This week’s CNN poll sheds a bright light on the fact that while most Americans seemed to like “Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator” and “Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State,” they really don’t seem to like “Hillary Clinton, Candidate.”

In the most recent national polling data from CNN, Secretary Clinton’s image has moved underwater, with 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} of Americans viewing her unfavorably and 46{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} saying they view her favorably.  That’s a net 15 point shift AWAY from Clinton since March of this year.

Looking back over time, it’s pretty clear that when Clinton is a candidate, or even during her husband’s campaigns, her negatives have climbed significantly.  Note below how her negatives have risen during her past campaigns, when Americans tend to be learning more about her and her issue positions.  (Essentially, the more the public sees of Hillary Clinton, the less they like.)

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In addition, since Secretary Clinton announced she’s running for President, significantly fewer Americans believe she “inspires confidence,” “cares about people like them,” and “is honest and trustworthy.”  In fact, a majority of Americans now believe those characteristics do NOT apply to Clinton – representing quite a turnaround from prior attitudes.

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Bottom line – as much as the Democrats would like Hillary Clinton to take the Oath of Office next week and just become President, she actually has to run for the position.  And, previous polling (and, her loss in the ’08 primary) suggests that’s troublesome for Hillary.

Public Opinion Strategies