September 30th, 2010
03:14 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama-Clinton 2012?

(CNN) - So what if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a primary challenge against President Barack Obama for the Democratic party's 2012 presidential nomination?

Yes, that's highly unlikely. But what if?

Well, Gallup asked the question, and their new poll, released Thursday, indicates that 52 percent of Democrats or Independents who lean towards the Democrats would back Obama in such a hypothetical primary contest, with 37 percent supporting Clinton and one in ten not holding an opinion.


The survey suggests an education divide, with two-thirds of college graduates backing Obama but non-college graduates divided between the president and the secretary of state. According to the poll, more than six in ten self-described liberals back Obama, with Clinton holding a plurality among those who consider themselves conservative Democrats.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted in early August indicated that nearly three-quarters of Democrats said that Obama deserved to be re-nominated. That's 17 points higher than the 57 percent of Democrats in 1994 who said that President Bill Clinton should be re-nominated in 1996.

The Gallup poll was conducted September 25-26, with 859 Democrats and Independent leaning Democrats questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2012 • Hillary Clinton • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Unless the GOP screws up badly–and they might–no ticket with Obama on it has a chance in 2012. Clinton and someone else, maybe, but even that I doubt. Now that she's not running for anything, they're not beating her up about HillaryCare, running for cover under sniper fire, and all the rest of the ammo she's given the GOP over the years, but the moment she sticks her head up, they'll land on her again.

    September 30, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. ChumBucket

    the only way the dems might keep the presidency in '12

    September 30, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  3. Lois

    Kind of hard to believe this poll with Obama's poll numbers so low and Hillary's high – this doesn't add up.

    September 30, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  4. conoclast

    For the what-if column: what if Obama, recognizing the divisiveness his election has unfortunately engendered, were to do the truly statesmanlike thing and refuse to run in 2012?

    September 30, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. Mark

    I think democrats even wish they could have a change up .

    September 30, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. rick

    The people have spoken...DEMS YOUR FIRED!!! Nov 2

    September 30, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    Since CNN wants to speak 'hypothetical', what if it's OBAMA/CLINTON 2012 vs PALIN/BECK or HUCK-A-BYE/PALIN or ROMNEY/PALIN or NEWT/PALIN or THUNE/PALIN or HALEY/PALIN or PAUL/PALIN or PAWLENTY/PALIN or DeputyDog/Palin or SpongeBob/Palin..... who would win??

    We need REAL news so CNN can stay away from "HYPOTHETICAL"...

    Hypothetically speaking NOW, RepubliCAN'Ts will LOSE only if the DEMOCRATS are staying home on November 2, 2010!!! We're NOT staying home!!

    DEMOCRATS – STATE the CASE and stand by it – UNITE the BASE and mean it – WIN the RACE and be proud of it!!!

    T'SAH approves this message!!

    September 30, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. Dave Templeton

    From the first week during the Obama Administration, he has lied, deceived and cheated the American people but the media, liberals, progressives, socialists and Congress have enabled him to do so. Obama knows nothing about schools, nutrition, health, manufacturing, car industries, banks, Wall Street or the U.S. military. Obama is a cruel hoax groomed and directed by the Bilderberg shadow government. This is the same shadow government that brought us Clinton and both Bushes. He has employed many of the same tax cheats from these previous failed administrations. It is very disturbing to see well meaning American voters fooled by the cooperating media and high tech propaganda and outright lies!

    September 30, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. p

    Mark my words:
    Hillary and Biden exchange jobs before 2012.
    Obama/Clinton ticket rolls all over the Repubs in 2012.
    Hillary set to run for President in 2016.

    September 30, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  10. Not fooled

    I think we have the perfect team in there now. President Obama has done a good job against all odds. Hilary Clinton is doing a great job as Sec.of State. The Republicans can not even come up with a viable candidate. Their pledge to America was a joke.
    Their only success was saying No everything, they had no substance for Americans at all. Boenher begs Americans to give him ideas because he has none period. Where are the JOBS in their Pledge to America? At least we can improve on the Democrats policies, you can't improve on Nothing.

    September 30, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. Debby

    Since when does some 800 people make the final decision CNN. I wanted her to win in 2008 but the way the Dems. are running the country in the last 2 years I couldn't even vote for her.

    September 30, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. Sean

    For all the tea party folks and right wing extremists who scoff and laugh over the idea that Obama could be re-elected, all I can say is that most liberals were absolutely positive that Bush would not be re-elected in 2004. It seems like 9 out of 10 people despised him and thought he was a clueless frat boy who didn't stand an ice cubes chance and... surprise!

    Of course, on the other hand, Obama won't have a daddy and a brother who are both ingrained cogs in the political machine to, uh, help things along.

    September 30, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  13. Bruce

    It appears that I was wrong about Mrs. Clinton. She and Bill have been very loyal to the party. That attitude has been the glue to the Democratic Party as fragile as it is right now. Can you imagine if she had taken the low road? Hypothetical...don't answer just ponder.

    September 30, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  14. George of the jungle

    I think the president will be reelected. I would love to see hilliary but I think she will get her chance in 2016 and the bill richardsen idea is great. What would the reos do then a woman and a mexican american. Now what Navite American can we put on the ticket. Ben knighthorse? Vote democratic . Lets move forward not backward.

    September 30, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. Spence40

    Who's kidding who here? The only chance that President Obama has of being re-elected is to get Amnesty for the Illegal Hispanics in the Country and and that is exactly what he intends to do. Hillary is a good choice but a better one would be Linda Sanchez of California. Biden is gone unless something really drastic happens where President Obama really gets concerned about the white vote and that has yet to happen in either Party!

    September 30, 2010 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  16. caseyedwardsd

    the fact of the matter is that hillary clinton beat obama in the popular vote among democrats in 2008. She should have been the nominee. Obama being nominated was an attack on democracy. Hillary clinton was the rightful nominee and I will never vote for Obama ever.

    October 1, 2010 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  17. Rachel

    Whether Hillary decides to run or not in 2012, I'll be writing here in as a 'write in' vote. No way will this Democrat be voting for Oboza again.

    October 1, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. jeanne

    i don't care who he runs with....I"M NOT GETTING FOOLED AGAIN.....he can sell a speech, but he can not run this country.... unless it's into the ground......2012....change is coming......ANYONE is better than this... how much money did he give away today that benifits no one that actually needs it.....what a joke....i mean disgrace.....i am soooo sorry i voted for this man.....

    October 1, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
1 2 3