WASHINGTON — More than half of Americans say they wouldn't consider voting for Sen. Hillary Clinton for president if she becomes the Democratic nominee, according to a new national poll made available to McClatchy Newspapers and NBC News.
The poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research found that 52 percent of Americans wouldn't consider voting for Clinton, D-N.Y.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, was second in the can't-stand-'em category, with 46 percent saying they wouldn't consider voting for him.
Clinton has long been considered a politically polarizing figure who'd be a tough sell to some voters, especially many men, but also Clinton-haters of both genders. Thursday's survey provides a snapshot of the challenges she faces, according to Larry Harris, a Mason-Dixon principal.
"Hillary's carrying a lot of baggage," he said. "She's the only one that has a majority who say they can't vote for her."
Clinton rang up high negatives across the board, with 60 percent of independents, 56 percent of men, 47 percent of women and 88 percent of Republicans saying they wouldn't consider voting for her.
Romney struggled most with women: 50.9 percent said they wouldn't consider voting for him, while 49.1 said they would.
"It's the flip-flop of Hillary," Harris said of Romney. "One could suppose it's the Mormon issue — we didn't ask follow-up questions — but his religion is an issue."
On name recognition, Clinton also led the 2008 presidential pack in voter disapproval, with 42 percent saying they recognized her name and were unfavorable toward her, vs. 39 percent favorable.
That gave her a double-digit lead in that bad-news category over Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, a Democrat. They each had 28 percent unfavorable recognition.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani had the highest favorable recognition at 43 percent, with Clinton close behind at 39 percent. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was third at 36 percent, followed by McCain at 33 percent and Edwards at 32 percent.
McCain rang up the highest favorable rating among independent voters with 39.4 percent, followed by Giuliani, with 37.3 percent. Edwards scored well with independents too, with 31.1 percent favorable; Obama had 28 percent favorable.
The Mason-Dixon survey was conducted June 23-25 with 625 likely general-election voters. It has an error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
To see the poll details, go to www.mason-dixon.com