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.That was a nice try to put the entire blame on partisanship, but there is a clear trend in 2016 that argues against Clinton:
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.
In stark contrast, as Bernie Sanders became more widely known, his favorable rating steadily increased:
Even Donald Trump is trending better than Clinton: