After Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced Wednesday that she will not seek reelection in 2014, a new national HuffPost/YouGov poll finds that she'll have a negative national image to overcome if she ever decides to make a political comeback.
According to the new survey, 40 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the Minnesota congresswoman, while only 33 percent have a favorable opinion. And respondents who had an unfavorable opinion of Bachmann tended to feel strongly about it, as those with a strongly negative opinion (29 percent) far outnumbered those with a strongly positive one (16 percent).
Not surprisingly, opinion on the controversial congresswoman was sharply divided along party lines, with 61 percent to 24 percent majority of Republicans having a favorable opinion of Bachmann and a 54 percent to 11 percent majority of Democrats having an unfavorable opinion.
Independents were evenly divided, as 37 percent said they had a favorable opinion of Bachmann and 38 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion, although more independents said they had a strongly unfavorable opinion than a strongly favorable one.
While 34 percent of respondents said that Bachmann has mostly hurt the Republican Party, only 17 percent said that she has mostly helped. Twenty-two percent said that she has made no difference to the party's image. Republicans were more likely to say that she had helped than hurt, by a 34 percent to 16 percent margin. But independents tended to say that she had hurt her party's image, 31 percent to 16 percent.
The survey also shows that if Bachmann were to theoretically win the Republican nomination for president in 2016, it could galvanize support for her opponent.
In a hypothetical matchup between Bachmann and Hillary Clinton, Clinton held the lead among all adults by a 47 percent to 31 percent margin. In contrast, Clinton would hold narrower leads against two other potential Republican opponents -- 44 percent to 35 percent over Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and 39 percent to 33 percent over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
The poll was conducted May 29-30 among 1,000 adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.