August 13th, 2007
03:48 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton: Strong, yes; likeable, maybe

Democrats think Clinton is strong, but do they like her?

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Democrats consider New York Sen. Hillary Clinton the most electable candidate in the presidential field, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Monday afternoon.

Democratic voters polled in the new survey also consider the senator from New York to be the strongest leader and the most experienced, but Sen. Barack Obama has a light edge on likeability.

Clinton gets her lowest marks when Democrats are asked which candidate is the most honest.

Fully 59 percent of those questioned in our new poll say Clinton has the right experience to be president. Only 9 percent feel that way about Obama. Meanwhile, 47 percent say she would be the strongest leader, and 46 percent say she is the most qualified to be commander in chief.

Obama is presenting himself on the campaign trail as the candidate of change, but only 27 percent of the Democrats we questioned say the senator from Illinois is most likely to change the country. That’s second to Clinton - 40 percent of those polled say she’s most likely to bring change.

So what are Clinton’s weak points? One appears to be honesty. Just 28 percent say that Clinton is the most honest candidate, compared to 24 percent for Obama.

The other is likeability: 34 percent say Obama is the most likeable candidate, topping Clinton on that measure by three points.

Clinton continues to hold a big lead in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, with a nearly a two-to-one advantage over Obama, her leading rival. In numbers released last week, assuming Al Gore stays out of the race, Clinton is the Democratic frontrunner at 44 percent, with Obama in second place at 24 percent and John Edwards in third with 16 percent.

Rudy Giuliani continues to lead the pack in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. The GOP rank-and-file also consider Giuliani the most likeable and most electable of the candidates in the running. Unannounced candidate Fred Thompson has moved into second place with 22 percent, while John McCain is third with 16 percent. Mitt Romney, at 12 percent, rounds out the top four in the GOP field.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland finds an interesting difference between the two parties. Holland says, “The Democrats don't necessarily see their frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, as the most likeable candidate in the race. But Republicans rank Rudy Giuliani, who currently tops the list on the GOP side, as the most likeable Republican candidate, and in fact that is Giuliani's biggest strength right now.”

The poll, which was conducted by telephone from August 6-8, is based on interviews with 458 registered voters who describe themselves either as Democrats or as Independents who lean Democratic.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Colin Itlikitis, Redding, georgia

    They always try to get shots of Clinton with large groups of men standing/seated in the background, because they know at the end of the day no self-respecting man will vote for a woman that he'll have to see on Tv for four-eight years that nags just like his wife does.
    Face it, the polls are wrong. Most every man that goes to vote for president is not going to vote to see Hillary's mug and hear her dreadful voice for four to eight solid years. They'll take another endless war over that any day of the week.

    August 14, 2007 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  2. won't vote hillary, NYC, NY

    You tell 'em, Pat from Raleigh, I'm another Independent voter and professional woman who won't vote for Mrs Clinton. When are they going to poll the Independents, we're going to swing this thing away from the dems in November 08 if they nominate 'that (other) woman'?

    August 14, 2007 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  3. sunwolf78

    It should be noted that CNN's polls are done by a company run by Vinod Gupta, an ardent Clinton supporter who has been sued by his own shareholders for lavishing too much company money on the Clintons.

    August 14, 2007 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  4. Brian Hubbell II

    Hillary is just another freedom hating socialist, why people support her or any of the other democrats is beyond me. on the subject of her and Barack Obama though, they are the same candidate, just different minorities. Socialized medicine, more welfare state handouts, less freedom, more political correctness, national ID (Show me your papers Comrade. Oh you don't have your papers? To the gulags with you), etc.

    August 14, 2007 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  5. Dan, Maryland

    She'll get the nomination. It doesn't matter if Democrats like or don't like her.

    In the opinion of many democrats she's the best chance they have of winning back the White House.

    August 14, 2007 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  6. Robert Rochester, MN

    Kucinich is the only candidate running on either side (sad that there are only two sides in America) that is principled – with the possible exception of Obama. Hillary is an establishment candidate who won't do anything innovative. She'll adequately hold down the fort, and little more.

    August 14, 2007 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  7. JFK Phoenix, AZ

    I think Hillary can help make change happen. I agree that major change probably won't happen if she were elected along with anyone else elected honestly. Because we as Americans sit and do not nothing about our problems! We expect someone like a Obama or Hillary to create change. But major change will only come from us if we DEMAND IT! America is paralyzed by special intrest groups and apathy. If you want change, look in the mirror first and make it happen! We know all too well that one candidate can lead change but we must be a part of any revolution of change for America to evolve and grow.

    August 14, 2007 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. CC, Bay Village, Ohio


    "Watch your kids while you were away"

    Between Republican and Democratic candidates, who would you trust to watch your children?

