Peter Nicholas, Wall Street Journal, August 4, 2015
Many Democrats have long hoped that Hillary Clinton might expand Barack Obama‘s electoral coalition by drawing in more white women voters.
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll suggests she may have a tough time pulling it off. Mrs. Clinton is losing ground with white women and many other important slices of the electorate, the poll shows, amid a spate of reports about her email practices, speaking fees and foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation.
In June, 44% of white women had a favorable view of Mrs. Clinton, compared to 43% who didn’t. In July, those numbers moved in the wrong direction for Mrs. Clinton: Only 34% of white women saw her in a positive light, compared to 53% who had a negative impression of her, the poll found.
Mr. Obama fared poorly with white women voters in the 2012 election, losing them to Republican challenger Mitt Romney by 14 points.
Mrs. Clinton, of course, is a white woman. She was raised in the suburbs and earned both college and law degrees. She’s fared well among voters with a similar background in past polls, but this month’s survey shows that’s no longer the case.
In the first three months of the year, suburban women by a margin of 18 points had a positive view of Mrs. Clinton. In July, those numbers took a dramatic turn for the worse. By a five-point margin, suburban women had a negative view of Mrs. Clinton.
Among white women with at least a college degree, 51% had a positive view of Mrs. Clinton and 38% a negative as of June. In July, those numbers had turned to 43% positive and 47% negative.
–Mrs. Clinton still enjoys strong support from African-Americans–a core piece of the Democratic coalition–but less so than in the recent past. In June, by a margin of 81% to 3% African-Americans had a positive view of Mrs. Clinton. In July, the comparable numbers were 66% positive, 15% negative. If African-American voters feel less enthused about Mrs. Clinton, the largely Democratic group may be less inclined to vote, posing problems for the Democratic Party.