Gallup: ‘Socialist’ and ‘Dishonest’ Are Most Common Reactions to Sanders and Clinton

Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton

A new Gallup poll shows that "dishonest" and "socialist" are the most common American reactions to Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

The two are the final candidates left standing in the race for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

For Clinton, the leading words coming to mind were "dishonest/liar/don't trust her/poor character" (21 percent) and "dislike her" (9 percent). Another 7 percent thought of "crooked/criminal/thief/belongs in jail." Overall, 29 percent offered a positive observation versus 51 percent expressing a negative view.

For Sanders, the most common reactions were "socialist" (12 percent) and "older/aged" (6 percent). Another 11 percent found him to be either communist (3 percent), crazy (4 percent) or unfavorable (4 percent).

Gallup concluded the survey, taken Feb. 13-14, demonstrated "that negative perceptions about Clinton's character and trustworthiness continue to dog her."

The perceptions of Hillary Clinton as dishonest are not new. When Gallup asked the same question in 2008, "dishonest" was Americans' most frequent response. And, in a Gallup poll conducted in September 2015, Americans overwhelmingly referred to the email scandal when asked to mention what they had read or heard about Clinton.

On the positive side, 8% of Americans say they like her, 7% describe her as capable and qualified, 5% as experienced, 3% as strong and 3% as a good politician. Smaller percentages consider her honest or smart.

Overall, 29% of Americans offer a positive observation about Clinton while 51% express something negative. The rest have either a neutral comment or no opinion. This loosely fits with her overall image among national adults as measured on Gallup tracking, which is 42% favorable and 51% unfavorable.

For Sanders, a self-avowed Democratic socialist, his far-left ideology was more likely to define him with Americans.