In March, Philip Bump produced an intriguing look at Hillary Clinton’s track record in Gallup polling on favorability. With only one exception over the previous 23 years, each election cycle in which she or her husband ran for office pushed her into negative numbers on favorability. When she began her campaign for President in 2007, she went almost immediately into unfavorable territory:
It didn’t take long this time, either. Two major media polls over the last 24 hours have Hillary Clinton’s favorability in negative territory, along with other personal qualities, especially trustworthiness. CNN reports today that her “shine has tarnished” among voters in their latest poll:
Just two months ago, Hillary’s favorability rating in the CNN series was 53/44, a +9 result. It’s now 46/50, for a 13-point swing in the gap. Interestingly, the CNN series never had Hillary’s favorability in negative territory in the 2008 presidential race; the worst result she had was 49/44 in March 2007 but spent most of the campaign in double-digit positives while Gallup had her consistently in negative territory. Scoring this badly in CNN’s poll just four years after her September 2011 peak of 69/26 and eight months after a 59/38 last fall is a breathtaking decline, and shows just how significant this collapse is.
All of her personal-quality measures have gone negative. Despite the graphic used by CNN, that includes “cares about people like you,” which is at 47/52, not 47/42 as their graphic in the video states. Last summer it stood at 53/45. Hillary’s negatives go to double digits on “honest and trustworthy,” 42/57, down from 50/49 this March and 56/43 in March 2014, a change of 28 points in 15 months.
The new Washington Post/ABC News poll corroborates this collapse. In fact, Hillary’s favorables have collapsed farther than in CNN’s survey, and almost as fast:
Meanwhile, Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to dominate the Democratic nomination contest. But her personal attributes continue to erode in the wake of stories about fundraising practices at the Clinton Foundation and her use of a personal e-mail server while at the State Department.
Clinton’s favorability ratings are the lowest in a Post-ABC poll since April 2008, when she was running for president the first time. Today, 41 percent of Americans say she is honest and trustworthy, compared with 52 percent who say she is not — a 22-point swing in the past year.
Her WaPo/ABC favorability is -4, same as CNN’s, although just slightly lower on response at 45/49. It goes to -7 among registered voters (44/51), and a whopping -16 among independents (39/55). It’s only barely positive among women, and even then only by plurality at 48/44. Her overall favorability was 49/46 in March, and 58/38 in January 2014 — a fall of 24 points in 17 months.
The collapse on Hillary’s trustworthiness is a bigger problem among independents, where she has a 20-point negative, 36/56. Women again are diffident toward Hillary, 49/43. Even more concerning to Democrats, she only gets a 41/48 among voters under 40, a key element of the Obama turnout model in both elections. They give her a 47/47 overall on favorability, but that’s hardly a ringing endorsement, and certainly isn’t evidence of any enthusiasm.
They’re not likely to get very excited about her on the basis of emotional connection, either. Among registered voters, Hillary only scores a 47/50 on “understands the problems of people like you,” and among independents only manages a 45/51. She gets to 52/41 among younger adults and 54/40 among women (general population in both instances, not registered voters), but those aren’t Obama-coalition numbers — and the overall among the general population (49/46) is way down from last summer’s 54/41, itself not exactly a barn-burner for a Democrat.
If Democrats can’t come up with a viable, attractive alternative to Hillary Clinton soon, they may have hitched their star to a wagon whose wheels are already coming off.