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. jean

    Ask Lanie Granere what she thinks of HC.

    December 11, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. pcalif

    She's wonderful. The fact is, in 2016, Ms. Clinton will be almost 70. The media will love her now but when she is running for President, her enemies will paint her as old and fat and wrinkled. Let's face it, we just now painted the GOP as old and fat and wrinkled. She can have cosmetic surgery and do a 3 year exercise program but Ms. Clinton knows what she is up against.

    December 11, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. anonymous

    I will quit my Job to campaign for this woman – I would do whatever it takes, to see that we have a woman in the white house as our POTUS – Just think of it, other countries has women in the past – or present . such as Great Britian / Germany & the list goes on.

    December 11, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. IvotedforObama

    I'm voting Democrat AGAIN in 2016.

    December 11, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. jean

    It could very well be that the Great Palin,the true essence of real womanhood and not that cardboard dead fisheyed,doormat dweeb HC will be our first female president. HC is a loser and everyone knows that inside but are afraid to admit that the Clintons are TRASH!

    December 11, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  6. ugh

    Obama is going to leave a big pile of economic vomit for the next Prez to clean up – probably best left to a Democrat.

    December 11, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Wake up People!

    @Jean. Palin really?? You call the Clintons trash yet you think trashy Palin is presidential material??? Hillary Clinton has more intelligence in her pinky toe than Sarah Palin has in her entire surgically enhanced body. The broad is dumb as a box of rocks.

    At least Chelsea Clinton wasn't knocked up as a teenager while her mother was running for office.

    Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, the two biggest phonies the GOP has EVER attempted to foist on the American public.

    December 11, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. HN

    The Democratic Leadership stuck a knife in her back the last time and I do not think she has forgotten.

    December 11, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. Disgusted

    Why would anyone favor a person who is working on a gun ban treaty with the UN

    December 11, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Name Mukushi Walter

    the world needs her.I would support her.

    December 11, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. 2km N of GZero

    Comparing Hilary with Palin is hilarious. It's like comparing Stephen Hawking with the Flash Gordon of "Ted".

    December 11, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Larry L

    @Disgusted

    Why would anyone favor a person who is working on a gun ban treaty with the UN
    ================================================================================================ Put down the N.R.A. magazine and turn off Fox News. Hillary Clinton IS NOT working a "gun ban" with the United Nations. The initiative your are referring to is preliminary talks to develop treaties to limit the transfer of military hardware to rogue nations across international borders. I'm a person with a safe full of guns, a life-long hunter, and a career Soldier. I support our right to keep weapons. I do not spread mindless conspiracies built on lies and distortions of reality. That is an un-American thing to do and you are less of a patriot to participate in such dishonest behavior.

    December 11, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  13. ClarasBeau

    OK, um... Do we really need to be ramping up for 2016 already?! I for one would like to see us all take a much needed break from Presidential election topics. That last one wore me out. Give it a rest for a couple of years, will you? Cheez!

    December 11, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. Evangenital

    Ready and willing to provide her with cash and support. The brightest mind in America!

    December 11, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. quinLee

    I love the way the simpletons are screaming Benhazi over and over. Aren't you folks tired of being duped repeatedly with fake issues like birth certificates, "You didn't build that" and Romney?

    December 11, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. Rob Jones

    She lies about Benghazi and then proceeds to undermine the First Amendment with the president who took and oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and people think she is fit for office? I used to have respect for Hillary despite my political differences, but once someone lies and covers up such atrocities and then throws the Constitution under the bus to support the lies and coverups, that's it. This country is lost if the public won't hold these people accountable for this major scandal resulting in the murder of 4 Americans. Of course CNN and the rest of the media have been complicit in the coverup. Disgusting. Maybe Hillary's stomach bug is a related to her having to testify on why they continued to spread a lie well after it was known that it was just that–a lie.

    December 11, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Wake up People!

    I agree Clarasbeau, however the media is determined to shove the next election down our throats.

    December 11, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. Ngo

    She may not get the nomination, there are so many people that are Clinton wary. Don't forget 2008 people.

    December 11, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Rob Jones

    What will she tell the congressional committee about the lies and coverups over Benghazi? How will she defend throwing the First Amendment under the bus to scapegoat the director of a cheap film that supposedly insults Islam when it had nothing to do with it? Hillary is a liar who took part in the worst presidential scandal in history, plain and simple. I will work hard to spread the word that she is a traitor the to the US Constitution. That said, I would have taken her over Obama in a hearbeat because he is the pits of the universe.

    December 11, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Alex

    @jean Name calling isn't very progressive. I wouldn't call educated people who make honest efforts to make our world a better place "trash". Bill's administration was some of the best years we have had in modern America and instead of resting after 8 years of presidency, he has continued his endeavors to make the world a better place any way he can. He is among a select group of politicians that dominantly uses logic to influence politics rather being swayed with the dollar. Not to say he's perfect, just saying he is an intelligent man and our country would be a better place with more people like him.

    Hilary is one of the most qualified politicians we have. She has spent much of her life being surrounded by politics, has spent eight years in the White House, and has been our Secretary of State. There are few people that have half the diplomatic relations she has or a tenth of her resume. She is a workaholic and has the same motivation as Bill in having an honest effort for wanting our world to be a better place.

    TL,DR; Name calling just makes you sound ignorant, Hillary and Bill are some of the most qualified politicians and should give 2016 a shot. Who else could you think of as a better "First Gentleman"?

    December 11, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Sumner Stone

    We should only be lucky enough to have her change her mind and run. The personal sacrifice and devotion to her country that would be required, especially at this stage in her life- is more than we could hope for.

    December 11, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. Primal 4 Life

    This simply proves how dumb the average American is. She is a lawyer for Monsanto for sobbing out loud. She does not care about the average citizen at all, yet these dolts just lap her up.

    Pathetic.

    December 11, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. morris2196

    Hillary turned 65 in October of this year. I don’t believe that she at 69 will have the enormous energy required to run for President, or serve as President for four years. The Republicans have lucked out; the Republicans now on the national stage pale in comparison to her.

    December 11, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Data Driven

    Keep this story Trending for the rest of the week, CNN. Fine. But some of us will still be keeping a lookout for interesting NEW Democrats.

    December 11, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  25. Guy Walking By

    Watching in amazment as the American population transforms into sheep...

    December 11, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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