Bill Clinton's Popularity at Record High

Tuesday, 31 Jul 2012 11:32 AM

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Former President Bill Clinton's popularity is polling at record highs, a factor that may give a boost to beleaguered President Barack Obama’s re-election bid.

Clinton, who will formally nominate Obama at the Democratic National Convention in September, is viewed favorably by 66 percent of Americans, tying his highest rating recorded in January 1993, Gallup found.

Clinton is viewed favorably by men, women, whites, and nonwhites, and across all major age groups, Gallup noted. He also has wide support among independents and, while Republicans are not onboard the Clinton bandwagon, they narrowly missed it. Republicans view the former president more unfavorably than favorably by a 50 percent to 44 percent margin.

“Clinton's popularity could make him one of the more valuable speakers at the 2012 Democratic National Convention later this summer, where he will reprise his 2008 convention role as booster-in-chief for Barack Obama,” Gallup wrote in an analysis of the data. “Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating was also 66 percent in Gallup's most recent measure. Obama himself is viewed favorably by 54 percent of Americans.”

Clinton’s popularity fluctuated during his presidency and afterwards but since 2001 Americans generally have had a positive view. His favorability rating did dip in 2008 when he was involved in Hillary Clinton’s campaign against Obama.

“In 2008, former President Bill Clinton was a crucial symbol of party unity at the Democratic National Convention as Obama sought to win over former supporters of Hillary Clinton,” Gallup wrote. “While not wildly popular with any key voting blocs at that time, he sent an important intra-party signal that it was time to come together around Obama.

“By contrast, Clinton's solid popularity with Americans today might help attract new support to Obama from outside the party, particularly from whites, men, seniors, and political independents — all important voting groups that Obama is struggling with in trial heats against Republican Mitt Romney.”

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