IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Hillary Clinton's poll numbers come back down to earth

Hillary Clinton couldn't ride her post-government highs forever and now her numbers have fallen to almost break-even.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks in Las Vegas on Sept. 4, 2014.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks in Las Vegas on Sept. 4, 2014.

Hillary Clinton’s favorability ratings continue to tumble as she renters the political fray, with 43% of respondents now saying they view her positively, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, down from a high of 60% in 2009.

But Clinton remains one of only two politicians polled whose favorability rating tops their unfavorable numbers (the other being her husband, former president Bill Clinton).  Forty-one percent of respondents hold a negative view of the former first lady and potential 2016 presidential candidate, slightly fewer than those who hold positive views.

Clinton’s numbers were likely destined to fall back to earth as she reentered domestic partisan politics. In recent months, she’s increasingly weighed in on hot-button issues like gun control, which is likely to blunt her support among non-Democrats who may have liked her as secretary of state or as a private citizen, but would never support her as a presidential candidate.

George W. Bush’s ratings, for instance, have climbed since he left office.

Her husband remains the most popular political figure surveyed, with 56% of respondents holding positive views of the former president and just 21% expressing a negative opinion.

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who is also eyeing a presidential bid, breaks even with the same number holding favorable and unfavorable views. Among other potential GOP presidential contenders, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has a net negative four point rating, Mitt Romney is down seven points, and Jeb Bush is down 11 points.

There is somewhat more intensity against Clinton than for her, with 26% saying they hold “very negative” views of Clinton and 21% holding “very positive” views of the former first lady.

Clinton allies say the former secretary of state is still strong, despite the drop in favorability rating. “Despite the fact that Republicans are resorting to misinformed and blatantly false attacks on Hillary Clinton's record, poll after poll demonstrates that she continues to be one of the most admired leaders not only in America, but across the globe," said Adrienne Elrod of the pro-Clinton group rapid response group Correct the Record.