May 22, 2016

Clinton: more and more unfavorable

From a memo to superdelegates, Hillary Clinton campaign, May 27, 2008:
Because our country’s electorate is relatively divided along party lines, presidential candidates who are competitive and have been in the public arena for a period of time typically have higher unfavorable ratings.

For example, Hillary and Senator Obama have comparable unfavorable ratings – in the most recent Newsweek poll of national registered voters, 43% are unfavorable to Hillary and 40% are unfavorable to Senator Obama. Senator McCain has similar unfavorable ratings – 40% are unfavorable to him in that same poll.

As might be expected, Senator Obama’s unfavorable numbers have steadily risen over the last two years – in a May 2006 Newsweek poll, 10% said they were unfavorable towards him. By July 2007, that number had risen to 19%; 8 months later it was at 28%, and in the two most recent Newsweek polls, conducted in April and May of this year, his unfavorable rating is at 40% – 4 times higher than it was two years ago. Hillary’s unfavorable rating has remained relatively steady (according to the same Newsweek polls, in May 2006, her unfavorable rating was 45% – it is now 43%). Similarly, Senator McCain’s unfavorable ratings have likewise remained relatively unchanged (according to the same Newsweek polls, in March 2008 his unfavorable rating was 35%; 41% in April 2008, and 40% in May 2008; Newsweek did not record unfavorable ratings before March 2008 for Senator McCain).

More importantly, candidates’ unfavorable ratings do not indicate they are too polarizing to win the Presidency; to the contrary, these ratings reflect the divisions in our country between our parties as candidates become known and associated with the Democratic or Republican Party.
That was a nice try to put the entire blame on partisanship, but there is a clear trend in 2016 that argues against Clinton:

It looks even worse over the long term, since Clinton left the Department of State after 2012:

In stark contrast, as Bernie Sanders became more widely known, his favorable rating steadily increased:

Even Donald Trump is trending better than Clinton: