Tags: Barack Obama | Hillary Clinton | Polls | Election 2010 | Hillary Clinton | Gallup | popularity

Gallup Poll: Hillary Clinton's Popularity Hits Near-Record High

By Jim Meyers   |   Thursday, 31 Mar 2011 03:21 PM

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating has reached 66 percent, her highest rating since she assumed her current position in the Barack Obama administration, a Gallup poll reveals.

“Clinton recently ruled out serving another term as secretary of state in a possible Obama second term and has squelched speculation that she might replace Biden as vice president,” Gallup observes. “This has only fueled speculation about what her presidential ambitions might be for 2016.

Hillary Clinton, popularity, Obama, Gallup“Clinton's broad appeal would seem an auspicious foundation for seeking the White House.”

Clinton’s all-time high rating, 67 percent, came in December 1998, shortly after the House voted to impeach President Bill Clinton, which “engendered Americans’ sympathy for the first lady,” Gallup says.

But as Hillary entered electoral politics, first as a U.S. senator from New York and then as a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, her favorable rating dipped, reaching 44 percent in 2001.

The rating remained in the 40s and 50s until she assumed her State Department job, reaching 65 percent in January 2009.

The new rating of 66 percent is from a poll conducted after the United States began enforcing a no-fly zone in Libya, a policy Hillary reportedly favored.

The poll of more than 1,000 adults that ended on March 27 found that 72 percent of women rate Clinton favorably, as do 77 percent of women age 50 and over.

Among independents, 62 percent rate her favorably, while 92 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Hillary.

Clinton even garners a 45 percent favorable rating from respondents who say they disapprove of the job President Obama is doing.

Hillary’s favorable rating in the new poll is higher than that of Obama (54 percent), Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (52 percent), and Vice President Joe Biden (46 percent).

“Clinton’s popularity may be partly due to the nature of the secretary of state position, which is somewhat above the fray of partisan politics and focused on defending U.S. interests globally,” Gallup notes.

But Hillary’s popularity does not approach that of another secretary of state, Colin Powell, who served during President George W. Bush’s first term. His favorable ratings were consistently above 80 percent, and reached as high as 88 percent.

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