Poll: Hillary Clinton is more than likeable enough

Hillary Clinton attends a roundtable discussion held by Univision in February in New York. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton attends a roundtable discussion held by Univision in February in New York. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Get used to poll after poll after poll about Hillary Clinton’s viability and likeability as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.  We know it’s early, but indulge us as we contemplate a race that is eons away in political years and might never actually happen.

The latest is from Pew Research Center/USATODAY  and we grabbed a couple of the most interesting tidbits:

 

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Democrats and Republicans barely agree on anything, but have roughly the same view of how gender might operate in a race featuring  Clinton.  The bulk of respondents in both parties say gender won’t help or hurt. Is it that Hillary Clinton,  after stints in the White House as first lady, in the Senate, as a presidential candidate and finally as secretary of state has somehow transcended gender?  Or has society in general moved to a place where gender doesn’t matter?

 

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Well, it seems to matter less now than it did when Clinton first ran, suggesting that her 2008 campaign might have helped normalize of the idea of a woman president.

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Clinton is hard at work on her memoir, set for a summer release, and by all accounts it will be an attempt to frame her tenure at the State Department.  Another polls shows that 67 percent approve of her work at State, with 25 percent disapproving.  The Pew poll shows that Republicans have been successful at making the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi the most memorable and negative aspect of her tenure at the State Department.

 

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And we found one of the questions in this poll a little odd.  She The People can’t quite recall a similar poll in which respondents were asked whether a politician is “hard to like.”  It calls to mind then-Sen. Barack Obama’s “you’re likeable enough” quip to Clinton during a New Hampshire debate in 2008.

The best news out of this poll for Clinton is the “having new ideas” number.  Clinton has been on the national stage since 1992.  Presidential contests are often about the future, not the past.  Almost half see Clinton, who hasn’t fully been a political animal since the 2008 campaign, as having new ideas.

Nia-Malika Henderson is a political reporter for The Fix.
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Nia-Malika Henderson · March 3, 2014