News & Politics

New National Poll Reveals Serious Liabilities for Hillary

Supporters of Clinton should be concerned about the popularity of her ideas and her ability to win the presidency.

Photo Credit: Photoreporter/Shutterstock.com

A new national poll should cause supporters of Hillary Clinton to be very concerned about the popularity of her ideas and her ability to win the presidency. The poll was completed Jan. 20-21, 2015 by Public Policy Polling.

Hillary long has promoted the interests of Wall Street, as did Bill, and Bill’s presidency delivered big-time for them, deregulating banks, deregulating the telecom industry and passing NAFTA. Those gifts to the financial industry have brought the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation millions from Wall Street, but this may come at a serious price to Mrs. Clinton.

When voters are asked whether her past support of deregulation of the big banks would make them more or less likely to vote for her, 19% say More Likely and 49% say Less Likely. Hillary has defended bonuses for bank managers in the bailed-out banks and when asked if they would be more or less likely to support a candidate who supported bank bonuses, 13% say More Likely and 57% say Less Likely.  When told that Hillary has accepted speaking fees up to $200,000 per speech from Wall Street banks and has failed to demand accountability from banks for the 2008 financial collapse, 14% say they’d be More Likely to support such a candidate and 57% say Less Likely.  When asked if they would be more or less likely to support a candidate for President who had supported NAFTA, as did the Clintons, 21% say More Likely and 51% say Less Likely.  When asked if they would be more or less likely to support a candidate who supports loaning money to college students at the same low interest rates the U.S. loans money to banks, as Elizabeth Warren has, or a candidate like Hillary who has remained silent on this issue, 58% support low interest rates for students and 24% favor a candidate who has stayed silent about this.

Other subjects polled almost as badly for Mrs. Clinton. When asked if it’s a good thing to keep electing presidents from the same family, 20% say it is a good thing and 46% say it’s better to have a fresher face in the White House. When asked if Hillary Clinton should be a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, 37% say Yes and 43% say no. When asked, “Some people say Hillary Clinton is a strong leader with a lot of great experience, and that she would bring the right balance of views to the Presidency, while others think she is too beholden to special interests like Wall Street and defense contractors,” 36% say she would bring the right balance of views to the Presidency, while 48% say “Clinton is too beholden to wealthy special interests.” When asked if Hillary as the Democratic candidate for President would make them more or less likely to support Democratic candidates for other offices, only 25% say More Likely and 40% say Less Likely. 

I don’t recall ever seeing a poll showing that a presidential candidate would drag the ticket down by 15 points and I certainly hope all Democratic office holders who will be running for re-election in 2016 and donors who are working to take back the Senate and House from Republican control pay attention to that finding.

By contrast, Elizabeth Warren’s positions on these important economic issues polled extremely well with voters. When asked, “U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has said that special interests like Wall Street have rigged the system in their favor, while working and middle class wages have stagnated,” 49% say they would be More Likely to support a candidate “who wanted to bring the big banks under control,” while only 23% disagreed.  When asked if they would be more or less likely to support a candidate who has criticized bank bonuses, as had Elizabeth Warren, 54% say More Likely and 20% say Less Likely.  When asked if they would be more or less likely to support a candidate for President, like Elizabeth Warren, who thinks Wall Street should be held accountable for the financial speculation, which contributed to the collapse of the economy, 59% say More Likely and only 16% say Less Likely.

With the collapse of the middle class, the American public increasingly is turning populist, but Hillary Clinton is still preaching 1990s values and economic policies, which are not likely to play well in 2016. If she tries to change stripes now, she risks the most fatal of all political afflictions: Inauthenticity.

In match-ups with possible Republican candidates, polls by Quinnipiac, Bloomberg, Fox News and the Des Moines Register have found Hillary even or slightly behind Republicans. The PPP poll finds her slightly ahead, but polls at this early stage often reflect name-recognition, more than voter commitment, which favors Clinton. In all these polls, Hillary registers very high “unfavorables.” In the PPP poll, Clinton is viewed unfavorably by 48% of voters, which could be the highest unfavorable rating of anyone who has ever run for president in America.

recent poll by ABC/Washington Post found Clinton running double-digits ahead of Republicans. This poll did something no reputable poll should do at this early stage of a race: It counted “leaners,” not just voters committed to Hillary. Counting leaners is not predictive at such an early stage because it often reflects name-recognition, not commitment. This is an outlier poll, using outlier techniques and assumptions and the results are not confirmed by any other national presidential poll.

Republicans are lining up to run for president in 2016 because they know something most Democrats don’t know or don’t want to admit:  Hillary Clinton is a weak and vulnerable presidential candidate whose positions on issues do not resonate well with voters.