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. Ryan for Repubs in Nov!

    hehe Who cars, people aren't gonig to change their minds. If you don't like Obama now, you won't like him in 2012. If the GOP has a better option, that can't be picked apart by the media like Palin was, then the Democrats are going to be crying themselves to sleep for the next four years knowing that they will actually have to WORK for "their" money.

    September 30, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. S. in California

    It must really be a slow news day but I'll play along. Obama would get my vote AGAIN.

    September 30, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    The dems are grasping at straws. She didn't run in 2004 because she knew she'd lose bad to Bush, she couldn't even beat Obama in the primary of 2008, and she's going to be even less relevant in 2012. Keep in mind that in two years, young voters won't realize she was the first lady at one time.

    The dems are leaderless. The only ones they currently have in Congress are despised and are about to lose their positions of power.

    September 30, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  4. Boo-Yah

    Obama and Hillary are the glue that's holding the great country up. Thank you both!

    September 30, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. kara

    Hillary wouldn't win a general election, she'd come off as republican lite.
    and have CNN become so deprived of serious news that they're now dreaming up hypotheticals and polling on them?
    What next Levi Johnston versus Sarah Palin?

    September 30, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Big_D

    The funny part is they called FDR a socialist when unchecked capitalism led to greed and a failed economy last time. We need checks on all systems no matter what the GOP thinks. This is a republic and the people have representation and we voted for these people to make these reforms and the only thing that is making us mad is that they have not gone far enough from the GOPTEA to allow for good legislation. The GOP is far right. Obama was elected by centrists that want him to go for it, NOW! Let’s get this country rolling and stop the top 1% that has all the assets to rule like dictators with media they know are slanted.

    September 30, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. jim

    So exactly what would she do for the ticket?It would be different if she were leading the Dems presidentual candidate.

    September 30, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. Bill

    At this point, any challenger to the left of Joe Lieberman or Lyndon LaRouche has my vote against Obama in a 2012 primary. Maybe he can turn it around. I don't dislike him, I just think he's ineffectual. Give me Hillary's 10-point plans over Mr. Hopey Changey any day of the week.

    September 30, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  9. Marcus

    As usual, the namecallers have nothing but that, name callings, to support their biased and unbased claims about pretty much everything they want to name call...

    September 30, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  10. Seth Hill

    After years of TV, I can't wait for something to actually happen! I have to know in advance! To heck with 2012; who will be running in 2016?

    September 30, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. Mariann Pepitone

    That poll is wrong. A recent poll showed Clinton at least 7% higher than Obama's rating. The majority of college students and independents voted Obama in office in 2008 and look what happened to this country. This poll does not make up for the entire country. Asking about 600 or 800 people doesn't make up for the millions that would not vote Obama back in office again. He has a poor rating.

    September 30, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. one voice

    Obama/Clinton in 2012 with Biden as S of S. Clinton in 2016 and 2020. This is the only way to bring our Country forward from the FAILED POLICIES of the GOP. It will take a while folks and it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to keep the Democrats in the White House for full recovery. I want to thank the millions of Independants that will do the right thing and support the great party that will bring OUR Country back to GREATNESS. THANK YOU

    September 30, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  13. Rickster

    I'd bet my next paycheck she challenges him. The only reason she won't is if she determines that Barry has screwed things up so bad that no democrat can win(which I think he has already done). But if she decides to go for it it will be interesting.....two of the most despicable and dishonest human beings on the planet battling it out for the privilege of losing in 2012.

    September 30, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Bill

    It's pointless hypothesis, because Hilary is not going to run against her boss. And the President will be re-elected by a fairly comfortable margin - maybe 5-6% over whomever is the GOP nominee.

    September 30, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  15. ALi

    There should be a rule that no Clinton or Bush would be allowed to run for public office anymore. These elites think they could just pass the power ball around like a football match....I think people are sick of incumbents from both sides of the isle.

    September 30, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Oh please...Rush Limbaugh and his Neo-Nutzi clones tried to pose as Clinton supporters against Obama. We don't need a repeat of that again.

    September 30, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. Aaron

    Neither one. I'm not ready for the New World Order to be ushered in.

    September 30, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  18. Alice

    At least we would have two experienced professionals in the running. The O'Donnells, Palins, now Pala whatever his name are NOT QUALIFIED. This is the issue, these morons on the campaigne trail for whatever office they are running for or supporting, they are not qualified. You wouldn't call a plumber when you need a doctor. The voiting public needs to pay more attention to qualifications, education, experience than the idiotic sound bites that are being thrown at us from every direction like fox news, linbaugh, beck etc

    September 30, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. bluebird1

    The only way I would EVER vote for a democrat again is if Hillary Clinton was on the ballot.

    September 30, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Alex

    Clinton '12 or '16! Should have been Clinton '08 but Democrats are DUMB. Look where you got us!

    September 30, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. Bob(Illinois)

    Why doesn't CNN spend the money consumed by the poll and hire some writers?

    September 30, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. Sharon

    TOTAL CHAOS IN AMERICA! Has anyone seen so much hate in their lifetime? America is at war with herself–Never has there been such division among the people of America. Ten years since 9-11 where Americans knew who we were–we knew our Country was attacked and WE WERE UNITED!

    In 10 years, our Stocks have gone to the pit-our household incomes have gone down the drain–benefits we once had are being tossed out the door–Americans turn out more hate on each other–

    People this is America–if we allow our politicians to turn us against one another–THEN WE ARE DOOMED! If WE THE PEOPLE- don't -make our POLITICIANS forsake their personal achievement goals–and make America what SHE NEEDS TO BE___WE ARE DOOMED!

    GET OUT AND VOTE–TELL WASHINGTON AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION THAT WE ARE TIRED OF THE BICKERING–TIRED OF THE FINGER POINTING–AND BE RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS OF AMERICA AGAIN OR WE WILL VOTE YOU OUT!

    FREEDOMS OF AMERICA ARE LIKE NO OTHER COUNTRY–AND WE WILL NOT LET HER BE TREATED LIKE A 3RD WORLD COUNTRY!

    September 30, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  23. Daniel

    This is absolutely rediculous. Whoever comes up with this sort of political calculous knows very little about politics at all. If anything, Joe Biden will take one on the chin for the team and step down so Hillary can fill the VP spot, which will make the team much stronger than it already is, and it will also insure that Dems hold power for another twelve years, not just another four. Also, Hillary would not run against her boss in an incumbent year. This tactic is the calculous of conservatives (Tea Party members) who also know nothing about politics, and are simply trying to stimulate discussion on an absurd possibility for them to gain control by planting this idiotic seed in the minds of people who might be inclined to run with it. I do like their tactic of recognizing that simpletons are in control of political discourse, but will ultimately fail in the end because intelligent people are actually currently in power and will be for another 26 years.

    September 30, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. A Kickin` Donkey

    It would be suicidal for Hillary to run. This President is highly effective in advancing his agenda and to suggest otherwise is revisionist thinking by his critics ... who he has has since January 21, 2009.

    The entire minority coalition of the dems (blacks, latinos, asians) would castigate any politician that showed disrespect to President Obama by mounting a primary challenge.

    He doesn`t deserve on and critical mass of the party won`t stand for it. Don`t bite the hand that elects you ... understand ??

    September 30, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. GeeWizz

    CNN: You folks ran an article about 2 and a half months ago about the DNC opening this very door. The article addressed how the sitting incumbent ‘generally’ got the node for President, but the DNC was reviewing their charter. Honestly run it again…

    September 30, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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