A new poll shows that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is considered the candidate most likely to "do anything — including something unethical — to win," and most likely to embarrass the United States.
According to a national Fox News Poll, 44 percent put Clinton in that category, compared to 11 percent for Mitt Romney, 9 percent for Sen. John McCain and 8 percent for Sen. Barack Obama. Twenty-eight percent of voters were unsure.
These results suggest that Clinton still faces the challenge of shedding the image of a politician who puts electoral victory ahead of everything else. Ironically, this negative perception is partly due to her broader image as a competent, take-charge leader who can get things done on ‘day one.’ Her ultimate success may depend on how skillfully she can 'un-couple' these two aspects of her image," says Ernest Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics, which conducted the poll for Fox News.
The poll also shows: More than a third (37 percent) say Clinton is most likely to do something embarrassing; Romney comes in a distant second with 14 percent, McCain at 12 percent and Obama at 11 percent. Twenty-six percent are unsure. McCain now leads among Republicans with 48 percent, far outdistancing Romney at 20 percent and Mike Huckabee at 19 percent. Ron Paul receives 5 percent. The number of undecided voters has dropped from 13 percent in December to 5 percent today. Clinton is still the top choice among Democrats, with the support of 47 percent of voters, compared to 37 percent for Obama. Clinton and Obama both essentially tie McCain in hypothetical head-to-head matchups. Among registered voters nationwide, the poll finds that 44 percent back Clinton and 45 percent McCain. Similarly, 44 percent prefer Obama, while 43 percent choose McCain. Voters say Clinton (34 percent) is the most prepared to begin leading the country on "day one" of taking office, followed by McCain (31 percent), Obama (17 percent) and Romney (8 percent).
The national telephone poll was conducted among 900 registered voters from January 30 to January 31. It has a 3-point error margin.
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