Positive views of Donald Trump have doubled since his controversial comments on immigration, although many more Americans still dislike rather than like him, now by nearly a 2-1 margin — and his negatives have soared among Hispanics, a sought-after group in national politics.
Thirty-three percent of Americans see Trump favorably; that’s doubled from 16 percent in a pre-candidacy ABC News/Washington Post poll in late May. Sixty-one percent see him unfavorably, down from 71 percent but still leaving him deeply under water in popularity overall.
Among Hispanics, negative views of Trump have jumped by 21 percentage points, from 60 percent in May to 81 percent today. That’s a potential challenge for the Republican Party, which has struggled to win support among racial and ethnic minorities, with Hispanics a prime target.
Trump’s not alone with popularity challenges. While Republican fundraising leader Jeb Bush has gained some ground, just 38 percent of Americans see him favorably – a scant 5 points more than Trump’s rating — while 47 percent rate Bush unfavorably.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating has improved to a majority after a sustained fall from her heights as secretary of state. The much less well-known Bernie Sanders, while drawing crowds on the campaign trail, gets a split decision, 27-28 percent.
Trump’s positive ratings are up very sharply among Republicans and strong conservatives, by 34 and 30 points, to 57 and 55 percent, respectively. He’s also gained 26 points among seniors and 24 points among whites, to 38 and 42 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates.
That said, Republicans and strong conservatives are the only groups in which majorities see Trump favorably. He’s seen unfavorably, for example, by 53 percent of whites, rising to 74 percent of nonwhites; 58 percent of independents; and six in 10 political moderates. And far more people strongly dislike than like Trump, 45-14 percent.
Fifty-two percent see Clinton favorably, up 7 points from late May, while 45 percent see her negatively – putting her popularity back above water, if not broadly so. The result reverses a 22-point drop in favorability from her peak in January 2013.
Clinton’s improved the most since May among minorities, including Hispanics (up 17 points) and blacks (+12 points), as well as a mix of other groups, including Northeasterners (+16), “somewhat” conservatives (+14) and young adults (+12).
Positive ratings of Bush are up 6 percentage points from late May, albeit just to 38 percent; the 9-point gap between his favorable and unfavorable ratings has narrowed from 19 points in late May. Still, Bush has been stuck in the 30s in favorable ratings all year.
His improvement is broadly based, highlighted by 18- and 11-point advances in favorable scores among Midwesterners and Westerners and double-digit gains among Hispanics (+14 points), Democrats (+12), conservatives (+10) and men (+10).
Sanders, for his part, remains little known: Forty-five percent of Americans have yet to form an opinion of him. As noted, he breaks even among others, 27-28 percent, favorable-unfavorable, with his best ratings among liberals (45 percent), high-income earners (42 percent), college graduates (41 percent) and Democrats (36 percent).
Clinton’s popularity in a comparatively uncluttered Democratic field reflects her better performance relative to Bush and Trump among her partisan and ideological base, as well as some key demographic groups. She’s viewed positively by 82 percent of Democrats, for example, while 63 and 57 percent of Republicans like Bush and Trump, respectively.
Further, while Clinton’s seen favorably by 76 percent of liberals, there are greater ideological divisions on the GOP side. Bush is seen favorably by just 43 percent of strong conservatives (vs. 52 percent of somewhat conservatives). That flips for Trump – 55 percent favorability among strong conservatives vs. 40 percent among somewhat conservatives.
Clinton essentially breaks even among independents, while Bush and Trump are under water by 13 and 23 points, respectively, in this group. Bush is much closer to Clinton among moderates, while Trump’s popularity is well behind.
Clinton also gets at least as good a favorability rating as Bush or Trump among men, whites and seniors — more GOP- than Democratic-leaning groups — as well as scoring much better among women, nonwhites and young adults. Notably, two-thirds of Hispanics view Clinton positively, compared with 46 percent for Bush and, for Trump, 13 percent.
METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone July 8-12, 2015, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,011 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, N.Y.