PHILADELPHIA — Hillary Clinton heads into the biggest speech of her political life Thursday night suffering from a more negative image within her own party than any previous Democratic nominee on the eve of the party convention in the last quarter century, a new analysis of Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling shows. Only her husband Bill in 1992 comes even close.
GOP pollsters Bill McInturff and Brian Fraser found that 20% of Democratic voters surveyed in July had negative feelings about Mrs. Clinton. In 1992 on the eve of Bill Clinton’s nomination, 19% viewed him negatively. Among the rest of the Democratic presidential nominees between the Clintons, none had a negative rating higher than 10%.
The pollsters also found, in an analysis of data collected in May-July surveys, that the Democrats who view Mrs. Clinton negatively are more likely to be young, liberal and dissatisfied with the direction of the country.
Of the Democrats who view her negatively, 89% believed the country is on the wrong track — even more pessimistic than the electorate as a whole, among whom 71% see the country on the wrong track. Almost one third of the Democrats who feel negatively about Mrs. Clinton are under 30, even though they made up only 18% of the voters surveyed. And 40% of them are liberals, who make up just 27% of those surveyed.
Democrats are hoping the convention in Philadelphia will help improve her image . Her husband’s experience offers some hope: Heading into his 1992 convention, Bill Clinton was viewed positively by 47% of Democrats and negatively by 19%. After the convention, his image improved to 68% positive and 11% negative.