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. Gabe Polson

    Well now it all comes to light. Don't get me wrong, I like Obama and love Joe Biden. But Hillary Clinton is President material. There is just something about her. She is politically electrifying!! As we have seen in the past when a Clinton speaks the world takes notice. The Clinton name is the gold standard around the world. She makes very few mistakes and has no need to hog the spotlight. In the world of politics and political strategy, SEC Hillary Clinton comes from a special mold. It would have been a breath of fresh air to have had a President who thinks for themselves and stands on their own two feet.

    Here's hoping she changes her mind in 2016!

    October 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Bugl3t

    I guess that's understandable, given that she hasn't had to speak up on healthcare or the economy or jobs... give Hillary credit to see that losing the bid for the Democratic nominee turned out to be the best thing that could have happened... she can always run later.

    October 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. terry,va

    Is this a surprise? Hillary has more commander in chief skills than Obummie will ever have. He can't vote present on ever issue that comes up. America lost when Obummie won!!!

    October 15, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  4. SLM

    Sorry, we Republicans are not so predictable..............Hillary should have become president.............Not Obama!

    October 15, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. The black Spider

    How do compare a soldier at the front line fighting day and night to a soldier in the army reserve?
    Any intelligent human being knows the president is the one calling all the shots and the only one that takes the heat.
    What is Next Do a popularity poll betwen the president and Rush Limbaugh or Gleen Beck or Lou Dobbs or Woolf Blitzer?

    CNN your polls are becoming pathetic.

    October 15, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. J

    Stop trying to distract everyone and do some serious journalism.

    How much were you paid to run another one of these ridiculous distracting stories??

    October 15, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Bev

    Agian with sowing discontent CNN...figures!! Why don't you focus on giving us updates on Ensign and Sanford's Appalachian hikes. How come you never poll everybody as I have never been appraoched?

    October 15, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. blake

    the only thing i can say is told you so!!!!

    October 15, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Gary's Opinion

    I don't agree with everything Hillary does but I think she probably would have made a better leader. She wouldn't have had 33 Czars, she would have been more measured with bailouts and stimulus. But then she'd probably be more extreme with healthcare reform which is bad....I guess in the end they are 2 of a kind. We want Mitt!!

    October 15, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. GWS

    Wonder how many true Obama voters were contacted for this so-called poll?!? NONE! She's been in the background for months, not speaking out on healthcare, the economy or anything ... so I guess she would be perceived to be more popular by the Hillary women – after all, they're still angry because she didn't get the nomination. They're just as bad as the republicans!

    October 15, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. eolufemi

    Divide and conquer huh...Let's see how dumb some democrats are by falling for it.

    October 15, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. terry,va

    Obummie is on a roll and will over take Hillary. Look at his luck...he was the tenth caller to the Nobel Committee and won the Peace Award. Next he will take his traveling circus to a town near you.

    October 15, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Whitney Ivey

    Just because she is more popular than the president that does not mean anything. Obama is still our president and Hillary is just the secertary and nothing more. I do think that she should be president because she has already been in the White House even though she was only the first lady what do she need to be back in there for. Dont get me wrong I have nothing aganist her but if the people wanted her they would voted for her and she would have stayed in the race.

    October 15, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. Rob Selby

    CNN is up to their old corporate media tricks again. I get a kick out of right-wingers that accuse CNN of being liberal. The opposite is true.

    October 15, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. Shari, NY

    Simply put, if she were the President it would be the other way around. In other words, America is in a President's hands, so if there is one iota of dissatisfaction on any matter he/she gets blamed.

    October 15, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Tim

    Hillary Clinton is pretty much "gagged" by the Administration. We all know that Vice President Biden is the "real" Secretary of State.

    Anyhow, the President sets policy. The Secretary of State just follows it.

    October 15, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. CHANGE.COM

    Who cares, CNN? Please tell me who actually gives a blink if Hilary is more popular? Solving the nation's problems caused by 8 years of neglet isn't a popularity contest. You make me puke, CNN!...And, I dare you to publish this:)

    October 15, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. terry,va

    Anyone but Obummie in 2012. Heck I'd rather have another Bush.

    October 15, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Mike

    Happens all the time. Had Hillary won she would have the same numbers as Obama. Trust me, they will continue to slide unless he does something earth shatteringly positive. Like pass bi-partisan, comprehensive health care reform. Good luck with that, at least the bi-partisan part.

    October 15, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Obama is NOT looking for popularity. As CNN keeps stating, he's no longer running for President. He is the President. You know, the one that people love to hate or love to love. The one that HAS to make all the tough and sometimes unpopular decisions. You know, HE'S THE MAN. Now I am more than certain that as The Man he's confident enough ti enjoy someone else's 'popularity'. Especially someone that is a part of his team. If he can use Hillary's 'popularity' to get something accomplished for the country you can bet your 'popular vote' that he will. It's ALL GOOD.

    October 15, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Michael in MO

    Hmmm, and why might that be???? Maybe because she's always been the most qualified?? I guess all the Obamabots that got their free ipods & concert tickets for stuffing the primary ballot boxes have gone on to something more hip these days. After all, talking about heath care and the economy just isn't kewl.

    October 15, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Caesar the Great

    I never, ever thought I would say this but she should be our President right now. And I completely understand why she is more popular, she is actually less polarizing and seen as a stronger leader based on her role.

    October 15, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Objective Thinking

    The difference, Keating Holland, is that Powell and Rice never ran against Bush for the presidential nomination, and Albright never ran against Bill Clinton for the presidential nomination. Hillary Clinton DID run against Obama for the presidential nomination, so this is not the same situation. This actually indicates remorse for choosing the wrong Democrat.

    October 15, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Phat Elvis

    she deserves the respect, but put this in context: if she had been president, her ratings would match Obama's–it just comes with the job.

    now if everyone could get it through their pea-brains that they are a team working together, there wouldnt be so much grousing about what this stupid poll means, which is absolutely nothing

    October 15, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. Clara

    If Secretary Clinton run for President in 2016, she have my vote! One thing for sure, she wouldn't have a big mess to clean up. President Obama is coming to leave things in good order, just like her husband did.

    October 15, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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