Clinton rides high poll numbers into private life (for now?)
December 10th, 2012
01:19 PM ET
2 years 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. oz

    She's a women!!!! End of story

    December 10, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  2. Yes ma'am!

    It would be so nice to have someone with big balls in the White House again. I sure hope she does run again and this time....no backing down. Hillary in 2012! (And to all the twits...I'm a republican)

    December 10, 2012 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. Smeagel4T

    I see the Foxheads are still desperate to try and make something out of Benghazi. Everyone on here desperately trying to make something out of Benghazi are the same people that have made the GOP a complete embarassment, resulting in the GOP losing ground in the last election. They are the people who will continue to make the GOP an embarassment and continue to lose ground until the GOP leadership finally decides they've had enough losing and they start sidelining the irrational Foxheads. That day will eventually come because the primary job of the GOP is to represent the wealthy plutocracy. If the GOP continues to lose power as a result of the rantings of the Foxheads, the plutocracy will insist that the Foxheads be crated and kept quiet.

    December 10, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  4. Smeagel4T

    I think it would great if President Obama gave Colin Powell a chance at doing good diplomacy like I'm sure he originally wanted to do before the misguided follies of the Cheney/Bush administration destroyed him. However I rather suspect Powell isn't interested in returning to the position.

    December 10, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  5. Scott Indpendent

    If she's healthy, she'll run. You don't spend your entire life in politics and then not go for the crown when you are the most likely candidate to win... especially when you have a chance to make history by being the first female leader of the free world.

    December 10, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. csnord

    What a disaster that would be, but it is just what we deserve. America is committed to committing geopolitical and economic suicide. Hillary would fit right in with the plan.

    December 10, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. BillC

    I'm ready to hit the trail for her!!!

    December 10, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  8. James

    Hillary is the perfect shepard for the American sheeple. Has she said anything that wasnt scripted for her in the last 4yrs? The typical zombified American loves this cold calculated kind of automaton... I bet she runs.

    December 10, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. Namejanek

    Hilary is disgraced liar. But only Dem love to vote for people like her.

    December 10, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  10. Ron in Ca.

    Four years of the Clinton?? Good Grief...I suspect though that Bill is to old to chase the interns

    December 10, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Al

    Her poll numbers will be great until she opens her mouth and everyone gets to hear the bitter old shrew run her mouth. Hillary cares about one thing and one thing only, herself.

    December 10, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  12. Bill

    Well, I guess that's it. No need to hold an election, let's just give it to her now.

    December 10, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  13. jdoe

    Hillary wasn't a very good candidate the last time around, and she won't be in 2016. She may be highly qualified, but that's never how you win an election. She lacks charisma, and her speeches have a monotonous quality to them. Obama was able to come from behind and win, because he was a better speaker and more charismatic.

    December 10, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  14. Steve

    I would have thought the religious right would be supportive of a woman that could forgive a husband who publically humiliated her. But that people still bring it up show the tabloid state of partisan politics today. It is why someone knows being married with kids is looked upon much more favorably than being single or a divorced mother. The only thing that should matter is if a candidate can do the job. We need to scrap the 2-party system that has allowed the etremists to call the shots and turned voting into the lesser of 2 evils than picking who is the most qualified. If politicians were not beholden to a party that raised the funds to get them elected in exchange for future support we could start moving politics back to where elected officials actually represented their constituents and could work with other politicians.Today's political gridlock wont change so long as people are too afraid to vote for the best candidate when it means also giving control to the fringe lunatics in either party.

    December 10, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. GloSeattle

    Love Hillary, wanted to vote for her before, would vote for her in 2016.

    December 10, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. ObaWendon

    I hope Hillary does run. She would make the best president. Of course the GOB (Good Ole Boys) club would hate it. Maybe by 2016 we will have more common sense in our politicians. Hopefully!!

    December 10, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  17. Jerry

    Agree with Newt. She will run to the right of Obama and simply clean up. The left will go along with anyone who has a D after their name and the right will see her as a modern day Ronald Reagan in contrast with Obama.

    December 10, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  18. Nathan Hardy

    She should run and not only would she win she'd be a great President.

    December 10, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  19. Smooches

    I will campaign for her just as hard as I did for Obama. I didn't vote for her, because I believed in Obama more, but she has totally earned my respect and most definitely my vote, my donations, and my time. "U go girl"!!!

    December 10, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  20. Smooches

    Todd Akins, Rush fatboy, and Glen Beck may just slit their wrists (on live tv)if she runs. Run Hillary, please run, if for that reason alone.

    December 10, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  21. tatangB

    HRC was ready to be President of the U. S. in 2008. Unfortunately, the country was not ready for her.

    December 10, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. TexMan

    Brought to you by Norquist and the GOTP.

    December 10, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  23. Dywlf

    When the amerikan mob that sold out the country to obama for government cheese realizes that they were played for fools, and their living off the scraps of the party bosses I don't think hillary's got a chance.

    December 10, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. Xchairman

    Hilary clinton 4 president in 2016? Not in our name. If the progressives wants to keep that office till 2070,that lady should be given red card.

    December 10, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  25. lobo joe

    The only remaining question is if Mrs. Clinton selects Elizabeth Warren as her running mate.

    December 10, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
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