Saturday, September 3, 2016

Favorable/Unfavorable ratings

Wow.    News headlines last week were in an uproar about Hillary Clinton's "increasing" unfavorable ratings.  The latest had her at 41% favorable, with 56% unfavorable.   Sounds pretty bad, doesn't it, for someone wanting you to vote for her as president.

First, the "soaring unpopularity" of headlines and FoxNews is a bit overblown.   Two months ago, those same polls showed her with 42% and 55%.   So 1% change undoubtedly is well within the margin of error.  And, to put this in perspective:   Donald Trump's numbers are even worse:  34% favorable, 60% unfavorable.

I also question the importance put on these numbers.   In Hillary's case, in particular, because she tends to have people dissatisfied with her for disparate reasons.   For some, she's too hawkish;  for others, she's too progressive;   others say she favors Wall Street; some like her because she's a woman;  some dislike her because she's a woman.   Some dislike her policies;   some dislike her wonkish, wooden delivery on the podium.   And then there is that large number of people who don't know anything about her except what they've heard for 30 years on FoxNews and right wing radio -- which is mostly lies and distortions.   In contrast, people who dislike Trump often just dislike everything about him, based on what they can observe in his many televised appearances.   I think it's more of a yes/no binary on him than on her.

But, even more to the point:   where do they stand vis a vis other politicians?  All figures are based on a Huffington Post aggregate of available polling:
                                          Favor      Unfavor        Net
Clinton                              41%           56%         - 15%
Trump                               34%           60%        - 26%
Paul Ryan                         33%          42%         -   9%
Mitch McConnell           16%           44%         - 28%
Harry Reid                       22%           42%         - 20%
Nancy Pelosi                   24%           48%         - 20%
Republican Party          34%           57%         - 23%
Democratic Party          45%          47%          -   2%
Barack Obama                 55%          44%          + 11%

Of these leading political figures, the only one with a positive net rating is President Obama, with a net plus 11%.  Next, with only a minus 2%, is the Democratic Party.    Congress as a whole is not included in this, but previous polls have shown them with a favorable rating of just 18% if my memory is correct.    According to these polls, McConnell is the least liked of all, with only 16% favorables and a whopping minus 28% net.  Lawyers come across pretty low too,  down in the range of used car salesmen.  And even doctors -- the most traditionally revered group -- aren't loved so unconditionally any more.   We're just a nation in a sour mood.


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