By GREGORY HOLYK and GARY LANGER
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.
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 to 63 percent who say the same about Trump.
Among registered voters, the two candidates have near-identical unfavorable ratings: 59 percent for Clinton vs. 60 percent for Trump.
Prior to 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 attention on her use of a private email server and alleged conflicts of interest over her connections to the Clinton Foundation fundraising while she served as secretary of state. This metric rose among some of her core support groups, including women, post-graduates, 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, on the other hand, 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. Trump 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 and Trump’s historic low scores raise uncertainties about voter turnout in the November election. The open question is whether they can motivate their potential 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 in support of any candidate.
Notably, Clinton’s popularity among women has flipped from 54-43 percent favorable-unfavorable last month (+11 points favorable), to 45-52 percent now (+7 unfavorable); 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 post-graduate degrees, from 60-39 percent in in early August to 47-51 percent now. She’s now back to about where she was among post-grads in July.
She’s 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 in her home party, vs. Trump’s 72 percent among Republicans).
There’s been no change in Trump’s popularity overall, but some shifts among groups. Most notably, he’s slipped by 6 points in favorability among men while gaining 7 points among women, perhaps reflecting his recent efforts at “softening” some of his positions.
This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone from Aug. 24-28, 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, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS of Media, Pa.