Hillary Clinton Sweeps in Democratic Popularity but Faces Challenges Outside the Party (POLL)

PHOTO:Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves the Longworth House office building at the conclusion of her testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi in Washington, Oct. 22, 2015. PlayManuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo
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Hillary Clinton easily leads Bernie Sanders in basic popularity within their political party – but among Americans overall, a bare majority in the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll see the Democratic front-runner unfavorably.

Clinton is viewed favorably by a vast 83 percent of Democrats. Outside of the embrace of her own party, though, she faces challenges, including more strongly negative than strongly positive views and weakness among whites. Her popularity also is marked by a broad gender gap.

See PDF with full results here.

Fifty-one percent of Americans overall see her negatively, 46 percent positively – the second time in three polls since August that she has been viewed unfavorably by more than half the public, and only the third time this has happened in nearly 50 ABC-Post polls back to 1992.

Moreover, 38 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, view her “strongly” unfavorably, vs. 23 percent strongly favorably. And among registered voters, 53 percent see Clinton unfavorably.

Sanders, for his part, is seen favorably by 54 percent of Democrats – up 18 percentage points since the summer, but still a relatively tepid in-party result. Among all Americans, 40 percent rate him favorably, 38 percent unfavorably; 21 percent have no opinion of him, less than half its level this summer, although still substantial.

Clinton leads Sanders in support for the nomination by a wide margin in national polls, including by 64-25 percent among registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in an ABC-Post poll in mid-October. She, Sanders and Martin O’Malley meet in their second debate Saturday.

Clinton’s challenges outside the Democratic Party include an 85 percent negative rating among Republicans (compared with Sanders’ 56 percent) and 57 percent unfavorable among independents (vs. Sanders’ 38 percent).

Clinton has company across the political aisle. As reported in an ABC-Post poll released Tuesday, Donald Trump is seen negatively by 59 percent of Americans, Jeb Bush by 55 percent. Ted Cruz, while less well known, is seen negatively rather than positively by a 10-point margin, vs. Clinton’s 5 points. (Marco Rubio is +4, Ben Carson +18.)

Groups

Clinton is seen more negatively than positively among men by an 18-point margin, 39-57 percent favorable-unfavorable; she’s +8 among women, 53-45 percent, for a 26-point gender gap. Sanders is -4 among men and +7 among women, a gender gap that’s less than half Clinton’s (but one that’s widened since summer – better for Sanders among women, worse among men).

Clinton also is far more popular among minorities than whites. Sixty-three percent of whites view her negatively, while 70 percent of nonwhites see her positively, including 82 percent of blacks and 60 percent of Hispanics. There’s much less of a racial division in views of Sanders.

By income, Clinton does best among those earning less than $50,000, while Sanders peaks in the highest bracket, $100,000 or more.

Finally, Clinton scores about equally across age groups. Sanders, by contrast, does best by far among 18- to 29-year olds, and has gained 25 points in popularity in this group since July.

Methodology

This ABC News-Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone Nov. 4-8, 2015, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,023 adults, including 318 Democrats. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for the full sample and 6.5 points for Democrats. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS of Media, Pa. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

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