As the DNC ramps up to full force, new polling data from Gallup suggests that Hillary's favorability ratings have dipped to their lowest levels in the 24 years of her public career. The latest poll, conducted July 16-23, revealed that only 38% of respondents had a favorable view of Hillary vs. 57% unfavorable. This poll should come as little surprise to anyone who watched the DNC fiasco yesterday where the crowd of Democrats often erupted into chants of "Lock Her Up." We suspect that there is further downside for Hillary on the favorability scale as the majority of this poll was conducted prior to recent revelations from the Wikileaks email leak which have cast a shadow over the entire Democrat party.
The breakdown is not surprising: 71% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents view Clinton favorably, compared with fewer than one in 10 Republicans.
Gallup first measured Hillary Clinton's image in 1992 as her husband campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination. Her image, like Bill Clinton's, was mixed in the spring of that year but then grew more positive. Her favorable ratings were above 60% at several points in 1993, and more than six in 10 Americans viewed her favorably at other points as well: when her husband was impeached by the House and tried by the Senate in 1998 and 1999, from 2009 through 2013 while she served as secretary of state, and in April 2013 after she returned to being a private citizen.
After launching her campaign last year and as her handling of emails while secretary of state became an increasingly public and controversial issue, Americans' views of Clinton began their downslide.
Americans' history of changing their views of Clinton from positive to negative and back to positive since 1992 suggests it's possible -- although not highly likely, given recent trends -- that her image could improve as the Democratic convention unfolds this week. Overall, 55% of Americans viewed her favorably and 39% unfavorably from 1992 through 2014. That long-term average is almost an exact flip of her current 38% favorable, 57% unfavorable rating. This shows how much more negatively the public views her now in the midst of her campaign and email controversy than they have historically.
Two highly unpopular candidates are waging the 2016 presidential campaign. Clinton enters her convention with almost six in 10 Americans holding a negative opinion of her, similar to Americans' negative views of her opponent, Trump.
Clinton is one of the best-known politicians in the U.S., with almost a quarter-century of national public exposure as a first lady, a U.S. senator, a secretary of state and now a candidate for president. While Americans' positive views of Clinton have moved up and down over the years, she now is on the verge of accepting the Democratic Party's presidential nomination with an image that is as negative as it has ever been.
The only upside from today's polling data for Democrats is that the only person that Americans seem to dislike more than Hillary Clinton is Donald Trump, who had a 59% unfavorable rating. That said, Trump's villain status hasn't seemed to impact his ability to win elections.