Clinton rides high poll numbers into private life (for now?)
December 10th, 2012
01:19 PM ET
1 year ago

Clinton rides high poll numbers into private life (for now?)

Washington (CNN) - These are the kind of poll numbers any politician would love to have.

According to a new Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll, 60% of registered voters have a favorable impression of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with 35% seeing her in an unfavorable light.

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The survey, released Monday, comes less than one week after an ABC News/Washington Post poll indicated that 66% of Americans had a favorable view of Clinton. And according to a CNN/ORC International survey conducted last month, following the November election, 67% of the public saw the soon-to-be outgoing secretary of state in a favorable light.

Last week's ABC News/Washington Post poll also indicated that 68% of Americans approved of the job Clinton's doing as the nation's top diplomat. But all these surveys also indicate a partisan divide over Clinton. And while the overall numbers are very nice, it's best to take them with a grain of salt.

"One reason why Hillary Clinton's ratings are high may be that she is not running for office and holds a position that many Americans view as non-partisan. If she becomes an active candidate again, it would not be surprising to see her numbers decline," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "We saw this before with her. When she was first lady, her favorable ratings were often in the high 60's, but they dropped below 50% as soon as serious talk started of her running for the U.S. Senate from New York."

These polls come as the chattering class increasingly speculates about Clinton and whether she'll make a second bid for the White House in 2016.

Clinton has repeatedly said that she intends to retire to private life once her successor as secretary of state is confirmed by the Senate, and she's added that another run for the White House is not in the cards for her.

"Look, I'm flattered. I am honored," she told CNN's Wolf Blitzer this year about calls by other Democrats for her to consider another run in 2016. "That is not in the future for me, but obviously I'm hoping that I'll get to cast my vote for a woman running for president of our country."

If she were to change her mind and make a bid for president in 2016, 57% of those questioned in the ABC/Washington Post poll said they'd back such a run, if Clinton changes her mind and decides to become a presidential candidate again, with 37% saying they'd oppose such a bid.

Meanwhile, a majority of New Yorkers say they would like to see Hillary Clinton run for president again.

According to a Siena College Research Institute survey also released last week, 75% of Empire State voters said they have a favorable impression of Clinton, who represented her adopted home state of New York for eight years in the U.S. Senate. That was Clinton's highest favorable rating ever in a Siena survey.

By a 54%-39% margin, New Yorkers say she should run for president in four years. In 2008, then Sen. Clinton lost an epic Democratic presidential nomination battle to then Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. Obama nominated Clinton as his secretary of state after winning the 2008 general election.

If she does decide to run, the conventional wisdom is that she'd be the instant front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. And even potential 2016 rivals are praising her.

"She's great," said Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley Sunday on a Baltimore TV station.

"I think she's an outstanding leader, and I think she could be a great president, if she chooses to do it," added O'Malley, the popular two-term governor who may have his own designs on making a run for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

And Clinton's getting praised by Newt Gingrich, who made an unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and who as House speaker in the 1990's worked with, and fought against, then President Bill Clinton.

In a warning to his party, Gingrich said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that if the GOP's "competitor in '16 is going to be Hillary Clinton, supported by Bill Clinton and presumably a still relatively popular president Barack Obama, trying to win that will be truly the Super Bowl. And the Republican Party today is incapable of competing at that level."

Clinton's favorable rating in the Politico/George Washington University poll stands out compared to some possible 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, Mitt Romney's running mate in the just concluded election, had a 47%-33% favorable rating. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush had a 39%-33% favorable rating, and first term Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida had a 33%-15% favorable rating, with just over one in three not knowing enough about him to form an opinion.

If she really does want to run or changes her mind once she's in private life, Clinton's most likely at least a year away from making any kind of decision, and we're about two years away from the real start of 2016 campaign, allowing plenty of time for Clinton's poll number to possibly fade. But for now, it's a nice place to be.

The Politico/George Washington University Battleground poll was conducted Dec. 2-6, with 1,000 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • Polls
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. xfiler93

    Why people like this vile evil woman is beyond me.

    December 10, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Hillary Clinton Delegate

    First and most, thank you Madame Secretary for all your hard work in making amendments with the rest of the world.

    If and when you decide to run, I will be the first person in line to volunteer and work to help you.

    You desrve to take time off and decide, your true supporter will always be there for you and no one is best qualified to be President of the United States as Hillary Rodham Clinton is.

