October 15th, 2009
11:49 AM ET
13 years ago

Poll: Hillary Clinton more popular than Barack Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/15/art.obamaclinton.gi.jpg caption="Poll: Hillary Clinton more popular than Barack Obama."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - She lost to him in last year's battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, but a new national poll suggests that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is now more popular than her boss, President Barack Obama.

A Gallup survey released Thursday indicates that 62 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of Clinton, 6 points higher than the 56 percent who view Obama favorably.

According to the poll, the president's favorable rating has dropped 22 points from its inaugural-month level in January. The survey indicates that Clinton's favorable rating has only edged down 3 points since the beginning of the year.

Nine in 10 Democrats questioned in the poll view both Obama and Clinton favorably, with independents split. Fewer than one in five Republicans hold a favorable opinion of the president, while 35 percent see Clinton in a positive light. According to the survey, Obama has dropped 23 points with independents and 41 points with Republicans since January, while Clinton has dropped just 6 points among independents and stayed even among Republicans since the start of 2009.


"This is a common pattern in recent polling," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice consistently had higher favorable ratings than George W. Bush. Madeleine Albright was more popular than Bill Clinton. Secretaries of State don't get blamed for economic problems or unpopular domestic policies, and they often don't get the same share of the blame as the commander-in-Chief for international slip-ups either."

The Gallup telephone poll of 1,013 adults was conducted October 1-4, before the president was named winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Poll • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    All the more reason to assume that the President's foreign policy holds weight. We, the People, approve of how this administration has restored America's good name in the world and reigned in a new era of diplomacy. Could that be the reason why the POTUS was rewarded the Nobel?

    October 15, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Robin

    We would be better off with Hillary as president. At least she understands what is going on.

    Obama, one and done.

    October 15, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Rani McBride

    But....if she was President, she wouldn't be. Come on people, you do realize why he is not as popular, don't you? He is the one that get's the blame for everything. Critized by all sides....left and right. And don't forget the negative Media Spot light, everyday!! With all this...I guess he could be doing much worse than in the low 50's. Looks like the right wing is going to have to work a little harder.

    October 15, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  4. Larry

    Hillary's numbers are higher because she hasn't been in the middle of much needed health care reform that President Obama has been trying to push through.

    Her job as Secretary of State has also been made easier by Obama in that the world has a much more favorable opinion of this country now with him in office.

    October 15, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Kel

    Holland said exactly what I was thinking. Is anyone remotely surprised by this? It's a non-news story. When the country is in a period of economic hardship like this, the approval rating will always go down. People tend to blame the president for everything that goes wrong. Not the secretary of state... Now if she were the secretary of the treasury, that would be a different story.

    October 15, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Of course!

    Why is anyone surprised?

    Hillary should have been the POTUS. She is the most prepared. The most brilliant. The biggest policy wonk. The most passionate about standing her ground with healthcare and other issues on the table.

    She would never have wavered and dropped the public option. She would not have ever folded to special interests.

    Apparently, race trumped gender. Also not surprising.

    October 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    Hillary is favorable because she is doing a great job as the Secretary of State – NOT as President of the United States. Therefore, you are mixing apples with oranges!!!!

    President Obama is viewed favorable as the President of the United States – NOT as Secretary of State. Therefore, you are still mixing apples with oranges!!!!

    Then you go on to say that "This is a common pattern in recent polling... Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice consistently had higher favorable ratings than George W Bush." Again, you are mixing apples with oranges!!!!

    STOP trying to wedge our party apart!!!

    October 15, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Sam

    This is a no brainer. Clinton has the luxury of not being so exposed. I think they are both doing as good a job as possible under the circumstances.

    October 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Expat American

    This is just stupid. CNN, stop catering to the American hunger for sensationalism and trash....'but a new national poll suggests' -what a joke....yeah, and 'Bridezillas' is coming out with a new 'box set'.

    And I don't want to see chubby fat girl McCain boobies either! Yuck! Where's some real news to tune in to?

    October 15, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. No More Incumbents

    Wow. There's a statistic that means nothing.

    October 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. SF Serg

    She'll be a great President from 2016 – 2024.

    October 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. rr

    it's always popular when you do nothing but suck up to people, especially foriegn leaders like Putin.

    October 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Oy Vey

    Duh ... the wingnuts aren't taking daily potshots at Hillary.

    The numbers would be just the opposite if she had won the nomination and subsequent election.

    But then ... the pollsters must be right ... they only report what the 36.5 folks galloping toward the cliff said.

    October 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. John from California

    Hillary Clinton might be more popular because she hasn't been the subject of non-stop attacks by the republicans.

    If Hillary were in the White House, the shrill attacks from the republican party would be just as concentrated as that against President Obama.

    October 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Tamia

    the Republican Poll is meaningless: these ae the same republicans who demonized her so muchthat the issue is now before the Supreme Court!!! Had the shoes been reversed, BO would be their best friend.

    October 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. Peterson

    who cares ??????????????????

    October 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. Lilarose in Bandon, OR

    I voted for Hillary Clinton and would do it again and again.

    But I will keep Obama.

    October 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. Enough

    Not a fan, but would rather have Hilary as president instead of Obama. She should run against him in 2012, Obama is a one term president.

    October 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    Yawn. She's also not running the show. When you're the guy in charge, you take all the blame.

    October 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. m jeff

    It doesn't matter, they are on the same team.

    October 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Jeeze

    They're both capable, intelligent, thinking people. This is something most Democrats acknowledge and appreciate, Independents cannot make up their minds (as with everything else) and Republicans continue to hate and fear. Simple as that.

    October 15, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. John

    Obama will continue to drop in the polls.... that's how it works with presidents.

    October 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Pepou

    But I would like to know what exactly she is doing in this administration. She is not visible in the least!

    October 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Will you folks at CNN stop this for heavens sakes. Sounds like you folks are trying to encourage discontent amongst the Dems. Using polls that includes Independents whom are from what ever party on any given day. This is a waste of time and silliness in NEWS REPORTING ??? We Dems(and Moderate Republicans) are as one.........we are not going to give up "OUR" hard earned position on the results of some rather questionable polls. Now lets talk about health insurance reform and the need for a public option.

    October 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Robert

    Big whoopdy doo. It still didn't win her the election.

    October 15, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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