No Love For Hillary Among The People Who Are Supposed To Vote For Her
November 5, 2013 by Ben Bullard
Is it possible that Hillary Clintonâ€™s star among her most ardent political supporters is on the wane?
A poll released last week by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News suggests the former First Lady and Benghazi-botching Secretary of State has lost major clout with the very demographic groups that progressives commonly take for granted: declared Democrats and young people.
The poll, which gauged the opinions of 800 people, found only 46 percent held a positive general opinion of Clinton, while 33 percent viewed her negatively. Thatâ€™s a 10 percent drop since the last iteration of the same poll in April:
Overall, 46 percent registered a positive view of the ex-secretary of state, compared to 33 percent who expressed a negative opinion. As recently as April, 56 percent saw Mrs. Clinton in a positive light.
Crucially, though, Clintonâ€™s appeal to people the mainstream press lazily associates with Democratic success appears to be fading:
The new survey shows some weakness among independents, Democrats and people between the age of 18 and 34.
In April, for example, 53% of 18-to-34-year olds had a positive image of Mrs. Clinton in the Journalâ€™s polling. That figure fell to 38% in the new survey.
In that same period, Mrs. Clintonâ€™s support among independents fell from 46% to 35%. Her support among Democrats fell 12 points — from 88% to 76%.
Despite the ephemeral nature of political polls, across-the board drops like those have to be indicative of something. Losing 12 percent with your party base in a six-month period is particularly problematic for a would-be candidate The Wall Street Journal deemed, in the accompanying article, as â€śthe solid front-runner in the Democratic fieldâ€ť for the 2016 Presidential nomination.
Other political figures, such as Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) fared worse than Clinton in the same poll. But in every case, a significant portion of those surveyed said they simply werenâ€™t familiar with the names of relative political newcomers like Cruz or even Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Clintonâ€™s name, by contrast, was familiar to nearly everyone surveyed — a fact that reveals more deeply entrenched opinions cultivated over her long career hanging out in or around the halls of political power.
â€śPure and simple, sheâ€™s gone from being the nonpartisan secretary of state to potentially a partisan Democratic nominee for president,â€ť survey consultant Peter Hart told the Journal. â€śItâ€™s not that voters all of the sudden have seen a new side of Hillary that has caused them to take a second look. She is no longer the non-partisan secretary of state and that brings out the partisan fangs on the part of former supporters.â€ť
Time will tell if the latest poll indicates a real trend, or a mere blip on Clintonâ€™s way to a supposedly inevitable coronation at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.