Images of Clinton, Trump remain largely same as in early July: poll

2016-10-19 22:59:36 GMT2016-10-20 06:59:36(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LAS VEGAS, the United States, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Despite two debates and months of tenacious campaigning that exposed one scandal after another about both U.S. presidential candidates, the images of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump remain largely the same as they were in early July, found a Gallup poll Wednesday.

The poll was released just before the two candidates are heading into their third and last presidential debate Wednesday night at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Clinton, the Democratic candidate, now has a 41 percent favorable rating, down only 1 percentage point from early July, while her Republican rival Trump boasts 31 percent favorable rating that is also largely unchanged, according to the Oct. 11-17 poll.

Overall, 43 percent of Americans have a strongly unfavorable opinion of Clinton, while 21 percent have a strongly favorable opinion. For Trump, 53 percent say they have strongly unfavorable views, with 16 percent holding a strongly favorable opinion.

The poll found that 80 percent Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have favorable views of Clinton, while 63 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners have a favorable opinion of Trump.

In the past months since July's national conventions, the American public has witnessed two presidential debates, a controversy over a 2005 video of Trump making lewd sexist comments about women, and more WikiLeaks releases of emails sent by Clinton and her campaign.

Trump's favorable score edged down a few percentage points between early September and mid-October, while Clinton's favorable rating moved up a few points.

However, these changes do not represent a major shift from earlier times and underscore the stable nature of the public's views of the candidates at this late point in the campaign, Gallup said.

At the same time, neither Clinton nor Trump is particularly well-liked. Only about half of those who view either candidate favorably say they have strongly favorable views. By contrast, most of those who have unfavorable views of the candidates say they are strongly unfavorable.

"This reinforces the idea that for many voters, the 2016 election is a choice between 'the lesser of two evils'," Gallup said.