Seventeen percent of the country hasn't yet heard enough about Hillary Rodham Clinton to have formed an opinion on her. "Hillary ... Clin-Ton?," they probably asked the pollsters CBS hired to do the new survey. "Hmmm. I remember a Phil Clinton from a few years back. Any relation?" Then they had to get off the phone, because "Vanderpump Rules"* was about to start.
We kid, of course, in the way that one kids when one is also sort of baffled. The CBS poll (of all adults, not just registered voters) goes over the effects of the e-mail controversy from earlier this month -- effects which, like everything these days, are very partisan.
CBS asked if the controversy changed peoples' opinions of Clinton: Zero Republicans said it did for the better; nearly all Democrats said it didn't have an effect.
CBS asked why people thought Clinton hosted her own e-mail system. Republicans mostly thought it was to hide information; Democrats (surprise!) mostly accepted Clinton's word that it was for her convenience.
And, of course, there's the partisan split on favorability. We've marked the net favorability beside each column below. Clinton is deep, deep underwater with Republicans -- and underwater (meaning in negative territory) overall.
That's a bit different than other recent polling. HuffPost Pollster has tracked her favorability since she became secretary of state. Her net approval has narrowed significantly, but still has been positive.
Part of this is due to CBS's offering space for people to indicate that they're uncertain or don't know enough. Earlier this month, we noted that those offering no opinion on Clinton in Gallup polling had increased recently. Often, that's a sign of people changing their minds. Instead of jumping from "I view this person favorably" to "I don't view this person favorably," people make a waystation in "I don't know how to feel."
In the CBS poll, though, the pollsters included the "I haven't heard enough option," with the unexpected results we mentioned at the outset. Before Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) announced his candidacy, we looked at his poll numbers, noting that nearly half of voters had no opinion on him. That's a very good example of a lot of people paying less attention to politics than you or me. A lot of people haven't heard of the junior senator from Texas! Fair enough.
But it's very surprising that almost a fifth of America hasn't heard enough about a two-term first lady, one-and-a-half term senator, and one-term secretary of state. Clinton could look at this as good news: Despite concerns that she's burdened with a heavy legacy which she needs to accommodate, there are plenty of people out there who are eager to hear more about this mysterious go-getter from Arkansas.
But Republicans can also take heart. That's because the poll suggests the largely positive reviews of Clinton we've seen in most recent polling might be softer than they appear at first glance.
* Not judging. I watch it, too. (Editor's Note: The Fix does not condone this behavior.)
This post has been updated to note the composition of those being polled.