Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Clinton Is Now Equally as Disliked as Trump

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Clinton Is Now Equally as Disliked as Trump

Article excerpt

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's ratings of unpopularity have risen to levels almost identical to those of Republican candidate Donald Trump. Fifty-six percent of the American public say they hold an unfavorable opinion of the former secretary of State and first lady, compared to 63 percent for Mr. Trump.

The unfavorable percentage was even higher for Mrs. Clinton among registered voters, and lower for Trump: 59 percent for Clinton and 60 percent of Trump.

Clinton's rising unpopularity appears to reflect damage done by controversy surrounding her use of a private email server and alleged conflicts with Clinton Foundation fundraising during her term as secretary of State. Unfavorability ratings has gone up 6 percentage points in just three weeks, to the worst ratings of any in her public life. And it means that even if she is elected president, her mandate will be a weak one - a prospect that would hold true for Trump, too, but one that may seem more significant for a traditional politician like Clinton.

As The Washington Post notes, her declining favorability is especially pronounced among groups that normally constitute her bases of support. Among women, it dropped from 54 percent to 45 percent; among Hispanics, from 71 percent to 55 percent, and among liberals, from 76 percent to 63 percent.

The historically unprecedented unpopularity of both candidates may mean that Clinton's campaigning in the remaining months could focus less on highlighting strengths than on pointing to the weaknesses of her opponent. In May, The Monitor's Francine Kiefer wrote that voter opinion about Clinton and Trump might mean that both camps try to keep things negative.

The main driver for both candidates to go negative is weakness - their own, and their opponent's. …

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