Hillary Clinton’s “Electability” Assertion

Posted: February 9, 2016 in Livin' in the USA, Politics
Tags: ,

With Bernie Sanders having crushed Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, let’s take a look at Hillary Clinton’s primary argument: that she’s more electable than Bernie Sanders. That’s simply crazy. A majority of the public dislikes Clinton, and a lot of Americans outright hate her. The Huffington Post just ran a compilation of polls on Clinton’s favorability, and Clinton’s favorability rating only averages 42%, while her unfavorability rating averages 53%. (In contrast, Bernie Sanders has a 46% favorable rating and a 38% unfavorable rating.)

Even worse for Clinton, her favorability rating has been steadily falling over the last three years, while her unfavorability rating has been steadily rising. Three years ago she had a net favorable rating of a few points, with some polls giving her a net favorability rating of over 20 points. That favorability rating has vanished in all of the polls, being replaced by an ever-increasing unfavorability rating. In other words, the more exposure the public has to Hillary Clinton, the more the public dislikes her.

Why do people dislike Clinton so much? One reason is that very large numbers of people consider her untrustworthy. A New Hampshire primary exit poll, for example, showed that only 5% of voters considered her trustworthy. This figure includes Republicans and independents, not just Democrats, but it’s devastating nonetheless.

There’s very little Clinton can do about this. She’s been in the public eye for a quarter of a century, went into this campaign with an already high unfavorability rating, and it’s been getting worse. Those who disliked her going in still dislike her, and voters who weren’t paying close attention are finding that the more they learn about Clinton the less they like her.

To make matters even worse, large numbers of Republicans outright hate Hillary Clinton — listen to talk radio if you doubt this — and most independents dislike her; the latest figures are that 55% of independents view Clinton unfavorably and only 39% view her favorably. Even among Democrats, Clinton’s unfavorability rating has doubled since last summer, from 11% to 22%.

What will happen if Clinton somehow obtains the Democratic nomination? Disaster for the Democrats. She’ll energize the Republicans, who loathe her, and demoralize the Democratic Sanders voters who want real change–and who won’t turn out if Clinton is the nominee. Her only argument in the general election will be that she’s not as bad as her Republican opponent, and that’s simply not an inspiring message.

In the general election, Clinton might squeak by if the Republicans nominate Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. Then again, she might not.

She’s all but unelectable.


  1. I disagree that she’s unelectable. Sanders would almost certainly throw his support her way and demographics are in her favor, especially if the opponent is Trump. Even hardcore liberals like me, a Sanders supporter, will hold their noses and vote for Clinton because the thought of a Republican appointing Supreme Court Justices is too frightening.


  2. […] months ago we reported on Hillary Clinton’s favorablity vs. unfavorability ratings. At the time, fully 53% of the public viewed her in an unfavorable light. Since then, her […]


  3. […] (February 9, 2016) Hillary Clinton’s Electability Assertion […]


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