Hillary Clinton would trounce fellow Democrat President Barack Obama by a 20-percentage-point margin in a head-to-head race for the presidency, according to a Newsmax/SurveyUSA poll conducted after Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Newsmax conducted the survey to find out how several well-known political and celebrity figures, ranging from Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Bill Gates to Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, and Glenn Beck, would fare if they ran against Obama for the White House.
The survey of 1,000 registered voters was conducted Nov. 3-4, after Republicans won the House and gained six seats in the Senate — results widely interpreted as a rejection of Obama and raising questions about whom the Democrats might field as a candidate in 2012.
In the poll, respondents were asked: “If there were an election for president of the United States today, and the only two names on the ballot were Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, whom would you vote for?”
The poll found that, overall, 60 percent of respondents chose Secretary of State Clinton, while 40 percent chose Obama.
There was virtually no difference between male and female respondents in the poll — 60 percent of women and 59 percent of men chose Clinton over Obama.
Older voters were more likely to vote for Clinton — 67 percent of respondents 65 and older and 60 percent of those 50 to 64 chose Clinton. But even among the youngest age group that was considered solid Obama territory, 18- to 34-year-olds, a majority of 54 percent opted for Clinton.
Clinton also polled strongly among Hispanic voters (55 percent), independents (60 percent), Republicans (74 percent) and conservatives (82 percent).
Obama polled strongest among blacks (65 percent) and liberals (55 percent).
Clinton said in recent interviews that she has no plans to run for president again and seemingly ruled out such a bid until 2016. But there has been talk — fueled partly by her fellow Democrats’ losses in the midterm elections — that she might embark on a new race, and the Newsmax poll suggests she could pose a serious challenge to Obama in 2012.
“These numbers underscore President Obama’s challenges going forward as he faces the final two years of his term and begins gearing up for his re-election effort,” Democratic pollster and Fox News commentator Doug Schoen told Newsmax.
“The re-election prospects of President Obama have only been made more difficult by the Democrats’ drubbing in this week’s midterm elections.”
Not all potential Democratic presidential candidates fared as well against Obama in the Newsmax poll, however.
Retiring Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana has stockpiled more than $10 million in campaign cash he could use to challenge Obama for the nomination in 2012.
But in the Newsmax survey, Obama outpolled Bayh 59 percent to 41 percent.
Obama fared strongly among women (65 percent), young voters aged 18 to 34 (62 percent), blacks (75 percent), liberals (87 percent), and most importantly, Democrats (84 percent).
Newsmax will reveal other results of hypothetical races between Obama and other famous Americans in the coming days.
SurveyUSA is an independent research company that conducts public opinion polls for media and academic institutions, and conducts private market research for commercial clients and nonprofit organizations.
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