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. chenna_benna

    Of course she is more popular. She is not president. Obama is in control making the hard decisions to try to put this country back on track. What the poll doesn't tell you is that Hillary more than likely would have made the same decisions that Obama has made thus far. Their policies during the campaign were 95% the same.

    October 15, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Ron

    I am Republican who voted for McCain, but respect Obama's victory. It's not a surprise, however, that Hillary is better liked. Eventually, the Democrats will regret having turned on Hillary. I think she was ready to be President, whereas, Obama is learning as he goes without much success yet. Unless you count the adoration of five judges who gave him the Peace Prize.

    October 15, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. R E Church

    I knew that sooner or later the love affair (crush) with Obama would be over and people would come to their senses.
    Hillary has been the better choice from the get-go and will continue to prove her merit while Obama continues to fade away.

    October 15, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Debby

    I am not surprised since it was Hillary who really put this healthcare plan in action while she was First Laday. Obama is just basking the glory of it because he has no accomplishments of his own.

    October 15, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Paul

    No surprise here. People are finally waking up the fact Obama is all flash and no substance. He has crippled our domestic recovery and damaged our international reputation.

    October 15, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Perry

    Don't drink that Koolaid too fast folks. THINK about what you are being told. Obama's wife has higher ratings than Obama. Probably most of his cabinet does too. Everyone who doesn't have to make a decision. That is part of the job. He is holding his own at above 50%. When people stop believing every lie that comes out it will increase.

    October 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Makes no difference, Hillary is a Democrat. However, this should be embarrassing for Republicans, her polls are higher than theirs.

    October 15, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. truthsayer

    Another wasteful poll

    October 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Cindy

    Whew! Good thing the election is not today!

    Doesn't matter what the polls say today. Obama is President, Clinton is not. They are doing 2 different jobs, and they have different responsibilities.

    Heck if we based everything on polls, Michelle Obama should've run, not her husband.

    October 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Lois

    I wish Hillary was President. Hillary has more knowledge regarding all the important decisions to be made along with being able to make those decisions.

    October 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. truthsayer

    ....."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."

    nuff said

    October 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. RRRUSA

    It is always the 'parent who is not home' that is the favorite when the other parent applies discipline......so it is in politics.

    WHO thinks up all these INANE polls? Is 'pollster' a job that requires any sort of education?......let's compare Marge Simpson to Rush Limbaugh; let's compare beer's popularity to water; let's compare Al Queida vs the Taliban......

    ...at the end of the CNN post a quote says this is common...so WHY is this news??? Is today a slow day?

    October 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Vince in NC

    If Hillary were elected President, she'd be trailing Obama in polls. Just part of the job.

    October 15, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. TangledThorns

    Hillary isn't the one bankrupting America so yeah, she is more popular. Plus she has more guts than Obama too!!

    October 15, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    It takes different demands and qualifications for the president and a secretary of state. President Obama is doing a lot to better our country and it is hard to fight existing special interests. Naturally, he will make more enemies. You can't ha ha all the way around the White House.

    October 15, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. 2010 can't get here fast enough

    She was superior to this fraud who still votes present as he doesn't possess the stones for the job.

    Hillary has the stones and that is why I respect her, may not agree with all her politics, but she was, is and always will be far, far, far, superior to this fraud.

    She warned you progressives and she was right, but he was the flavor of the month, good job media, selected, elected and now protected.

    October 15, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. cal

    I wonder who did these polls, Elmer Fudd? Don't get me wrong I like Hilary but President Obama is the most popular president EVER. He is the most admired and loved President world wide. So don't get it twisted, these polls are FLAT OUT WRONG!!!!!!!!

    October 15, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Tony

    Obama's approval rating is actually sub-50%.

    Regardless, this isn't surprising at all. Hillary had more votes in the primaries, therefore more people wanted her to be president. But that's what people get for voting Democrat; the party's nomination process is designed so that the party has ultimate say on who gets elected. There's only an illusion of choice with them. Despite the people's will, the DNC wanted to break the color barrier before they broke the gender barrier. I guess the DNC was deluded and thought that the race card still had some value in America today. Plus, the fact that the DNC is fiercely misogynist obviously played a role as well.

    October 15, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. yuri

    OK, we guess her blatant and transparent prevarications are bein' conveniently forgotten, not to mention her temper tantrums. We still can hear a lot of people say she was a fibber, a dissembler, and perhaps a whopperer.

    October 15, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. unshrub

    Of course she is, Obama has to make all the hard decisions.

    October 15, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Meh

    This is a stupid poll. Apples and oranges, like someone already mentioned.
    Sec of State has to work w. foreign policy, the President has to work w. ALL aspects of running the country. I think his job is a little tougher and since things aren't too hot right now, of course he's going to be polled lower. Duh?

    October 15, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    In any event, both Obama and Clinton should make the most of their 15 minutes. It will be done in 2012.

    October 15, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. m jeff

    What a stupid poll, comparing Apples to Oranges, she is Secretary of State, not President.

    October 15, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Brian from NJ

    Obama ran as a moderate and then took a hard left turn and began breaking his campaign promises the day after his inauguration. This is why he has dropped by 23% with Independents and 41% with Republicans... and his administration's practice of attacking people who disagree with him and calling them names has not helped with his popularity much, either. And to the liberals in this country... this ignorant practice of blaming the Republicans every time things do not go his way is childish. Obama wanted this job and he should've realized that after the way Bush was treated, he was going to be given the exact same treatment... unfortunately that is the way things are today.

    October 15, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. LacrosseDad

    she tells fewer lies

    October 15, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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