The Most Popular Politician In America ? Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton earned the nickname The Comeback Kid during the 1992 Presidential campaign when he came in a strong second place in the New Hampshire primary only weeks after the Gennifer Flowers story became public. He managed to stage comebacks again and again throughout his Presidency as well, bouncing back from the 1994 GOP “revolution” to win re-election in 1996 and bouncing back from impeachment to leave office with an approval rating nearly as high as Ronald Reagan’s was when he left office. Now, it looks like he’s bounced back again:

The most popular political figure in the poll? It’s none other than former President Bill Clinton, whose favorable/unfavorable rating is 55-23.

By comparison, Obama’s is 47-41; former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee’s is 26-25; House Minority Leader John Boehner’s is 14-17; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s is 12-18; former Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney’s is 21-30; former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s is 24-35; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s is 15-32; former Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin’s is 30-48; and current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s is 22-50.

One of the main reasons for Clinton’s positive score is that he no longer remains a GOP target. In the survey, 47 percent of Republicans view the ex-president negatively, compared with 78 percent of them who view Obama negatively.

Obviously, with Clinton out of office nearly a decade now Republican ire has been directed in a new direction (and likely will be for quite some time……..Barack Obama is likely to become the new Jimmy Carter in GOP rhetoric for decades to come). At the same time, though, considering the bruising that Clinton took at the hands of Obama supporters during the 2008 campaign one has to think that Bubba got a laugh out of this one.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    Bubba ran rings round the Republicans and most people regard his period in office as a golden era as it was in many ways (largely because he had the luck to be in office when the PC revolution took off) but he also governed sensibly while his opponents looked progressively crazier. The “shut down” and the impeachment nonsense was when I first started to question my traditional support for the GOP.

  2. Clinton’s become more popular because people are comparing his term to the two successors, both of whom appear or appeared to be in over their heads.

  3. Tano says:

    I find it fascinating how Sara Palin has become such a media superstar and Barack Obama has become a punching bag, when in fact, the American people have a strongly negative favorability assessment of Palin (30-48), and a quite positive favorability toward Obama (47-41).

    Its almost like we have a biased media or something…..

  4. Tano says:

    “…to leave office with an approval rating nearly as high as Ronald Reagan’s was when he left office.”

    Actually, according to Gallup, Clinton left office with an approval 2 points higher than Reagan when he left office – 65-63.