Politics & Policy

Hillary’s Woman Problem: Most Women Don’t Like Her

Clinton campaigns in New York, March 30, 2016. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty)

Steven Shepard of Politico wrote an important article last week about Donald Trump’s “rock bottom” ratings with women. And his low standing with women has certainly become a much-discussed topic among pundits analyzing the Donald Trump candidacy.

An overlooked story, however, is that Hillary Clinton, who might become the first female president in the history of the United States, isn’t far behind in her unfavorability ratings among women. Our just-released poll shows that Donald Trump has a 68 percent unfavorable rating among women. But 58 percent of women say they view Hillary Clinton unfavorably. In fact, Hillary’s unfavorable rating was two points higher among women than it was among men.

Secretary Clinton (whom the FBI will apparently soon interview, in connection with her national-security e-mail scandal) and her allies in the media are relentlessly hammering Donald Trump to raise his unfavorable rating among women. They want to make sure that Trump’s negatives among women are higher than her negatives are among women. In this way, gender rather than issues or character would become the defining factor for women’s votes.

But Hillary Clinton’s negatives among women voters are broad and deep. Our poll results, which mirror those of many other recent media polls, show that Hillary Clinton’s unfavorable ratings outweigh here favorability ratings in these areas:

‐In every region: In the East, 39 percent view her favorably; 53 percent view her unfavorably; in the Midwest, her ratings are 36 percent favorable to 62 percent unfavorable; in the South, 36 percent favorable to 60 percent unfavorable; in the West, 38 percent favorable to 54 percent unfavorable.

‐Among women on the right and in the center: Her ratings among Republican women are 9 percent favorable to 90 percent unfavorable; among independent women, they are 24 percent favorable to 65 percent unfavorable; among conservative women, 10 percent favorable to 88 percent unfavorable; among moderate women, 42 percent favorable to 50 percent unfavorable.

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‐Among white and Hispanic women: Among white women, her ratings are 30 percent favorable to 65 percent unfavorable; among Hispanic women, they are 41 percent favorable to 56 percent unfavorable.

‐Among women of all ages: Women younger than 55 have a 37 percent favorable to 58 percent unfavorable view of Clinton; women older than 55 have a 37 percent favorable to 60 percent unfavorable view.

‐Among women of all incomes: Her ratings among under-$60K-per-year households are 39 percent favorable to 56 percent unfavorable; among over-$60K-per-year households, they are 34 percent favorable to 61 percent unfavorable; among working women, they are 39 percent favorable to 59 percent unfavorable; among self-employed women, they are 28 percent favorable to 69 percent unfavorable; among retired women, 36 percent favorable to 51 percent unfavorable; among unemployed women, 42 percent favorable to 46 percent unfavorable.

‐By religion: Protestant Women have a 33 percent favorable to 63 percent unfavorable view of Clinton; among Evangelical women, it’s 31 percent favorable to 66 percent unfavorable; among non-Evangelical women, it’s 40 percent favorable to 54 percent unfavorable; among Catholic women, it’s 35 percent favorable to 59 percent unfavorable.

#share#There are, in fact, very few segments of the female electorate who have an overall favorable view of Clinton, and she still has significant negatives in her narrow base: Jewish women hold a 54 percent favorable to 46 percent unfavorable view; among liberal women, it’s 68 percent favorable to 30 percent unfavorable; among Democratic women, it’s 71 percent favorable to 26 percent unfavorable; among African-American women, it’s 86 percent favorable to 10 percent unfavorable.

Sixty-two percent of the remaining undecided voters, in a head-to-head contest between Clinton and Trump, are women. The opinion of Hillary among these undecided women is overwhelmingly negative: 6 percent favorable to 82 percent unfavorable.

#related#Among all voters, three in ten, 30 percent, are unfavorable to both Clinton and Trump. Among these who are unfavorable to both, 60 percent are women. They’d vote for Trump 39 percent to 33 percent.

So both the leading candidates have very high unfavorable ratings among women. This portends an ugly battle to come. But winning ugly is still winning. That’s Hillary Clinton’s ironic strategy.

John McLaughlin and Jim McLaughlin are Republican strategists and partners in the national polling firm McLaughlin & Associates. They are not aligned with any presidential candidate or super PAC.

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