Poll: Clinton Does Well on Attributes, Lacks Crossover Appeal

More than eight in 10 Democrats and liberals view Clinton favorably; many fewer Republicans -- 66 percent -- rate McCain favorably, as do even fewer conservatives, 59 percent. On the other side of the coin, just a quarter of Republicans rate Clinton favorably, while half of Democrats rate McCain positively on a personal level.

Among Independents, 48 percent view Clinton favorably, and 53 percent have a favorable opinion of McCain. But Clinton's unfavorable rating among this crucial group is 46 percent -- 13 points higher than McCain's.

Among all Americans, Clinton's unfavorable rating is 11 points higher than McCain's (more have no opinion of him), and 31 percent have a "strongly" unfavorable impression of her, 20 points higher than McCain's strongly unfavorable rating.

Bill and Ideology

Clinton's ties to her husband are not seen as much of an issue. Fewer than one in 10 Americans thinks Bill Clinton has too much influence over her (in fact, nearly as many Republicans and conservatives say he has too little influence as too much.) And fewer than two in 10 say the way she handled the situation surrounding her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky makes them respect her less.

Clinton's Views on Most Issues
  Too Liberal Too Conservative About Right
All 37% 5% 52%
Democrats 12% 4% 80%
Republicans 71% 4% 19%
Independents 34% 4% 52%

Rather, Clinton's problem is that broad majorities of Republicans and conservatives, as well as about a third of Independents and moderates, see her as too liberal. About six in 10 conservatives, seven in 10 Republicans and eight in 10 Republican men say so. Among people who view Clinton unfavorably, three in four call her too liberal.

But again, liberals and Democrats are strongly behind her, with eight in 10 saying her views on most issues are about right. Good for the primaries, at least.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone May 11-15, 2006, among a random national sample of 1,103 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

To see the complete results of this poll, click here.

For other ABC News polls, click here.

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