WASHINGTON (AFP) ― She may be fresh out of a job, but Hillary Clinton is currently the most popular political figure in America, well ahead of President Barack Obama, who is slipping, a poll published Friday found.
Clinton, who stepped down last month as Obama’s secretary of state, enjoys a 61 percent favorability among U.S. voters compared with a 34 percent unfavorable rating, according to a survey by Quinnipiac University.
Obama, who beat Clinton to the Democratic nomination in 2008 and took the White House, had a positive-negative favorability of 51-46 percent.
But the president’s job approval numbers were tagged at 46-45, a slide from the 53-40 percent figures he scored in December after his re-election victory.
“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,” Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac’s polling institute, said in a statement.
The poll, which surveyed 1,772 registered voters, will feed in to swirling speculation about Clinton’s 2016 residential ambitions.
The Democrat has so far said she has no plans to re-enter politics, saying she wants to rest and spend more time with her family after two decades in the public spotlight.
Political pundits, however, assert that the former first lady’s renowned drive and experience could lead her to pursue a second White House bid.
Other notables in the Quinnipiac poll included Vice President Joe Biden, who had a 46-41 favorability rating.
However Republican House Speaker John Boehner scored a dismal 20-42, and rising Republican star Senator Marco Rubio came in at 27-15, with 57 percent of the poll’s respondents saying they did not know enough about him.