The negative coverage of Bill Clinton over the past couple of weeks seems to have hurt his standing with the public. A new survey finds that fewer voters these days like the idea of the former president being back in the White House.
Forty one percent of registered voters told the latest Pew Research Center survey that they disliked the idea of Mr. Clinton back at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which could happen if his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, is elected president. In October, 34 percent of voters disliked the idea.
The latest survey was conducted between Jan. 30 and Feb. 2, after a couple of weeks of heightened media attention to Mr. Clinton’s increasingly dominant and visible role in his wife’s campaign. Pew surveyed 1,502 adults and the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The poll found that independent voters have become more uncomfortable with the idea. In October, just 35 percent of independents disliked the idea; now, 45 percent dislike it.
Democrats seem to be generally comfortable with bringing Mr. Clinton back. In October, only 10 percent disliked the idea of him back in the White House, and even after his bad week only 12 percent object now. In October 68 percent of Democrats said they actually liked the idea and that number has not changed. So he may still be an asset to his wife, at least in the upcoming Democratic primaries.
In a general election, however, the prospect of Mr. Clinton back in the White House would be a bigger burden for her to carry. Republicans never liked the idea. In October, 66 percent said they disliked it; now 80 percent dislike it.
By Katharine Q. Seelye http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/fewer-want-bill-clinton-back-in-the-white-house/