle-American Trump voters.
So Hillary was 10-points underwater before the election but is 25-points underwater now. What could explain that? I don’t think it’s much of a mystery. Before the 2016 election, Hillary told Vox’s Ezra Klein, “When I have a job, I have really high approval ratings.” She added, “When I’m secretary of state, I have [a] 66 percent approval rating. And then I seek a job, I run for a job, and all of the discredited negativity comes out again, and all of these arguments and attacks start up.”
So even Hillary admits that when she’s campaigning her approval rating tanks. Hillary’s problem is that she never stopped campaigning. I’m being semi-serious about this. After the election, there were public appearances offering a myriad of excuses for her loss. Then she published a book putting the excuses for her loss in writing. Then she went on a book tour regaling her fans with the excuses for her loss found in the book.
She also made clear that she intended to continue having a say in politics through her Onward Together organization. And then there were the campaign-like gaffes, such as her announcement last September that women were succumbing to pressure from men in their lives not to vote for a woman candidate. So much for the ability of feminists to stand up for themselves, I guess. Doug Schoen, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 campaign said last September that it was time for Hillary to step off the stage. She didn’t take the hint.
Just last month Hillary said she won the election in places that weren’t “looking backward” thereby reviving the whole “basket of deplorables” statement which was one of the low points of her campaign. Even Patti Solis Doyle, Clinton’s former campaign manager, threw Clinton under the bus saying, “This was bad. I can’t sugarcoat it.” Doyle warned that elected Democrats were now going to have to distance themselves from Clinton.
When asked when Hillary was going to ride into the sunset, red state Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp said “Not soon enough.” That was tame compared to one Democratic fundraiser who told The Hill that Clinton should, “just shut the f— up and go away.”
And I haven’t even mentioned the revelations in Donna Brazile’s book. The bottom line is that Hillary, by her very nature, wears on people’s last nerves. They can forget about that when she’s in office and not on their television every day, but when she gets out in public, they remember how much they don’t like her. Not everyone of course, she still has her devoted fans, but based on this poll it’s fair to say a lot of people find her hard to take.