Poll: Clinton Unpopularity at New High, on Par With Trump

PHOTO: Hillary Clinton speaks during a presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, Dec. 19, 2015.PlayIda Mae Astute/ABC
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Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity reached a new high in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, putting her on par with Donald Trump among registered voters.

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The latest findings solidify their positions as the two most unpopular presidential candidates in polling dating back more than 30 years.

Among all adults, 56 percent now view Clinton unfavorably, up 6 percentage points in three weeks, compared with 63 percent who say the same about Trump.

Among registered voters, the two candidates have nearly identical unfavorable ratings: 59 percent for Clinton versus 60 percent for Trump.

See PDF with full results here.

Before the 2016 election, George H.W. Bush had the highest unfavorable rating for any major-party candidate for president in ABC/Post polls, in July 1992, on his way to losing his re-election bid.

Clinton’s rise in unpopularity follows renewed focus on her use of a private email server and alleged conflicts of interest regarding her connections to the Clinton Foundation while she served as secretary of state. This metric rose among some of her core support groups, including women, postgraduates, Hispanics and liberals.

The shift erases a post-convention gain for Clinton, whose favorable rating ticked up from 42 percent in July to 48 percent in early August before dropping to 41 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.

Trump had an even larger gap, with a 29-70 percent favorable-unfavorable rating in June. This nearly matches his highest unfavorability rating of 71 percent from May 2015, shortly before he announced his candidacy. He scored particularly low with blacks, 84 percent of whom view him unfavorably. Given the sample sizes, that’s not a significant difference from the 91 percent of this group who responded similarly in early August, despite his recent appeals for their votes.

The favorable rating is one of the most basic measure of a public figure’s popularity. Clinton’s and Trump’s historic low scores raise uncertainties about voter turnout in the November election. The open question is whether they can motivate their supporters to show up at the polls on Election Day. The high unfavorable ratings may mean that voters will be more motivated by their opposition to the candidate they dislike the most rather than their support of any candidate.

Groups

Notably, Clinton’s popularity among women has flipped from 54-43 percent favorable-unfavorable last month to 45-52 percent now; it’s the first time in a year that most women have viewed her unfavorably.

Clinton’s favorable-unfavorable rating has also flipped among those with postgraduate degrees, from 60-39 percent in early August to 47-51 percent now. She’s now back to about where she was among postgrads in July.

She has gone from about an even split among moderates, 50-48 percent favorable-unfavorable, to a more lopsided 41-56 percent now. Among liberals, she’s dropped from 76 favorable to 63 percent favorable. And among nonwhites she’s fallen from 73 to 62 percent favorable, largely due to a 16-point drop, to 55 percent, among Hispanics.

Clinton couldn’t get much less popular among Republicans, 88 percent of whom see her unfavorably. But she’s also lost 8 points in this measure among independents (to 31 percent) and among Democrats (to 79 percent, versus Trump’s 72 percent among Republicans).

There has been no change in Trump’s popularity overall, but there have been some shifts among groups. Most notably, he has slipped by 6 points in favorability among men and gained 7 points among women, perhaps reflecting his recent efforts at softening some of his positions.

Methodology

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellphone Aug. 24 to 28, 2016, among a random national sample of 1,020 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York City, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS of Media, Pennsylvania. See details on the survey’s methodology here.