Unlike Any Other: Clinton Maintains High Unfavorability Post-Election

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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Losing presidential candidates over the past quarter century have tended to become more popular in the months following the election. But former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has broken that trend, according to Gallup.

The latest Gallup poll reveals that a majority of Americans, 57 percent, continue to view Secretary Clinton unfavorably. There has been no change in this percentage since January 2017.

Clinton’s favorable rating hit an all-time low, 38 percent, early September last year. The highest it has ever been was 67 percent, which was in 1998 when she was first lady.

In 2011 and 2012, during her time serving as secretary of state, she received a 66 percent favorability rating.

But as for her current favorability rating, Gallup has yet to see any of the typical improvements for the two-time losing presidential candidate.

“Losing presidential candidates since 1992 have experienced a boost of at least four percentage points in favorability when averaging their ratings from the day after the election through the following June,” Gallup found.

Some increases were smaller than others, such as a mere 4 percent favorability growth post-election for Mitt Romney and Bob Dole.

On the other hand, John McCain’s favorability jumped by 14 percent. Al Gore’s rating increased by 10 percent, and 16 percent for George H.W. Bush.

“Typically, losing candidates’ favorable ratings improve because political independents and supporters of the opposing political party grow to view the candidate more positively after the election. However, this has not happened for Clinton,” according to Gallup.

The research pointed out that many of Secretary Clinton’s appearances since the election have not been well received by the public, which has “viewed her comments as shirking blame for her loss.”

She has blamed her loss on the weakness of the Democratic Party infrastructure, former FBI Director James Comey mishandling an investigation, and the news media producing biased coverage.

But going forward, Gallup researchers acknowledge that Secretary Clinton is seen in a more favorable light when she is less political. But, with good and logical reason, her ratings suffer when she runs for office.

“If she doesn’t seek to run again, her favorability is far less relevant and frees her from the constraints of public opinion.”