Hillary Clinton's favorable rating soars, Bernie Sanders is stagnant

Politics This Week: Clinton Strong, GOP in Flux

Democrats are really, really starting to like Hillary Clinton.

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination has seen her net favorable rating jump 14 points among Democrats and those who lean to the left since the first Democratic debate in October, while her top competitor -- Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont -- has seen his own rating stay fairly stagnant, according to Gallup polling released this week. Both candidates, along with former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, will take the stage again Saturday in Iowa for the second official debate of the Democratic primary.

SEE MORE: What you need to know for the next Democratic debate

Since the Oct. 13 debate, which was largely deemed a Clinton win, the former secretary of state has not only ridden a high from her performance that night, she also was able to maintain her cool – and again come out on top from a political perspective – while under fire during a marathon hearing before Congress on the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

According to Gallup, Clinton now has a 63 percent net favorable rating among those on the left, up from 49 percent just before the debate. Her current tally is her highest since Gallup began tracking views of the candidates in July.

Sanders, though, has a lot of work to do.

While many Democrats were impressed with his debate performance, he apparently didn't do enough to change opinions of him. Since just before the debate, his net favorable rating has dropped 1 percentage point to 38.

So what does Sanders have to do Saturday to get on Democrats' good side? It looks like he'll have to win over minorities -- specifically black Democratic voters who are largely in support of Clinton at this point.

Ten facts you should know about Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton 10 Facts
See Gallery
Hillary Clinton's favorable rating soars, Bernie Sanders is stagnant

1. She went by her maiden for years after she married Bill in 1975. She went by "Mrs. Bill Clinton" shortly after her husband lost the 1980 Arkansas gubernatorial election in part because voters had questioned their marriage's stability.

(Photo by Douglas Burrows/Liaison)

2. She once described herself as a tomboy who wanted to be an astronaut, and wrote to NASA as a 12-year-old about how she could become an astronaut. They sent her a reply, clarifying that NASA didn't accept women in their astronaut program.

(Photo by Karin Cooper, Getty)

3. She was the student speaker picked to give the commencement speech at Wellesley, and received a standing ovation.

(Photo by John Mottern, AFP/Getty Images)

6. In 1974, she was one of only three women out of 43 lawyers who worked on the inquiry into whether President Nixon would be impeached.

(Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

7. She named her daughter Chelsea after Joni Mitchell's song "Chelsea Morning."

(Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

9. She says she met Bill Clinton at the Yale law library when she approached him and said, "Look if you're going to keep staring at me, and I'm going to keep staring back, I think we should at least know each other. I'm Hillary Rodham. What's your name?"

(Photo by Mark Philips, AFP/Getty Images)

10. Her mother told her that she had been named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first man to to climb Everest, despite the fact that he had done so five years after she was born. A spokesperson for Clinton has said that this was a "sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter, to great results I might add."

(Photo by Vincent Laforet, AFP/Getty Images)


Clinton has a nearly 90 percent net favorable rating among non-Hispanic blacks, according to Gallup, compared with Sanders' meager rating of 21 percent. That gap has gotten even worse since before the last debate, when the difference was a lower -- but still substantial -- 55 percentage points.

As The Washington Post has noted, Sanders has struggled to connect with black voters, many of whom don't know much about him. While focusing on economic inequality, he's been perceived as not adequately responding to the recent deaths of unarmed African-Americans at the hands of police.

As such, the senator has had a tumultuous relationship with Black Lives Matter protesters, who have interrupted some of his events. After a pair interrupted his speech in Seattle, he left the stage and said he was "disappointed."

Since then, Sanders has made an effort to mend the relationship by meeting in person with members of the movement. And when asked during the first debate whether "black lives matter or all lives matter," he stressed the former, invoking the death of Sandra Bland and a "need to combat institutional racism from top to bottom."

See Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail:

Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail
See Gallery
Hillary Clinton's favorable rating soars, Bernie Sanders is stagnant
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks to a crowd gathered at the Phoenix Convention Center during a campaign rally on March 15, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary elections in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, while Missouri and Illinois remain tight races. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 26: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to the media after holding a campaign event with United Steelworkers Local 310L, on January 26, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. Sanders continues his quest to become the Democratic presidential nominee.. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign event at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, January 24, 2016, ahead of the Iowa Caucus. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, participates in the Democratic presidential candidate debate in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. Hours before Sunday's Democratic debate, the two top Democratic contenders held a warm-up bout of sorts in multiple separate appearances on political talk shows, at a time when the polling gap between the pair has narrowed in early-voting states. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 05: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) shakes hands with supporters after outlining his plan to reform the U.S. financial sector on January 5, 2016 in New York City. Sanders is demanding greater financial oversight and greater government action for banks and individuals that break financial laws. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
LEBANON, NH - NOVEMBER 11: Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) marches in the Veterans Day Parade November 11, 2015 in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Sanders goes into the Democrats second debate this weekend still running strong in the polls.(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, speaks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. While next Tuesday's first Democratic presidential debate will probably lack the name-calling and sharp jabs of the Republican face-offs, there's still potential for strong disagreements between the party's leading contenders. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks about the Workplace Democracy Act on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US Senator from Vermont and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses striking low-wage contract workers from the US Capitol and religious leaders at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, DC, on September 22, 2015 for an interfaith service ahead of the arrival of Pope Francis for a six-day visit to the US. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, NH - SEPTEMBER 19: Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) talks on stage during the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention on September 19, 2015 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Five Democratic presidential candidates are all expected to address the crowd inside the Verizon Wireless Arena. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Still, the Gallup polling showed Clinton is even more well-liked among liberals than Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, with Clinton holding an 11-point lead in favorability among the sector.

The senator also, quite simply, needs to become more well-known within the Democratic Party – something Clinton, having spent decades in the public eye, doesn't struggle with.

On Saturday night, Sanders will have another chance to do just that.

More coverage of the Democratic candidates:
Who's left in the Democratic race?
Party insiders give Clinton early, commanding delegate edge
Donald Trump goes after Bernie Sanders in new attack video

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.