Much of the attention has been focused on the Republican side of the presidential election because of the unusual assortment of candidates, but the Democratic side hasn’t necessarily been lacking in mixed reactions either, according to a new Gallup poll.
The results, which were released on Feb. 23, the overall impression of Hillary Clinton was “dishonest,” whereas the overall impression of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was “Socialist.” The second most common reactions were “dislike her” and “old,” respectively.
Sanders has been gaining on Clinton nationally in recent weeks, although she leads in the delegate count. According to Real Clear Politics, support for Sanders has been sharply increasing in recent weeks, while Clinton’s support has been steadily waning - she currently leads the field by less than six points.
“Unfortunately for Clinton, the negative associations currently outnumber the positive ones by a sizable margin, and even among Democrats, the negatives are fairly high,” the poll’s authors, Frank Newport and Lydia Saad, wrote of their findings.
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“Throughout her more-than two-decades-long career in the public eye as first lady, U.S. senator, secretary of state, two-time presidential candidate and bestselling author, she has acquired a fairly well-developed image among Americans -- for better and for worse.”
The results may also favor Sanders more generally in some sense. While Clinton has been actively fighting the impression that she’s untrustworthy and unlikable, Sanders has openly embraced being labeled as a Democratic Socialist and he hasn’t shied away from his age, often flaunting his long history of advocacy and activism during the Civil Rights movement.
As The Hill reported, the survey results are in line with the general perceptions of both candidates - that Clinton is more qualified, but Sanders is more trust worthy.