Per a new ABC-Washington Post poll released on Wednesday, it appears that Republican strategist Karl Rove’s plan to hurt former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by questioning both her health and age has completely backfired on him and the GOP. Earlier this month, it was revealed that, while on stage during a conference, Rove claimed that Clinton suffered a “traumatic brain injury” in 2012 and that it was possible she’d sustained some brain damage. After the New York Post ran the story, Rove decided to run with it, doubling-down on the smear of Mrs. Clinton and getting some of his buddies at Fox News to push the story along.
On top of that, Rove has also pointed out Clinton’s age and has said that questioning her age, along with her health, is completely fair game. Earlier this week, while on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Rove called Clinton “old and stale” and claimed that voters were looking for something new and fresh. This is especially rich coming from a man who has been in the political game for some 40 years now. It appears that people like Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee are the ‘fresh’ faces that Americans are looking for, per Rove. However, Clinton is just old news.
Anyway, per the poll released on Wednesday, a full 67% of registered voters disapproved of Rove’s strategy. Only 25% approved of Rove using the media to openly question whether Clinton is capable of being President due to her age and health. Obviously, a huge majority of Democrats disapproved of Rove’s plan, with 84% responding unfavorably. However, even Republican voters aren’t enamored with it. Only 45% approved of Rove’s game plan, while 46% felt negatively about his Clinton comments.
The poll also shows that Hillary Clinton is still a very popular choice for President in 2016. 52% of registered voters, and 55% of all adults, support her candidacy. She has a net positive of 9 points with registered voters and a whopping 16 points will all adults. At the same time, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, scored a very high approval rating in this poll. 63% of those polled hold a favorable view of the ex-President, while only 32% see him in a negative light.
Overall, this strategy by Rove, that the GOP has recently tried to adopt, has been a total failure. By bringing up Clinton’s age and health as negatives, they have made voters feel sympathetic for an already popular Presidential candidate. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was on Meet the Press this Sunday and tried to run with this strategy. This poll will probably act as a wake up call to GOP leadership that this is an awful, awful, awful direction to go in when it comes to running against Hillary Clinton. It should also serve as further confirmation that Karl Rove should be cast aside. There is no reason to heed advice from Karl Rove.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).