A new Bloomberg Poll, conducted by legendary Iowa pollster Ann Selzer, finds Hillary Clinton the choice of just 33 percent of Democrats nationwide. Vice President Joe Biden, who isn’t yet a candidate, is backed by 25 percent of Democrats. Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is third with 24 percent support.
Clinton’s support is the lowest ever in the race for the Democrat nomination.
The strong support for Biden and Sanders is perhaps a better reflection of the problems plaguing Hillary Clinton than a testament to their campaigns, unofficial or official. Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating among all Americans is just 38 percent, the lowest ever recorded in the poll. This rating is down 20 points since the beginning of Summer, when 58 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the Democrat frontrunner.
A strong majority of Americans, 54 percent, have an unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton. This negative view towards Clinton is much higher Barack Obama, Joe Biden or even the overall Democrat party. She may be the first frontrunner in history to post worse ratings than the overall party she seeks to lead. As the Democrat party nominee, she would have the rare distinction of dragging her party’s popularity downward.
Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton still has a 70 percent favorable rating, but that is far lower than Biden’s 80 percent positive rating. One quarter of Democrats actually have a negative view of Clinton.
It is important to note that Biden’s strong support comes at a time that he is still just considering a campaign for President. Only half of Americans want Biden to get into the race, which isn’t exactly an overwhelming call for his candidacy. Clinton’s position in polling, though, is far weaker today than it was at this point in her 2008 campaign for the Democrat nomination.
In the Fall of 2007, she also faced two potentially strong opponents, Barack Obama and former N.C. Sen. John Edwards. At that time, both Obama and Edwards polled in the mid-20s, but Clinton had a commanding lead, earning support among Democrats in the high-40s. Her favorable ratings were also much higher than they are today.
In the past several days, Clinton allies have leaked to the press their plans for an aggressive campaign against Biden, if he chooses to run. Indeed, the almost mythic “Clinton Machine” occupies such a place in the minds of most pundits that many expect a ferocious campaign against Biden when he becomes a candidate.
Clinton’s dramatic fall in the polls is only marginally a result of Sanders and the possible Biden campaign. The collapse in her favorable ratings indicate the the problem is Clinton herself. Even among women, the voter block that is supposed to guarantee her success, she only receives 35 percent support in the Bloomberg Poll. Her support among women, then, is only a little more than the support she has among men.
The “Clinton Machine” may still have some gears that work. While it may be able to cause damage to Biden and Sanders, ultimately, it will have to reverse the negative view voters have of Hillary. That may be a bridge too far.