What's behind the drop in Hillary Clinton's numbers?
June 10th, 2013
11:15 AM ET
10 months ago

What's behind the drop in Hillary Clinton's numbers?

Washington (CNN) - Three national polls out over the past two weeks indicate the same thing - that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's favorable rating is dropping.

But two things: If you're surprised by the slippage, don't be. And while edging down, Clinton's favorable ratings are still firmly in positive territory.

The decline in Clinton's numbers comes as some congressional Republicans continue to question what she knew and didn't know about last September's attack in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead, which happened on her watch as America's top diplomat. And the surveys come as Clinton, who if she ran for the White House in 2016 would instantly become the Democratic presidential front-runner, is increasingly viewed by Republicans as a political threat.

The new poll, released Monday morning, is from Gallup. Fifty-eight percent of people questioned in the survey say they have a favorable view of Clinton, down from 64% in April. And 39% say they see her in an unfavorable way, up from 31% two months ago.

According to a Bloomberg National Poll released Friday, 58% of Americans said they had a positive view of the former first lady and senator from New York, down 12 percentage points from December. And the proportion of those who said they have a very unfavorable view doubled to 22% from 11% during the same time.

MORE: @HillaryClinton says future TBD

A Quinnipiac University survey released two weeks ago indicated Clinton's favorable rating had decreased nine percentage points to 52%, from 61% in February, when she stepped down as secretary of state.

The biggest drop in the new Gallup poll comes from independent voters, whose favorable rating of Clinton now stands at 52%, down around ten points from April. Only a quarter of Republicans have a favorable view of Clinton, a slight edging down over the past two months, with 94% of Democrats seeing her in a favorable light, up a slight 2 points.

It's not all too surprising that Clinton's rating would drop now that she's transitioned out of the State Department to a more political profile.

"Secretaries of state are usually seen as non-political figures, and Americans tend to ignore their own political views when judging them," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"Once Clinton left the State Department, it was inevitable that Americans would start to view her again in a political light. This has happened to her before. When she was first lady - another job that most Americans don't view through a political prism - her favorable rating was in the mid-50s and low 60s. But once she began to contemplate a bid for the Senate seat from New York, her favorables dropped below 50%, and didn't reach the 60% mark again until she was nominated as secretary of state," adds Holland.

The Gallup poll was conducted June 1-4, with 1,529 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Polls
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    --drama of media. Hillary16. Period.

    June 10, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Data Driven

    Didn't you guys run the same story last week? Conservative media bias!

    What are the numbers for potential Republican candidates? And how does Hillary stack up? If you're actually going to report on 2016 as if it's 2015 right now, let's get the irrelevant picture in its entirety.

    June 10, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Blah blah blah. Hillary in 2016. Because she's the only viable option.

    June 10, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Sniffit

    "some congressional Republicans continue to question"

    Anyone got a chart showing whether there's any significant overlap between the ones who "continue to question" Clinton were the same who "continued to question" Obama's birth certificate? And yes, that includes the ones who were so spineless that they simply pretended not to know whether Obama was "really" a citizen.

    June 10, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. jpmichigan

    Sever your relationship with the Obama administration, might do the job. Come out and make clear your part, if any, in the Benghazi situation. Be seen more with Bill, we don't see enough of you.

    June 10, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    What's behind the drop? Who knows? But, I guess the media is going to eventually tell us what to think.

    June 10, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. sonny chapman

    Repubs. liked her more as Sec. of State than as a Dem. Prez. Candidate. That ain't hard to figure.

    June 10, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  8. Steveo

    @Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Blah blah blah. Hillary in 2016. Because she's the only viable option.
    ---------
    Really? Name the other Dem candidates then. Not even gonna ask you to name the GOP candidiates as you have already written them off before you know who they are!

    June 10, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Thomas

    What's behind the drop in Hillary Clinton's numbers?

    She's not in the news , she's taking the Summer off , VACATION !

    June 10, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. just sayin

    her display of complete incompetence and malfeasance when her employees lives were on the line and under attack. no security given to them before hand as they requested, no aid sent to them while they were under attack, and nothing but lies and coverup ever since. what difference does it make?!! well, it appears it does make a difference with the american people that know the truth.

    June 10, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Randy, San Francisco

    It is must discouraging for Republican political operatives to see Hillary's popularity still so high. To still hold a 52 to 58 percent approval rating in a highly charged partisan political environment must be considered a remarkable achievement.

    June 10, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Captain Awesome

    Uhhhh, for starters, she's a liar?

    June 10, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Does Obama endorse his faithful VP of 8 years or throw him under the bus in favor of her? He'll probably vote "present" and do nothing.

    June 10, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Name willard

    No No vote support for hillary clinton 2016 cause she is lied her story what about benghzain

    June 10, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    just sayin wroteL

    her display of complete incompetence and malfeasance ... ... ...
    -----------------–
    Who plugged this thing back in? It's broken. It keep repeating itself.

    June 10, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  16. Ron L

    Once again CNN proves why it is considered a sub-par news organization. THIS IS IRREVELANT UNTIL MID-2014.

    June 10, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. truth hurts but reality bites

    I thin the entire Democrat brand is taking a hit thanks to Obama and all of his scandals. Clinton will suffer because of that with independents and some Democrats.

    June 10, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. rs

    The GOP Benghazi frenzy perchance? Just like the IRS "scandal" the Benghazi one isn't doing much better, except that it links Clinton's name to yet another made-up conspiracy. Have no fear, I am sure they have Vince Foster waiting in the wings.

    June 10, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. Wake up People!

    Aw come on Fox-lite......you and your masters, the GOP are behind Hillary's numbers dropping. But don't worry, she will bounce back.

    June 10, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. smith

    2016 no more Obama...then progress can really occur

    June 10, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Ron L

    America NEEDS to be talking about JOBS, rebuilding our infrastructure; getting health care cost under control, getting large amounts of ammunition out of the hands of people with no control, why student loans with the government are about to go up to 4 to 7% interest. NOT wasting time on who may run for President beginning in the later part of 2014!!!

    June 10, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. anonymous

    Could it be the fact that people around her are always dying or getting killed???

    June 10, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. 1108

    Any poll this early for 2016 may be good for conversation, but little else.

    June 10, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. it must be said

    Ron L
    America NEEDS to be talking about JOBS, rebuilding our infrastructure; getting health care cost under control,
    --

    but obama has been talking, and talking and talking and talking for over 4 year snow. hasn't gotten a damn thing accomplished though. but make no mistake about it, there has been more than enough talking. just no results.

    June 10, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. McRCN

    Out of sight, out of mind is why her poll numbers are going down and after 4 years they will go down even more. I am really surprised she left the cabinet. If she wants to be President, she should have stayed in Gov't. Considering how bad she looked when she left office, you have to think she cannot really handle the pressure over long periods of time. Just look at how she handled the campaign too and lost what should have been a easy nomination against a nobody like Obama in 2008. There will be other Democrats that will want to run anyway.

    June 10, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
1 2