WASHINGTON, February 9, 2013 — The brightest star in the political sky is Hillary Clinton. According to the latest the Quinnipiac University survey of voters (a highly respected poll), the former Secretary of State, U.S. senator and first lady is more popular than President Obama who beat her in the 2008 presidential race and even more popular than some of the Republican 2016 hopefuls.
She scores higher in favorability than the other national figures named in the survey:
* 61 - 34 percent for Hillary Clinton
* 46 - 45 percent for President Barack Obama
* 46 - 41 percent for Vice President Joseph Biden
* 25 - 29 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, with 45 percent who don’t know enough about him to form an opinion;
* 20 - 42 percent for House Speaker John Boehner;
* 27 - 15 percent for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, with 57 percent who don’t know enough;
* 34 - 36 percent for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan;
* 43 - 33 percent for new Secretary of State John Kerry;
* 14 - 18 percent for Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, with 67 percent who don’t know enough about him.
If she were campaigning for president today, Hillary could run away with the election, including being a favorite of Independents at 59% and of men by 54%. Among women, African-Americans and Hispanics she is the blowout candidate. Add to this she overwhelms everyone else’s numbers with her strong support of more than 58% in all age categories as well as those with and without a college degree.
Ahhh, but she is not running today and there is plenty of time for voters to turn on her. Sure, she survived the fallout from Benghazi with nary a mark on her, despite a hostile grilling by the Senate. But once she is candidate Hillary Clinton, watch the sharpened knives come out, especially from the far Right. Will they wound her enough to make her vulnerable to one of the GOP’s shining lights is another question, since Hillary is one tough cookie and can dish it out as easily as she can take it.
What is also interesting in the poll numbers was how low in esteem Republicans in Congress are held. While Obama’s favorability numbers have fallen 7 percentage points since the election, the Congressional Republicans’ approval rating now stands at 19%. The disapproval number of 72% tells the whole story, particularly when you see that a majority of Republicans (51%) feel that way too.
However, Congressional Democrats are not winning any popularity contests either, with a 59% disapproval rating.
So where does this leave Hillary Clinton? Sitting in the catbird seat for now. And being out of office will solidify her numbers, especially when she further builds her reputation by good works in the non-profit world (Americans, who are basically very similar to our Puritan forefathers at heart, just love politicians who do good works).
However, once the rough and tumble of a campaign is underway, Hillary’s numbers will dip, but if they have remained solidly positive over the previous couple of years, she has a strong reservoir of good will among voters to tap into for a winning campaign.
The best guess right now, three years out from the 2016 election, is the presidency is hers if she wants it.
To study and mull over the latest findings by the Quinnipiac Poll go to their website. http://www.quinnipiac.edu/
[The Quinnipiac telephone survey of 1,772 registered voters from Jan. 30-Feb. 4 has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.]
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.
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