    I always look to this and inspires me:

    "Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in.

    When you stumble, keep faith. When you're knocked down, get right back up.

    And NEVER listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on."

    Hillary Rodham Clinton-

    December 10, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  3. voxx

    I can see the fear of some that posted about her running again.. GO HILLERY!!!

    December 10, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Steve - Texas

    Rick McDaniel

    Try moving to this plane of existence... We were not TOLD to vote for Obama.. IT WAS OUR PLEASURE.

    December 10, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. DG

    How could anyone say she has been a good Secretary of State when 4 of her employees were murdered on her watch and she can't even be bothered to answer questions. The women is a loser.

    December 10, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    I support Clinton's 2016 campaign absolutely.
    We would be lucky to have her as president.
    What a wonderful sixteen-year run that would be for our country, two Obama terms followed by two Clinton terms!

    December 10, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Stan

    No one better qualified to run today and probably in 2016. Her tenure as Secretary of State was a highly successful one. I think most world leaders are going to miss her and would support her run for president.

    December 10, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  8. Elphaba

    Give her a few years in private life and she'll be ready to take on the one job she hasn't yet done; POTUS. By then, the Benghazi story will be over for all except for those who can't think of anyuthing else to use to try to defeat her, much like the Birthers/Obama. They'll make fools of themselves while the rest of the nation will vote for the first woman president of our great nation; a very well qualified president.

    December 10, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. Palin Power

    If Hillary runs, she will easily lose to Sarah Palin in the general election. Palin is going to be our next President.

    December 10, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. eviltaxpayer

    The media driven dumbing down of democrats continues.I agree with a previos poster, while all the america hating liberals wet there sheets for hillary, Id be surprised if theres still a united states in 4 years after the cancer in chief we have now.

    December 10, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. Dave Elliott

    My guess would be when they call her.

    December 10, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  12. Jack Macadoodle

    My wife voted for Romney (poor misguided woman). She said recently she'd vote for Hillary in a hot minute. With the fractured Republican party pointing fingers at each other, it's doubtfull they'll get their act right in time to present a suitable challenger. Any of the Republican candidates known today have their small base, but not enough of what it would take to put together a cohisive challenge.

    December 10, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. roy

    Too bad voters didn't feel this way when they elected Obama to the presidency in 2008 our government would currently beabout 6 trillion dollars richer.

    December 10, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  14. Siamese Triplets

    ".......we're about two years away from the real start of 2016 campaign, allowing plenty of time for Clinton's poll number to possibly fade."

    Ha! Not likely. They'll only grow stronger. C'mon.... this is Hillary Clinton we're talking about.

    December 10, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. volsocal

    It's been 5 weeks since the election. Can't we have a little longer before it starts over again?

    December 10, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. Name dogie

    Clinton 2016 and 2020. Hey Repubs, as long you have hysterical views and engage in invective, you will be rejected.

    December 10, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  17. scooter

    I'd vote for her in a heartbeat, A strong woman of compassion beats out any cookie-cutter,hard-nosed white male the Republicans have to offer.

    December 10, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. Jay

    She is remarkable, and will make an amazing President! Can't wait!!

    December 10, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. J.R. Radcliffe, MA

    Do we really need to go through this again?

    December 10, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. Solex

    It is morbidly funnt to see all of the posts about Benghazi from people that probably could not find it on a map if their lives depended on it.

    Just admit you don't liek the idea of a Female Liberal in the White House and have done with it. Have the courage of your convictions or just STFU.

    December 10, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  21. Patty

    I wish we would get on with our problems now and forget 2016. leave the poor woman alone for awhile. there are much bigger things to worry about than who will run for president in 2016. give it a rest...

    December 10, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. 2016 Voter

    Bill would make a great first lady!

    December 10, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. lloyd roberts

    Just askin, did you ask Reagan why 63 people died when the American Embassy was attacked in Beirut in 1983 and 17 US service members and CIA personnel were killed. Just askin

    December 10, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  24. LBB

    I just had a cynical thought. The republicans are making a big deal out of Hilary's role in the Benghazi attack because they know she will probably run for president in 2016. They need some new drama to discredit her because their possible candidates are so not in her league! I think it's about time we had a female president!

    December 10, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. Beghawho?

    @freedom, you should start your anger with the Bush administration and the 2 wars started over weapons of mass destruction.

    4000+ americans are dead. Where is the fury over that? Countless more innocent civilians are dead.

    December 10, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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