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The charts don’t lie: Clinton’s Favorability Ratings Plummet

by | Sep 15, 2015

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion Hillary Clinton

Pro-abortion Hillary Clinton

Last month we posted on what was quickly becoming the emerging consensus–“Democratic-leaning, Republican-leaning pollsters agree: Hillary Clinton’s polling numbers sinking fast.”

Writing for the New York Times, one of the holdouts–at least with respect to what the decline meant– was the respected Nate Cohn. As I paraphrased him at the time Cohn argued

that these falling numbers are much ado about nothing, whether the issue is Mrs. Clinton winning the Democratic nomination or prevailing against the eventual Republican standard bearer.

There are ins and outs to his argument but in the final analysis, she prevails in her own party because her two chief rivals have limited capacity to draw in more support than they currently have.

As they say, that was then (almost exactly a month ago) and this is now. In a piece that ran today–“Signs of Hillary Clinton’s Troubles, in Charts,”–Cohn is no longer pooh-poohing the trouble the pro-abortion former Secretary of State is in.

Last month he essentially blew off the ever-growing controversy over the questionable use of Clinton’s private email server while serving as Secretary of State. He explained his thinking thusly:

Most data journalists [like Cohn himself] and political scientists had argued that the email revelations were just another muddled, politicized dispute that would quickly split the electorate along partisan lines.

But now?

[R]ecent surveys — like an ABC/Washington Post survey from this week — show that a significant minority of Democrats (29 percent to 33 percent, depending on the question) disapprove of her handling of questions about her email account, think she broke government regulations or think she tried to cover up the facts.

He began today’s New York Times op-ed with this:

Hillary Rodham Clinton was inevitably going to lose some of her aura once she started campaigning. The high favorability ratings she earned as secretary of state simply weren’t sustainable.

But the point is not that a little bit of the bloom is off the rose (to switch metaphors). It’s that her unfavorability numbers are now at least 15 points worst than they were when she was running for President in 2008.

That couldn’t only be explained by more and more Republicans and Independents viewing her unfavorably. It’s the decline among her fellow Democrats.

Cohn does not deal specifically with Clinton’s precipitous drop among women, which we did yesterday. If he had, he might view her prospects even more dimly.

As you recall, the aforementioned Washington Post poll found a massive drop–from from 71% to only 42% among Democratic-leaning female voters in just eight weeks. “[O]nly 37 percent of white Democratic women said they would vote for her,” according to the Post’s Karen Tumulty.

In the end Cohn can’t let go of the “data.” He considers only the possible candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden (Cohn ignores Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders) and concludes Biden’s chances (were he to jump in) are slim and none. Which leaves Cohn’s quasi- conclusion a bit of a head scratcher:

Mrs. Clinton’s poll numbers — both in the Democratic primary or among all Americans — can’t afford to fall too much further before party leaders would justifiably begin to reassess her candidacy

More tomorrow.

Categories: Hillary Clinton