Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the best-known and most favorably viewed of all the potential 2016 presidential candidates, even after news broke about her use of personal email for official business, a new poll has found.
According to a Gallup poll
conducted March 2-4 of 1,522 adults, before her press conference on the issue, 50 percent of respondents said they viewed her favorably, compared to 39 percent who have a negative impression, putting her ahead of any potential Republican candidates.
At the same time, 89 percent of Americans are familiar enough with Clinton to have an opinion, again more than any other potential candidate.
Clinton is in only a slightly weaker position than last summer when she released her book, "Hard Choices." At the time, 54 percent of Americans had a favorable view, suggesting the email controversy has not had a significant impact on views of Clinton.
"Clinton's relatively high scores on both dimensions give her a better starting position regarding her image than other competitors would have in the 2016 U.S. presidential election," Gallup said in a statement.
Among Republicans, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are the best known, with roughly two-thirds of Americans having an opinion about them.
For Bush, 35 percent had a favorable view compared to 33 percent who had an unfavorable view. Christie's negative views outweigh the positive with 34 percent compared to 31 percent.
Sen. Marco Rubio had the highest net favorability rating with 26 percent holding a positive view versus 21 percent who have a negative view, the poll found. And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also had a positive net favorability but is less well known than most of the 11 other potential GOP candidates.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had the lowest favorability rating of all the candidates in the poll.
Among Democrats tested in the survey, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a net positive rating but is far less known than Clinton and eight of the potential GOP contenders. Specifically, 22 percent view her favorably compared to 19 percent who view her unfavorably.
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