Here is a great and immutable truth – the more Americans are exposed to Hillary Clinton, the less they like her. During the latter half of Bill Clinton’s presidency, she was perhaps the only first lady in American history who had higher unfavorability ratings than favorability ratings. Since then she has basically played seatwarmer for a number of relatively high profile jobs without actually doing much, and her favorability has gone back up. Now that she is running for President, and is the presumptive Democrat nominee, the press is covering her constantly. And, as always, the American people do not like what they see:
Hillary Clinton’s unfavorable rating has hit its highest level in more than a decade, as voters paint her with a lack of empathy in a new CNN/ORC poll.
Forty six percent of Americans view Clinton favorably, while half of voters view her unfavorably, putting her favorability rating underwater for the first time since March, 2001.
The results come as views of Clinton’s honesty and empathy have dropped off as well.
The percentage of voters who believe that she is honest and trustworthy has fallen 8 percentage points over the past 15 months, while the percentage that believe she cares about people like them has dropped 6 points in 11 months.
Allow me to admit a mistake here as well – the criticism of Hillary’s handling of Benghazi and her private email server have made a measurable dent on her image, contrary to my expectations:
The results also showed lukewarm feelings on some of the major issues that have dogged Clinton on the trail—her use of a private email server during her role as secretary of State, and her response to the Benghazi attack.
Fifty eight percent of Americans are not satisfied with how Clinton handled the Benghazi attacks, while 38 percent are satisfied. That 20-percentage-point gap has grown from a 12-percent gap last year.
A majority of Americans, 51 percent, also believe that the Republicans have handled hearings on Benghazi appropriately.
It is, generally speaking, a catastrophic idea to run a candidate that has > 50% unfavorability ratings. There is basically one situation where this ever works – when the candidate is an incumbent, which Hillary is not. Running a non-incumbent with these kind of numbers is pretty much asking to have your butt handed to you unless you are planning to run against someone who is yet even more unpopular. There is are two major problems with this approach for the Democrats: 1) the Democrats have no idea who the Republicans will nominate as it is currently a five-way tie, and 2) other than Jeb Bush, none of the Republicans in serious contention have unfavorability ratings above 40%.
This is the chutzpah of the Democrats’ position – although Hillary is almost universally known and yet broadly unpopular, they appear poised to nominate her without a serious contest or vetting process. They are banking on one thing and one thing only – the historical appeal of electing the first female President will cause people to pull the lever for Hillary even though don’t actually want her personally to be President.
Early evidence suggests that this hope may not be as well founded as the Democrats suppose:
Hillary Clinton had trouble attracting high-powered women to a New York talk hosted by Silda Wall Spitzertwo weeks before her campaign officially kicks off. Sources said that after ticket sales fizzled for an intimate, $2,700-per-person, “just for women” meeting on Monday, the event was thrown open to men at the 11th hour, and the deadline extended to buy tickets.
The “Conversation With Hillary Clinton” event at Midtown law firm Akin Gump was originally aiming to attract 125 women. An email invitation seen by Page Six said the event is “just for women.” But by Friday, “They’d only sold 50 tickets, so they threw it open to men,” a source said. “Ticket sales were supposed to close at 10 a.m. Sunday, but the hostesses were working the phones and pushed the deadline till Monday.”
It’s evidence of the paucity of the Democrats’ bench that no matter how high this evidence piles up, they are unlikely to change course or to seriously consider any nominee other than the unlikable harpy who currently dominates their polls.