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Former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can return to private life knowing that she is the nation's most popular national figure, at least according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,772 registered voters and found that 61 percent give Clinton a favorable rating. That beats President Barack Obama, who received 51 percent. Just 34 percent viewed Clinton unfavorably, while 46 percent viewed Obama unfavorably.
The poll also asked voters if they approve of the President’s job. Voters were split 46 percent to 45 percent. That’s down from a 53 percent approval rating in December.
Clinton also topped Vice President Joe Biden, who received a 46 - 41 percent favorability rating, and the new Secretary of State, John Kerry. The former Massachusetts Senator received a 43 - 33 percent favorability rating.
House Speaker John Boehner did the worst, earning just a 20 - 42 favorability rating. Sen. Mark Rubio received a 27 - 15 percent favorability rating, but 57 percent said they didn’t know enough. Only 14 percent of those that knew enough about Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel to make a decision viewed him favorably.
“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 the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement, reports USA Today. “After an initial burst of reelection enthusiasm for President Barack Obama, we may be seeing a return to the age of the polarized electorate.”
Brown explained, “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. 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.”