Washington (CNN) – Nearly two-thirds of Americans have a favorable view of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a new national poll.
The 65 percent favorable rating for Clinton in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday is one of the highest ratings she's ever had. Thirty-one percent of those questioned say they have an unfavorable view of Clinton, who's currently in the Middle East dealing with the recent uprisings in the region.
"Secretary Clinton's all-time high was just after her husband was impeached in December, 1998, when her favorable rating reached 67 percent, but before then, her favorable ratings hovered in the high 40's to mid 50's. As a Democratic senator from New York, her ratings dipped as low as 44 percent and never got higher than the mid-50s, and her favorability hovered around the 50 percent mark throughout her 2008 presidential campaign," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But after Barack Obama nominated her to be Secretary of State, her rating rose to 66 percent and has stayed consistently above the 60 percent level since then."
The survey indicates a partisan divide on Clinton, with more than nine out of ten Democrats and nearly two-thirds of independent voters saying they have a favorable opinion of her, and six out of ten Republicans saying they have an unfavorable view of the secretary of state.
According to the poll, two of Clinton's fellow cabinet officers, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, are much less well known.
Fifty-two percent of people questioned say they have a favorable view of Gates, with 17 percent holding an unfavorable view and just over three in ten unsure or not familiar with Gates. A quarter say they hold a favorable opinion of Geithner, with 26 percent saying they have an unfavorable view, and nearly half of those questioned unsure or not familiar with Geithner. The ratings for both men are little changed over the past year.
The poll indicates that 41 percent hold a favorable view of House Speaker John Boehner, with 27 percent saying they have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican from Ohio. Boehner's favorable rating is down four points from January, with his unfavorable rating up four points.
Thirty two percent say they have never heard of Boehner or don't know enough about him to form an opinion, down from 49 percent just before the midterm elections.
Boehner took over as House Speaker at the beginning of the year, after the Republicans won back the chamber in November's elections, thanks to a 63 seat net gain in the House.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted March 11-13, with 1,023 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.
– CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story