- Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s public feud with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in October has raised the Hawaii lawmaker’s profile in the time since, according to a new Insider poll.
- At the same time, however, the poll found that Gabbard’s favorability dropped significantly in the same period.
- This suggests that Clinton’s opinion still carries a fair amount of weight with Democratic voters.
- It could also suggest that the more Democratic voters learn about Gabbard, the less appealing they find her.
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Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s recent spat with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped raise the 2020 hopeful’s profile, but did not boost her popularity, according to a new Insider poll.
The Hawaii lawmaker is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. She’s far from a frontrunner and has controversial views and a divisive record on key issues – particularly foreign policy. But Gabbard has still managed to qualify for all five rounds of the presidential debates.
In an October interview, Clinton described Gabbard as a “favourite of the Russians.” She added: “They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”
The former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee also suggested that Republicans were “grooming” Gabbard to be a third-party candidate.
Gabbard offered a scathing response to Clinton’s remarks, stating the former secretary of state is “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long.”
In the time since this mid-to-late-October exchange, the percentage of likely Democratic primary voters who say they are “aware” of Gabbard has gone up nearly eight percentage points, from nearly 35% to almost 43%, Insider’s poll found.
But that hasn’t translated into an increase in favorability for Gabbard. In fact, she became less popular.
As voters have become more aware of Gabbard, her favorability has declined
The percentage of the likely Democratic primary voters who had heard of Gabbard who said they would be “satisfied” with Gabbard as the 2020 Democratic nominee dropped from roughly 20% to a little less than 14%, for a nearly seven percentage point decline. That’s comparing the average of four polls conducted ahead of Clinton’s swipe and the three polls we’ve conducted since.
Meanwhile, the number of likely Democratic primary voters who said they would be “unsatisfied” with Gabbard as the nominee went up roughly 14 percentage points among those familiar with her, rising from approximately 36% to 50%.
Though Clinton was among the two most unpopular presidential nominees for a major political party in modern US history, surpassed only by President Donald Trump in this regard, this suggests that her opinion still carries a fair amount of weight with Democratic voters.
It could also suggest that the more Democratic voters learn about Gabbard, the less appealing they find her.
To help make sense of where all the 2020 candidates stand, Insider has been conducting a recurring SurveyMonkey Audience national poll. You can download every poll here, down to the individual respondent data. (Read more about how the Insider 2020 Democratic primary tracker works).
The Hawaii lawmaker is an outlier among the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates
Gabbard has a mixed record on an array of issues.
Earlier this year and less than a week after she launched her 2020 campaign, for example, Gabbard issued an apology to the LGBTQ community for past stances. Gabbard worked for her father’s anti-gay organisation in the early 2000s and opposed a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions as a state legislator in Hawaii in 2004.
The Hawaii lawmaker, an Iraq War veteran, has also been widely labelled an apologist for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an accused war criminal whom she controversially visited in early 2017. Gabbard has also pitched herself as the peace candidate, despite previously dubbing herself as a “hawk” when it comes to combatting terrorism.
Gabbard’s contrarian viewpoints have garnered praise from pro-Trump, right-wing media figures and she routinely appears on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News.
Her public feud with Clinton led Carlson, who is an unabashed conservative, to issue a fierce defence of the Democratic 2020 candidate.
Gabbard is also “the overwhelming favourite of Kremlin news outlets” among 2020 Democratic candidates and has received the most favourable coverage by far in Russian media, according to an analysis from the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
- Read more:
- Two-thirds of Bernie Sanders supporters also would support Elizabeth Warren if she’s the nominee
- Tulsi Gabbard’s foreign policy frustrates centrist Democrats, draws cheers from anti-interventionists, and makes her political identity tough to pigeonhole
- Meghan McCain calls Tulsi Gabbard an ‘Assad apologist’ in heated exchange on Syria
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