Poll: Hillary Clinton the most popular political figure in the country

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most popular national political figure in the country, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Friday.

Clinton’s approval rating outpaces President Obama — who defeated the former first lady in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary — and other potential rivals for the presidency, should she run again in 2016.

According to Quinnipiac’s poll, 61 percent of American voters view Clinton favorably while just 34 percent had an unfavorable view of the former senator. Obama, fresh off his reelection, has a 51 percent favorable to 46 percent unfavorable rating.

“The difference in favorability ratings for the two leaders lies in Clinton’s ability to win thumbs up from many more independent voters and Republicans than does the president,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement. “The lower approval numbers for the president could be because once the election afterglow is gone, governing inevitably requires decisions that make some voters unhappy.”

Vice President Biden’s favorability rating also came up short when compared with Clinton’s, with 46 percent viewing him favorably against 41 percent with an unfavorable opinion.

Clinton also gets better marks than some of the country’s most well-known Republican figures, including Jeb Bush (25 percent favorable to 29 percent unfavorable, with 45 percent having no opinion), House Speaker John Boehner (20 percent to 42 percent), Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (27 percent to 15 percent, with 57 percent having no opinion) and Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (34 percent to 36 percent).

Clinton is also more popular than her State Department successor, John Kerry, whose favorability rating is 43 percent to 33 percent.

“Hillary Clinton ends her term as Secretary of State and the bruising inquiry into the Benghazi murders as easily the most popular actor on the American political stage today,” said Brown.

Quinnipiac conducted their survey of 1,772 registered voters between Jan. 30 – Feb. 4, Quinnipiac University surveyed. The poll has a +/- 2.3 margin of error.

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