Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating has dropped to its lowest level since March 2001 as the Democratic presidential candidate battles controversy surrounding her use of a private email server at the State Department.
A Gallup analysis released Friday indicates that 41 percent of American adults currently view Clinton in a favorable light, while a significant majority—51 percent—hold an unfavorable opinion of the former secretary of state.
Arguably her worst to date, Clinton’s current favorable score sits about where it did in March 2001 at the start of her career representing New York in the U.S. Senate, just months after her husband, former President Bill Clinton, ended his second term by pardoning more than 100 Americans.
The controversial pardons included former CIA Director John Deutch who, ironically, was in danger of facing criminal charges for mishandling classified information on his personal computer, in addition to Clinton’s former Whitewater business partner Susan McDougal and his brother Roger Clinton.
The poor 2001 favorable rating also came just after the Clintons were scrutinized for taking tens of thousands of dollars worth of property from the White House when they left.
Clinton’s current favorability rating is 26 percentage points less than its peak of 67 percent in 1998.
Indeed, top Clinton campaign aides are trying to ease concerns surrounding the FBI investigation into the security of Clinton’s email server, reaching out to donors to instill confidence in the presidential contender but warn that the controversy will continue to be "bumpy."
While Clinton has repeatedly insisted that she never knowingly sent or received information marked classified on her personal email, the inspector general of the intelligence community has identified at least two emails held on her system that contain "top secret" information.