clock menu more-arrow no yes

The bad news for Hillary is people don't like her. The good news is they like her rivals even less.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to a meeting with the Congressional Progressive Caucus at the US Capitol July 14, 2015, in Washington, DC.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to a meeting with the Congressional Progressive Caucus at the US Capitol July 14, 2015, in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton's favorability rating is tanking as a solid majority of Americans view her as not honest, inspiring, or compassionate. What should worry Clinton most is that she's slipping among fellow Democrats, according to a new AP/GFK poll that shows only 39 percent of Americans view her favorably while 49 percent see her in an unfavorable light.

The silver lining: Republican presidential candidates are deeply unpopular, too, and, in separate surveys Clinton remains ahead of the GOP's top tier (Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker) in head-to-head match-ups. They should be happy President Barack Obama can't run for a third term, as he checked in with a favorability rating of 46 percent, higher than anyone who is seeking to succeed him.

Overall, the survey reinforces the two-track paradigm of the Clinton candidacy so far. Despite her low marks on personal traits, Americans see her as preferable to any of her rivals in either party. Two-thirds of Americans say she's not honest, 61 percent say she's not inspiring, and 58 percent say she's not compassionate. While Clinton maintains positive ratings from seven in 10 Democrats, that's an 11-point erosion since a similar poll in April, AP reported.

And yet, in addition to running ahead of the GOP field, Clinton led Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders 59 percent to 14 percent in a Suffolk University/USA Today poll released this week. She has consistently been ahead of him by more than 30 points in recent polls.

Clinton could win the Democratic nomination and the presidency despite most Americans finding her untrustworthy and lacking in compassion.

More about the numbers

Despite Clinton's flagging numbers, the new survey hints at why she has consistently led all of her Republican rivals in head-to-head match-ups.

AP/GFK poll, July 9-13, 2015

Many of the top Republican candidates are deeper below water than Clinton is. That goes double for Trump, who is rated unfavorable by 58 percent, compared with only 28 percent who view him favorably.

The only Republican who rates more favorably than unfavorably is neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and he remains unknown to more than six in 10 Americans. Bush has the highest favorable rating of any of the Republican contenders at 31 percent, but also the highest unfavorable mark at 44 percent. Rubio is almost even at 26 percent to 28 percent, with 43 percent saying they don't know enough to make a judgment.

The results suggest that candidates such as Rubio and Walker still have a lot of room to make their case to GOP primary voters and the general public.

Sign up for the newsletter The Weeds

Understand how policy impacts people. Delivered Fridays.