A Fox News poll released yesterday shows Hillary Clinton losing to all of her potential Republican opponents. When asked who they would vote for if the election were today, respondents gave an advantage to Donald Trump (46% to 41%), Ben Carson (47% to 42%), Marco Rubio (50% to 42%), Jeb Bush (45% to 39%), and Ted Cruz (45% to 41%). The margin of error was 4%.
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air speculates that Clinton has a low ceiling of support, given her being well-known and well-defined. Lesser known Republicans, on the other hand, have a larger potential upside given their ability to define themselves positively going throughout their campaigns going forward.
Clinton may have reason to worry: President Barack Obama and her husband both enjoy a favorability rating of 60% with 18- to 19-year-olds. With the same demographic, however, she has a favorability rating of 35%, with 57% viewing her unfavorably. The conventional wisdom among political pundits is that she lacks the political dexterity of her husband.
The New York Times also worries about enthusiasm among blacks and Hispanics. Will Clinton pull less of these two groups to the polls? The left-wing newspaper notes the importance of these two groups to Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012.
The Gray Lady likewise frets over Clinton’s poor likability. As early as 2008, Clinton was called out by a presidential debate moderator over her poor likability relative to her opponent; then Senator Obama. To combat this, Clinton solicited the assistance of Steven Spielberg, who would coach her on being more likable. Ed Klein’s new book, Unlikeable: The Problem With Hillary, claims that Clinton worked privately with a videographer to record and study her facial expressions, hand gestures, voice pitch, and eye contact.
In August, Clinton hit a new low in terms of perceptions of her as "untrustworthy," with 61% of those polled describing her as such in a Quinnipiac University poll.
It may be premature for Republicans to celebrate, however, given their optimism over GOP political fortunes in 2012. Around the same time in late 2011 and early 2012, various polls positioned Republican candidates favorably when contrasted with Obama. A Quinnipiac University poll from December of 2011 placed Romney ahead of Obama. In September of 2011, a CNN poll placed Romney within shouting distance of Obama.
Obama’s favorability rating was also reaching new lows around the same time. In October of 2011, Obama’s job approval rating was 41%, which was a slight improvement from a low of 39% in September. Despite this, Obama handily defeated Romney, securing five million more votes and 332 electoral votes to to his opponent’s 206. Obama also secured 51% of voters to Romney’s 47%.