Gallup Poll Majority Supports Hillary Clinton for President
A new Gallup poll shows 53% are either “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to vote for Hillary Clinton for president in 2008, numbers similar to what George W. Bush enjoyed at a similar point before the 2000 election.
For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday. The survey shows that the New York senator and former first lady has broadened her support nationwide over the past two years, though she still provokes powerful feelings from those who oppose her.
Clinton commands as much strong support – but more strong opposition – as George W. Bush did in a Newsweek poll in November 1998, two years before the 2000 election. She is in slightly stronger position than then-vice president Al Gore, the eventual 2000 Democratic nominee, was in 1998.
“Over time, Clinton fatigue has dissipated … and people are looking back on the Clinton years more favorably,” says Andrew Kohut, director of the non-partisan Pew Research Center. In a Pew poll released this month, Kohut called former president Bill Clinton and the senator “comeback kids” because of their rising ratings. “This may also reflect that she has been recasting her image as a more moderate person,” he says.
In the poll, 29% were “very likely” to vote for Clinton for president if she runs in 2008; 24% were “somewhat likely.” Seven percent were “not very likely” and 39% were “not at all likely” to vote for her. Her strong support has risen by 8 percentage points, and her strong opposition has dropped by 5 points since the same question was asked in June 2003.
A fascinating result, although I hasten to point out the usual caveats: the election isn’t being held today and the campaign hasn’t started yet. The GOP–and, indeed, her Democratic primary opponents–will spend millions reminding the public of the dark side of the Clinton years and of some of the more outrageous things she’s said over the years.
Still, one would prefer to be in Hillary Clinton’s position than that of any other potential Democratic nominee.