Terrible news for Hillary in latest polls

Two new polls released this morning show that Hillary Clinton is losing the trust of the American people, other than Democrats, who remain committed to her.  Both the polls by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation and ABC News/Washington Post show the presumptive Democrat nominee under water on trustworthiness and favorability ratings.

CNN summarizes:

More people have an unfavorable view of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton now than at any time since 2001, according to a new CNN/ORC poll on the 2016 race.

While Clinton remains strikingly dominant in the Democratic field, the poll shows that her numbers have dropped significantly across several key indicators since she launched her campaign in April.

A growing number of people say she is not honest and trustworthy (57%, up from 49% in March), less than half feel she cares about people like them (47%, down from 53% last July) and more now feel she does not inspire confidence (50%, up from 42% last March).

In head-to-head match-ups against top Republicans, her margin is tighter than it has been at any point in CNN/ORC's polling on the contest.

In understanding the head-to-head polling versus GOP candidates, keep in mind that name recognition adds many points to Clinton versus the much less well-known GOP field.  At this point, she should have double-digit leads against any Republican simply based on her name recognition.  Instead:

In general election match-ups, Clinton now runs about even with Rand Paul, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, while she continues to top Bush and Ted Cruz by a significant margin.

As noted above, those shifts stem largely from a change among independents, though Republicans appear to be solidifying their support for GOP candidates while Democrats are slightly less certain about Clinton.

One feature of the race that has held even as the numbers shifted: These match-ups prompt enormous gender gaps. According to the poll, the gender gaps remain over 20 points in each of the five match-ups tested, including a whopping 34-point gender gap in Clinton's match-up with Scott Walker.

Her declining support in those general election match-ups, alongside falling favorability ratings and worsening impressions of her, suggests recent news about her actions as secretary of state may have taken a toll.

The ABC/WaPo polls offers similar outcomes:

While still far ahead for her party’s nomination, Clinton faces challenges. She’s slipped underwater in personal favorability for the first time since her unsuccessful run for the presidency in 2008. She’s deeper in the hole for honesty and trustworthiness – down 5 points in just two months and 12 points in the last year. And Americans by 17- to 24-point margins disapprove of her handling of recent questions on her use of personal e-mail while secretary of state, her handling of the Benghazi attack in Libya and fundraising by her family’s foundation.

Indeed, while Bush has lost ground in the contest for the GOP nomination, Clinton does less well against him in a head-to-head matchup. The gap between them has closed from 12 points to three – 47-44 percent, Clinton-Bush, among registered voters, vs. 53-41 percent two months ago.

The GOP polling means very little at this point, but the one thing that is clear is that Jeb Bush is losing ground.  However, with the first debate coming up toward the end of summer, there is ample time for him to rebound, assuming he can find a way to appeal to the base and make his message more coherent.  His stumbles on the gotcha question on invading Iraq have harmed him.

Hillary’s challenge is far more serious.  Trust is not easily regained.  And her dummy-up strategy for dealing with the media is doing her no good.  Still, opening her mouth in response to serious questions threatens her even more.  The smart money still thinks she is a lock for the nomination and has a great shot at the general election.  I see weakness and think that Democrats are quietly desperate to find a credible alternative.  Watch Elizabeth Warren for signs of reconsidering her declaration that she will not run.

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