CNN Poll: Two out of three have positive view of Secretary Clinton
March 16th, 2011
03:16 PM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Two out of three have positive view of Secretary Clinton

Washington (CNN) - Nearly two-thirds of Americans have a favorable view of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to a new national poll.

The 65 percent favorable rating for Clinton in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Wednesday is one of the highest ratings she's ever had. Thirty-one percent of those questioned say they have an unfavorable view of Clinton, who's currently in the Middle East dealing with the recent uprisings in the region.

"Secretary Clinton's all-time high was just after her husband was impeached in December, 1998, when her favorable rating reached 67 percent, but before then, her favorable ratings hovered in the high 40's to mid 50's. As a Democratic senator from New York, her ratings dipped as low as 44 percent and never got higher than the mid-50s, and her favorability hovered around the 50 percent mark throughout her 2008 presidential campaign," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But after Barack Obama nominated her to be Secretary of State, her rating rose to 66 percent and has stayed consistently above the 60 percent level since then."

The survey indicates a partisan divide on Clinton, with more than nine out of ten Democrats and nearly two-thirds of independent voters saying they have a favorable opinion of her, and six out of ten Republicans saying they have an unfavorable view of the secretary of state.

According to the poll, two of Clinton's fellow cabinet officers, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, are much less well known.

Fifty-two percent of people questioned say they have a favorable view of Gates, with 17 percent holding an unfavorable view and just over three in ten unsure or not familiar with Gates. A quarter say they hold a favorable opinion of Geithner, with 26 percent saying they have an unfavorable view, and nearly half of those questioned unsure or not familiar with Geithner. The ratings for both men are little changed over the past year.

The poll indicates that 41 percent hold a favorable view of House Speaker John Boehner, with 27 percent saying they have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican from Ohio. Boehner's favorable rating is down four points from January, with his unfavorable rating up four points.

Thirty two percent say they have never heard of Boehner or don't know enough about him to form an opinion, down from 49 percent just before the midterm elections.

Boehner took over as House Speaker at the beginning of the year, after the Republicans won back the chamber in November's elections, thanks to a 63 seat net gain in the House.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted March 11-13, with 1,023 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

Filed under: CNN poll • Hillary Clinton • Polls
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. ConservaFascists/F.U.B.A.R.

    She has done a great job as SecStat. Our image across the world is better than what it was under Dubya.

    March 16, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Bea

    My heart breaks thinking what a great president she could have been. It is a downright shame that the left and the media worked so hard to destroy her candidacy in 2008. It is more our loss than hers that she has chosen not to run again for president.

    March 16, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    6 out of 10 Republicans/Tea Pary would have an unfavorable view of Jesus Christ if he were a Democrat.

    March 16, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    I voted for President Obama, but Hilary Clinton has shown how classy she is. She accepted defeat and went to work for the good of the party. She then took a job that is quite tough and has done a wonderful job with it.
    Can anyone on the rethug party, including those crazy women claim the same? Not even close.
    So "and six out of ten Republicans saying they have an unfavorable view of the secretary of state.' Who cares what the rethugs think. They have shown that they are brain dead when it comes to the good of the country. It's all about the party of NO and their rethread candidates.

    March 16, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. skarphace

    This is one moderate that has been regretting his decision to vote Obama over Clinton in 2008. I now feel that Hillary would have made a much better president than Barack has been. It is a bummer she will not run in 2012. I hope she will change her mind come 2016.

    March 16, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. informed voter

    Mrs. Clinton is an inspiration to intelligent, ambitious young ladies all over the world. She personifies grace and dignity. Her detractors, unfortunately, have no clue what a strong role model for women looks like. It is a shame that she will not be our first female president, but I believe she has set the bar far higher than any of the wanna-be female politicians currently pushing their self serving agendas (Palin, Bachmann, Angle come to mind) could ever attain, and I am grateful to Mrs. Clinton for showing these know nothings how a real leader behaves. Bless you and your family, Mrs. Clinton!

    March 16, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Kay

    Why run or take an appointment. Have you seen what money her and bill take down each month from the government. It has to ba record. You can't spend that much.

    March 16, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Hillary Clinton is a sharp woman, that's why she's got the job she has plus she's a Democrat. Can't say the same for some of those so-called Republican/Tea party women who you'd think would learn from Hillary but then again that takes brain power.

    March 16, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. jake429

    Could we see a Hillary 2012 run? Maybe...

    March 16, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Orlando R

    Clinton 2016!

    March 16, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Canadian Jim

    Herein is where journalism has disappeared from news reporting. Journalism does not lie in telling the story about the numbes. Journalism lies in telling the story behind the numbers. All we have been provided with here is information. The average American cannot dissect this information or process it in a meaningful way without the help of a journalist who tears apart the numbers and digs for the answers behind the answers. Who are those that disapprove of her performance and have them articulate one misstep in her perfomance as Secreatary of State and have them offer what they would have done differnently. Hold the respondents feet to the fire. Instead the us just keepos swirling down the toilet – she's a democrat – I disapprove.

    March 16, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. Dennis

    As a conservative Republican, she's not my favorite politician, However, I would rather have her in the White House than current occupant. She would not have done as much damage as Obama has done.

    March 16, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  13. psty193

    Two thirds of US approve of Hillary? What a joke! She has done nothing remarkable since becoming senator of New York. Even when those American journalists were held captive in North Korea, she just issued defensive rhetoric against Kim Jong. It took her husband, Bill Clinton, to go to North Korea, have lunch with Kim Jong, have a few laughs, smalltalk and gave a formal apology for the journalists that trespassed into his country. Four hours later, Kim Jong releases the journalists. Problemo solved! Thank you Hillary! Maybe we should be having lunch with our enemies more often and maybe we might actually accomplish something.

    March 16, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Tyler Durden

    She has earned that and more.

    March 16, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. jerry

    why would anyone have a positive view of H. Clinton...what happened to the rodam part of her name? The usual CNN poll garbage.

    March 16, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. gary Davis

    she is doing what the president wants her to do and she too feels he is right so she is doing great rebuilding our image , and helping the world , and women rights world wide . any man that doesn't want women to have equal rights needs to be put down just like a sick animal .end of problem

    March 16, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. bdude

    Thats because she is a "no-nonsense,say it like it is,smart politician. She doesn,t rattle on about partisanship like 99.8 % of Gop and their spin-off Teaparty canidates do. All Gop goals are to be "elected" Thats it,period!! We need you Secretary. Thanks for not involving the country in another war,like Republican leadership wanted. McCain,sorry, you lost again.

    March 16, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. annie s

    Regardless of her denials, I'm still hoping for a President Hillary Clinton someday.

    March 16, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |