New polling indicates that while President Donald Trump remains a polarizing figure, his opponent during the 2016 election is even less popular. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has suffered sagging approval following her electoral defeat, signaling that she will remain a controversial figure among Democrats even while she aims to help congressional candidates in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.
On July 17, a Bloomberg National Poll found that 41 percent of national adults approved of Trump's job performance while 55 percent disapproved. The survey also found that only 39 percent approved of Clinton while 58 disapproved.
Only 13 percent of respondents were very favorable towards Clinton while 25 percent were mostly favorable. However, 21 percent were mostly unfavorable towards the former Democratic nominee and 37 percent viewed her very unfavorably.
In comparison, 21 percent of respondents viewed Trump very favorably while 40 percent viewed him very unfavorably.
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In July 2012, Clinton hit a peak in popularity when the polling group found that 70 percent of national adults approved of her job performance as secretary of state. Clinton's favorability steadily declined after she left the State Department and never fully recovered during the election.
In September 2016, the House Majority Leader, GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, asserted that his colleagues' multiple investigations into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack had helped drag down Clinton's once-strong polling performance.
"Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" McCarthy told Fox News. "But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping."
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Clinton's approval ratings began to run a deficit after March 2015, when stories of her use of a private email server while working at the State Department began to emerge. By August 2016, Clinton only had an approval rating of 40 percent with a disapproval rating of 57 percent.
For the latest survey, the polling group queried some of the self-identified Clinton voters who disapproved of her for anecdotal feedback.
"She did not feel authentic or genuine to me," 29-year-old Chris Leininger of California told Bloomberg. "She was hard to like ... But I don't blame her for Trump. There were a lot of factors that fed into Trump becoming a president and she was just one of them."
Robert Taylor, a 46-year-old Illinois voter, said he viewed Clinton as "just a politician who was called a Democrat, but could have been a Republican."
The survey found that men and whites were more likely to disapprove of Clinton than other demographics. Only 35 percent of men were favorable towards the former Democratic nominee, while 43 percent of women approved of her. While only 32 percent of white respondents were favorable towards Clinton, 51 percent of non-white respondents viewed her positively.
On June 21, a Gallup survey found that Clinton did not receive the same post-election bump in favorability enjoyed by other losing candidates half a year after their defeats.
Clinton had an approval rating of 42 percent, which was actually a percentage point less than she had before the election. Meanwhile, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney's approval rating went up by four percentage points in 2013. The 2008 GOP nominee, John McCain, surged by 14 percentage points in favorability in 2009, and 2000 Democratic nominee Al Gore's favorability increased by 10 percentage points in 2001.