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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. Sly

    Hillary has been praised as the most effectice Secretary of State since FDR.

    She enjoys even higher level's of support abroad.

    Thank you Ms. Clinton for doing a great job, and obviously the intelligent American electorate recognizes that. You would make a very good President, just as your husband was.

    December 11, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. darth vader's daughter

    Secretary of State Clinton is 64 years old and in 4 years will be 68 years old. Since the country only wants a young administration, the ever most successful Secretary of State Clinton, will probably retire for having served this country with due diligence, even though her 4 fingers covered her mouth most of the time.

    December 11, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Jack

    Hey everyone–Give Hillary a break. Give her a year off. Let's concentrate on helping Obama now as he fights the extremist, uncompromising GOP. There will be plenty of time in a few years to get the Hillary bus going. We need to deal with the here and now.

    December 11, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. Richard_wm

    I greatly favored Hillary over Obama and was deeply disappointed when she didn't take her case to the convention floor in '08. I don't know if I would back her again. She was the better candidate then as now but her lack of spunk to fight for those who supported her was disturbing. I believe she possesses some outstanding qualities necessary for the job, however.

    December 11, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Seriously repubs? You're still blabbering about how "Bengazi is the worst presidential scandal in history?" Keep whining about all your conspiracy theories, it didn't help since your phony Mitt Romney got whipped in the polls last month. You'll get whipped again if the Republican Party continues being, in Bobby Jindal's words, the Stupid Party.

    December 11, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. ALittleBird

    "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."

    A little editing here, please?

    December 11, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    I agree with Jack but certain media outlets that wanted Romney to win, just love to stir the pot, bringing out the still bitter over 08 Hilary supporters who still hate President Obama to this day. Well I have this to say, I liked Hillary when she ran in 08, but I also loved Barack Obama and ultimately voted for him. However if Hilary had won the nomination, I still would have voted for her even though I preferred Obama. Due to all the negative talk about our President in favor of Hillary. I doubt I will support her now.

    So all of you PRESIDENT OBAMA HATERS can complain all you want because even though you didn't support him, he won, twice!

    It's sad, even Hillary moved on, yet you're still crying about her losing 4 years ago.

    December 11, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. eviltaxpayer

    And the media driven comunism continues.
    You liberals wont be happy untill were all wearing brown shirts in re-education camps will you?

    December 11, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. User-301

    President Hillary Clinton – That sure sounds Good!

    December 11, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    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.
    ---------

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE run Caribou Barbie in 2106!!!! If you thought Flip Flopney got a beat-down, you ain't seen nothin' yet. She would win less than 100 electoral votes

    December 11, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. M. J Meyer

    American women are watching and waiting. Brainy, articulate, resolved, and personable. She is not too old, not too political, and has a grasp of world affairs unseen for decades. God, I hope she runs!

    December 11, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. walleye46

    Does not matter if Hillary runs for Prez or not in 2016. As long as the OBSTRUCTIONIST Tea Baggers have their say I don't think that God himself will be able to address our country's probllems.

    December 11, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. walleye46

    For all the Tea Baggers who complain and moan about Obama being a Socialist, a Communist, a Nigerian etc etc. Will you be willing to give up your Soc Security and Medicare benefits that you claim have been ruining the USA since FDR's time?

    December 11, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. LUVIN VA'S BLUE

    Hillary Clinton, if she decides to run, will be in perfect form to win the Presidency! As w/ President Obama, some people just have to see someone else at the helm and they then become more enlightened to the idea. I think we have shied away from the president must be a white male, and if you're talking about someone who has an appeal to MOST majorities and minorities, she's the perfect one! I haven't seen a GOP candidate w/ enough credentials to even come close to Hil! Most women would be behind her and we vote the most anyway. There's a difference between her and Palin and if Sarah did decide to run (which I doubt she will the way she humliated last time) most Americans hate her, hate what she stands for, and hates the things she says w/ very little intellectual thought behind it. We've rejected the norm and if the GOP is going to just throw out some minority candidate like Rubio or like they did w/ Steele (he probably feels like an Uncle Tom now lolz) it will not work. They just hear what they want, liberal media, blah blah blah instead of putting solutions first!

