Vic­tory in sight, Clin­ton still has neg­a­tive views

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA -

Hil­lary Clin­ton bested Don­ald Trump in three de­bates. She leads in many pref­er­ence polls of the most com­pet­i­tive states. Bar­ring a sig­nif­i­cant shift in the next two weeks, she is in a strong po­si­tion to be­come the first woman elected US pres­i­dent.

But Clin­ton will end the cam­paign still strug­gling to change the minds of mil­lions of vot­ers who don’t think well of her, a glar­ing li­a­bil­ity should the Demo­cratic nom­i­nee move on to the White House.

While many see her as bet­ter pre­pared to be com­man­der in chief than Trump, she is con­sis­tently viewed un­fa­vor­ably by more than half of the coun­try. Most vot­ers also con­sider her dis­hon­est.

Clin­ton’s ad­vis­ers have spent months try­ing to erase that per­cep­tion. They’ve set up small events where she had more in­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tions with vot­ers. They’ve tested a seem­ingly end­less stream of mes­sages aimed at as­sur­ing the pub­lic that the former sec­re­tary of state was in the race to do more than ful­fill her own po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions.

As Clin­ton starts mak­ing her clos­ing ar­gu­ment to vot­ers, her team ap­pears to have come to terms that the mis­sion re­mains un­ful­filled.

“Hon­est and trust­wor­thy has be­come our most talked about met­ric be­cause it’s not great,” said Jen­nifer Palmieri, Clin­ton’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor. “But we’ve never thought it’s the met­ric peo­ple make a de­ci­sion on.”

If Clin­ton wins, that the­ory may be proven true.

Just 36 per­cent of vot­ers be­lieve Clin­ton is hon­est and trust­wor­thy, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Wash­ing­ton Post/ABC News poll. That’s com­pared with about 60 per­cent who be­lieve she has the qual­i­fi­ca­tions and tem­per­a­ment to be com­man­der in chief.

The pub­lic’s per­cep­tion of Clin­ton has bounced up and down through­out her time in pub­lic life. Her fa­vor­a­bil­ity rat­ing fell be­low 50 per­cent at times dur­ing her years as first lady, but rose to its high wa­ter mark then and while she was as sec­re­tary of state un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.


US Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton shakes hands with supporters dur­ing a cam­paign event in Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­va­nia, on Satur­day.

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