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article imageNew Hampshire, Iowa voters unimpressed with all but one candidate

By Megan Hamilton     Jul 27, 2015 in Politics
Iowa and New Hampshire voters apparently aren't impressed with the current crop of candidates running in the primary-election races for president in 2016, and only one candidate gained a positive favorability rating.
Out of 17 declared Republican and five declared Democratic candidates for president, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind.-Vt), beat out Hillary Clinton to become the only candidate voters viewed favorably, according to two NBC/Marist polls, The International Business Times (IBT) reports.
The poll results, released Sunday, show that in these two states, all of the other candidates ranging from Jim Webb, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton, had overall negative favorability ratings. The term "negative favorability" seems like an oxymoron, but what it really means is that there's more voters with negative opinions than there are voters with positive opinions about every single candidate, except Sanders.
Politicus reports Sanders is the only candidate who has a positive approval rating in both states.
These are the favorable/unfavorable scores for the top candidates in Iowa, according to the IBT:
Bernie Sanders +3 (30 percent/27 percent)
Marco Rubio -1 (31 percent/32 percent)
Scott Walker -1 (30 percent/31 percent)
Jeb Bush -12 (34 percent/46 percent)
Hillary Clinton -19 (37 percent/56 percent)
Donald Trump -28 (32 percent/60 percent
Now here's the scores for New Hampshire:
Bernie Sanders +12 (41 percent/29 percent)
Jeb Bush -5 (40 percent/45 percent)
Scott Walker -6 (28 percent/34 percent)
Marco Rubio -6 (28 percent/34 percent)
Hillary Clinton -20 (37 percent/57 percent)
Donald Trump -40 (27 percent/67 percent)
Politicus notes Sanders is the most personally popular candidate of either party, and part of the reason he's doing well is that no one is attacking him. Clinton, on the other hand, is bombarded daily with attacks in the media by Republicans while the issue-based Sanders campaign is picking up steam among Democratic voters nationwide.
Among Democratic voters exclusively, the news looks relatively rosy for Clinton and Sanders. Among these voters, Clinton's favorable/unfavorable rating is +54 (74 percent/20 percent) in Iowa and +48 (71 percent/23 percent) in New Hampshire. Sanders stands at (54 percent/15 percent) in Iowa and +51 (65 percent/14 percent) in New Hampshire, IBT reports.
Even though they lead among their respective parties in the polls, Clinton and Trump also garnered the highest unfavorability ratings by a wide margin in the two states. Among Republican voters, Trump has a Grand Canyon-sized favorable/unfavorable rating in New Hampshire of -14 (39 percent/53 percent) and a marginally better rating in Iowa of +1 (45 percent/44 percent).
Sanders is gaining on Clinton in ways that perhaps people hadn't anticipated before, and in the polls he seems to be stealing some of her thunder. Even in late June, one survey showed him within 8 percentage points of the former Secretary of State, The Washington Post reports.
His surging popularity has unearthed some misgivings held by the party's more progressive base regarding Clinton, whose team is rather guarded when it comes to releasing public statements. Clinton supporters have acknowledged privately that there is the potential for Sanders to damage her, especially if he wins a couple of states early on, even if he can't win the nomination, the Post reports.
"He's connecting in a way that Hillary Clinton is not," said Burt Cohen, formerly a New Hampshire state senator and Sanders supporter who had attended an event featuring Sanders in June. "He's talking about things people want to hear. People are used to candidates who are calculated, produced and measured, and they see through that. Bernie's different."
More about Bernie sanders, Hillary clinton, sanders, Clinton, New hampshire
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