Weakening ratings for Hillary Clinton present opportunities for her potential Republican opponents, even as their own contest morphs into an all-out free-for-all, with Jeb Bush surrendering his frontrunner status in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.
While still far ahead for her party’s nomination, Clinton faces challenges. She’s slipped underwater in personal favorability for the first time since her unsuccessful run for the presidency in 2008. She’s deeper in the hole for honesty and trustworthiness – down 5 points in just two months and 12 points in the last year. And Americans by 17- to 24-point margins disapprove of her handling of recent questions on her use of personal e-mail while secretary of state, her handling of the Benghazi attack in Libya and fundraising by her family’s foundation.
See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.
Indeed, while Bush has lost ground in the contest for the GOP nomination, Clinton does less well against him in a head-to-head matchup. The gap between them has closed from 12 points to three – 47-44 percent, Clinton-Bush, among registered voters, vs. 53-41 percent two months ago.
Bush, at the same time, has even greater difficulties with personal favorability than Clinton, and a far weaker home base. He’s lost 11 points in support for the nomination among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents who are registered to vote, from a front-running 21 percent in March to 10 percent now
There are many qualities these candidates share, like a sense of entitlement when it comes to the presidency, or the imperious, condescending manner in which they deal with, well, anyone who isn’t them. It would be quite fitting to see them both sputter and fail at the same time, but I am getting way ahead of things.
One thing that I and many others have noticed is that neither of these people seems to really want to run for president right now, despite the fact that they have been presumptive front runners since last year (be sure to read Roger L. Simon’s “Do Jeb and Hillary Really Want to Be President?“). Both just want it handed to them and aren’t big fans of dealing with the public lately.
The public seems to be picking up on that.