    December 11, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. LUVIN VA'S BLUE

    Michael Andrew Ruzicho

    The only people that could remotely have a shot against Clinton is Bush or Rice. Maybe Boehner if he stimulates the economy, and performs miracles with Obama.

    ** I don't think Americans are that stupid to depend on another Bush doing anything but putting us in another war for oil~

    December 11, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Sumsanity

    Well then the polls can have her. I want to see another Clinton in the White House about as much as I want to see another Bush or Obama. I'm totally sick of all of them. They all caused this mess.

    December 11, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. LUVIN VA'S BLUE

    robj

    Do people really want to repeat the drama and the embarrassment of the past Clinton's years???????

    ** No we wan't the success that President Bush ruined over 8 years...

    December 11, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  18. LUVIN VA'S BLUE

    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.

    ** An example of that religious right.. what makes me so sick is the information they keep repeating is plain FALSE... these Obama phones as they characterize them as ( I saw some stupid lady on the newspaper website here comment about it today) have been around before he got ELECTED!! Do you people even read your bills? The universal service fund was around when I was working for Qwest Communications and that was 2007!!! I mean if your going to talk (a lot!) then at least have your fact straight or be QUIET!

    December 11, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. LUVIN VA'S BLUE

    Sumsanity

    Well then the polls can have her. I want to see another Clinton in the White House about as much as I want to see another Bush or Obama. I'm totally sick of all of them. They all caused this mess.

    I'm not sure where you get President Obama caused this mess but okay.. it wasn't like the stock market wasn't failing before then noooo!! It wasn't like President Bush put two wars w/ NO WMD's (never hear repubs talk about that) on a credit card, and it wasn't like President Obama was the one who failed to get Osama Bin Laden... I'm also not sure where you were educated, but if I were you, I'd ask the President to put some more $$ in your local school system... because you missed it!

    December 11, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. wolfpackbob

    Uh, let's wait for the poll after she testifies for her epic failure in the Benghazi murders. That SHOULD be part of any vetting process.

    December 11, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. LUVIN VA'S BLUE

    Totally biased poll that "over samples democrats" directly by 7-10 points, and indirectly by sampling "an additional" 14.7% of blacks who vote 99% for democrats.

    ** We vote for democrats because they don't insult our people on a national stage just like repubs do every time they get to a mic... "handouts gifts kool aid teachers encouraging children to drown the President in a picture,, birther, on and on and on... its digusting" we're sick and tired of being treated like we're not Americans and we're not human.. you can't pick cotton off our backs anymore just get over it! Slavery's over and we have a choice! You conservatives are slow thinking you can "court" hispanics now so you can come back and ruin our middle class again... we're plainly sick and tired of being sick and tired.. your voices are silent on our ears~

    December 11, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. LUVIN VA'S BLUE

    wolfpackbob

    Uh, let's wait for the poll after she testifies for her epic failure in the Benghazi murders. That SHOULD be part of any vetting process

    ** and yet, we're still waiting on when President Bush is going to telll us why we fought two wars with no weapons of mass destruction found... 5 years later...

    December 11, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. LUVIN VA'S BLUE

    Geordie

    That is what the American Voter is looking for , a likeable candidate.
    No wonder your economy is where it is and your debt is growing by the minute.
    For the last 12 years and now for another 4 years you have had leaders who are incompetent and absolutely clueless.
    Obama has no solutions , all I have heard is taxing the rich more , get with it , there are not enough rich people to make a difference.
    Also , other countries have tried that and guess where the rich people went , they moved to beautiful places in the sun

    ** Now we're just waiting for you to leave..need a ticket?

    December 11, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Catori

    darth vader's daughter

    Secretary of State Clinton is 64 years old and in 4 years will be 68 years old. Since the country only wants a young administration, the ever most successful Secretary of State Clinton, will probably retire for having served this country with due diligence, even though her 4 fingers covered her mouth most of the time.
    ----------------------------------–
    Was that just cut & paste from a Reagan campain speech ?

    December 11, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. SCBAMA

    No one will vote for her after 4 more years of libs screwing things up. She is ready for the rocking chair anyway.

    December 11, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11