Tags: Hillary Clinton | bill clinton | popular | poll | hillary clinton

NBC/WSJ Poll: Bill Clinton Still Popular, Even More Than His Wife

By    |   Friday, 13 Mar 2015 06:10 PM

Fourteen years after leaving the White House, Bill Clinton remains one of the nation’s most popular politicians — but his following may not roll over to his wife as she mulls a run for the presidency in 2016.

A new NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey of 1,000 adults showed that 56 percent of those responding have a positive view of the former Democratic president. That compared with just 26 percent expressing a negative perspective.

Clinton, 68, also was ahead of the current occupant of the Oval Office, President Barack Obama, with a 44-to-43 percent rating, and former Republican President George W. Bush, 35-to-39 percent.

However, only 44 percent of survey respondents said they had a positive view of Hillary Clinton, compared with 36 percent having a negative one.

The poll, conducted March 1-5, has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

The results come as Hillary Clinton nears an announcement on whether she would seek the Democratic presidential nomination — and what role her husband could play in any campaign, The Washington Post reports.

"The campaigner-in-chief is always more an asset than anything," Jef Pollock, a Democratic pollster in New York, told the Post. "He’s good for money, he’s good for strategy, and he’s good for turnout. That’s the holy trinity of good campaigning."

Dave Beattie, however, had a different take. Also a Democratic pollster, he is based in Florida.

"In a campaign, he should not be used to attack opponents, but to paint the picture of a more equitable economy that reinforces voters' existing perception of his strength as president," Beattie told the Post.

The report noted some of Bill Clinton’s gaffes during his wife’s 2008 presidential campaign — including when he compared Obama’s strong showing in South Carolina to those of the Rev. Jesse Jackson there in 1984 and 1988, and when he described the Obama campaign as a "big fairy tale."

The debacle caused Clinton’s popularity ratings to plunge to as low as 50 percent in 2008, the Post reports, citing long-range data by Gallup.

As a result, the Post asserts, the Clinton camp may give serious consideration to how the former president might be used to help his wife.

But Paul Begala, a longtime Clinton associate, considers the matter pointless.

"Every few months some over-thinker in my party — or perhaps in the press — kills a bunch of pixels on this question: 'Is Bill Clinton an asset or a liability?'” he told the Post.

"I feel like Bill Murray in 'Ghostbusters' after Sigourney Weaver, sultry if possessed, says to him, 'Do you want my body?'

"Murray says: 'Is that a trick question?'"

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Fourteen years after leaving the White House, Bill Clinton remains one of the nation’s most popular politicians — but his following may not roll over to his wife as she mulls a run for the presidency in 2016.
bill clinton, popular, poll, hillary clinton
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2015-10-13
Friday, 13 Mar 2015 06:10 PM
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