    August 14, 2007 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  9. ReadBtwthlins

    Just 28 percent say that Clinton is the most honest candidate.

    WOW! Thats worse than Bush.

    CNN's response..


    August 14, 2007 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Nicosia D. Petersburg,VA

    Okay ladies and gentlemen, at 24 I remember when the Clinton household moved into the WH. Everyone is touting Hillary's "experience", Please answer me this what "experience" are you speaking of? Being first lady or senator? As first lady she tried her hand at policy making and universal care and failed miserably, diplomacy and got laughed at and humilated on a worldwide scale. People SHE is not her husband. I have grown up in a world with only two families in WH Bush-Clinton(2x)-Bush(2x). Sorry ladies and gentlemen the new generation is ready for new blood. WE are sick and tired of aged, upper-echlian, conservative White Men carrying this country into an oblivious hell. Sorry Hillary you are just a different gender with the same ideas.
    People stop listening to Hillary machine touting Obama's experience...if you take notice and listen that is all they have.
    A new generation for Obama in 08'

    August 14, 2007 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Mindy Chatsworth, Ca.

    Lance –

    Your comments are heartfelt and stated with conviction and sincerity. I happen to agree with a lot of what you say about strong leadership to guide this country in the challenging years after the debacle of the Bush administration.

    The truth is, we can't go wrong with any of the leading Democratic candidates for president. Just look at what the Republicans have to offer -Giuliani, who is a Bush wannabe, trying to win the presidency because of his actions on 9/11; then there is Mitt Romney, someone who seems to have as low an i.q. as Bush and who switches positions as the political winds change; next we have Fred Thompson, the phantom candidate, another Bush clone who is just another conservative lackey; last, we have John McCain, whose candidacy has gone up in flames, although he doesn't know it yet.

    This is our election to lose and we have to make the right decision. Obama and Edwards are worthy contenders. I am not ready to put Obama in the same category as John F. Kennedy. I was old enough to remember him and I don't think we will see someone like him again in our lifetime. He was a truly extraordinary man of intellect, charm and wit, who inspired a generation of young people.

    Obama is bright, articulate, a new face on the scene and someone to watch. I still think his time has not yet come. I think Edwards may be best suited for vice president. An Obama/Edwards ticket is appealing to consider, but I don't think it is a winning ticket. You must win in order to effect change. That is the challenge.

    I still have an open mind, although I am leaning toward Hillary at the moment. I think she has experience, pragmatism, strong ideas and the best political adviser of all in her husband. If she can rise above the standard political sound bites, she has the ability to make history and inspire us all as the first woman president.

    August 14, 2007 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Sara Bartley from Oregon

    CNN is unfairly backing Clinton, and I guarantee, SHE WILL NOT WIN!!! People do not want more of the same and all the comments seem to agree that A) Clinton is not what they want and B) Clinton is more of the same which equals: CNN where are you getting our poll information?? From my understanding Clinton is not rallied around or supported and that is exactly what a candidate needs to WIN!!!! I get this from listening to talk shows, no one is calling in to support Clinton, from talking to ordinary citizens–if I stand in a parking lot at the local Winco and poll people myself will you run a story on the results?? We need to win the battle of ideology and to have Clinton run against Gulliani, with Gulliani winning is not going to move America into a new and brighter future! I predict at this rate CNN you will be fostering this outcome by rinning articles perhaps based on polls put out by what credible group, not the Heritage Foundation again, please you are slaying us here!!! At this point our society can not even choose to fail or succeed without the media giving us the right information!!

    August 14, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. D Kaplan Eustis Fl

    Do we really care if someone is likeable? All I care about is someone who is experienced, knowledgeable and able to mount a credible race. As a Democrat, I want to win. As a citizen...looking at the group of Republicans on the trail and it makes me cringe.They are all scary. Can we afford four more years of bad government, challenges to Our Bill of Rights, mismanagement of responses to natural disasters, poor upkeep of our parks as well as our resources? Does the middle class need to lose any more economic ground because of Republican policies? I think we have to look at the best horse, put a saddle on it and ride to the finish line. If I had my way Al Gore would be that horse.

    August 14, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Mary, Beaver, PA

    Hey Kevin from N.H! "Democrats have made it a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. 2008 might be the same if people don't wise up." LOL, how true! The Dems putting up someone as divisive as Hillary is a Republican dream.

    To Brian Hubbell II: Yes, you're right, but since when do you find much love of freedom from the Republicans?

    August 15, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Ahmed

    Bush won in the eolctien and the court refused to review Goracle's claim that the recounts were wrong. Goracle is the one who took it to court, not Bush... and HillBilly and Obama will be the next to do the same.

    February 19, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
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