Hillary Clinton’s likability problem

Hillary Clinton’s likability problem

Allies of Hillary Clinton are confident she will win the Democratic presidential nomination, but they are worried about one big thing: her likability problem in the general election.

Clinton has rebounded from a rough spring and summer with a strong fall. And while her eyes remain on the primary, she is already testing general election themes against her possible GOP opponents as they do battle in what could be a drawn-out Republican primary.

Presidential elections are often decided on personality instead of specific policies. Along those lines, people in Clinton’s orbit are worried she doesn’t pass the would-you-like-to-have-a-beer-with-her test.

It’s a test she failed against then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in 2008. Throughout that cycle, Clinton stressed her “35 years of experience” while Obama pitched his “hope and change” message.

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The likability test came up often on the campaign trail, most notably in the last New Hampshire debate that year when Clinton acknowledged Obama is “very likable.”

In a quip that may have cost him New Hampshire, Obama responded, “You’re likable enough, Hillary.”

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