Hillary Clinton’s popularity nosedive spells bad news for more than just the presidency

Source: AP
Source: AP

Hillary Clinton's favorability took a nosedive in late August, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post survey, falling among every surveyed demographic and painting a worrying sign for down-ballot Democrats looking to ride her coattails to victory in November.

Clinton saw her favorability ranking slide to 41%, down from 48% in early August immediately following the Democratic National Convention — a four-day event that saw the most popular figures in the Democratic Party heap praise upon the Democratic nominee.

That slide is in part thanks to sagging numbers among liberals, Hispanics and women — groups seen as her core base of support.

To be sure, Clinton's 41% favorability ranking is still six points higher than Republican nominee Donald Trump's. And by all accounts, polling averages still show Clinton with a comfortable lead.

However, her growing unpopularity — even among even her biggest supporter groups — is a sign that what many viewed as a possible landslide victory for her following the Democratic National Convention last month could be slipping away.

And without a landslide victory, down-ballot Democrats in gubernatorial, senatorial and congressional contests could be looking at a more level, and therefore challenging, playing field in November. 

For now, it's unclear whether the head-to-head numbers between Clinton and Trump have tightened, as the ABC News/Washington Post poll has not yet released those figures.

The RealClearPolitics polling average currently shows Clinton with around a 5% lead over Trump — a 3% drop from its peak post-convention polling. At this same point in the 2012 campaign, President Barack Obama led GOP nominee Mitt Romney by an average of less than 1%, according to RealClearPolitics

But in a likely effort to stop the slide even further, Clinton will dispatch Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to campaign for her over the final two months of the campaign.

Obama's job approval rating has steadily risen, climbing over the 50% mark, making him a good surrogate for Clinton.

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Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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