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Most Democrats Would Reelect Obama Over Clinton If They Could

Friday, October 28, 2016

President Obama has received higher approval ratings in his final year than he has for most of his presidency. While most voters  expect Hillary Clinton to continue many of his policies if she wins, a sizable majority of her current supporters would vote for Obama instead if the rules allowed it.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey shows that 70% of Likely U.S. Voters who support Clinton in the election say they’d vote for Obama if it was a legal option. Just 11% of Republican Donald Trump's voters agree. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among all Likely Voters, 41% say that if Obama was legally allowed to run for a third term in office, they would vote for him over Clinton and Trump. Just over half (52%) still say they would not vote for him in that case.

Earlier this year before the presidential nominees were decided, 31% said they would vote for Obama if he legally could seek a third term, but twice as many (62%) said they would not support him.  Those findings were little changed from last year after Obama commented about winning a third term in a speech in Africa.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 20 and 23, 2016 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Most voters still share unfavorable opinions of both major party candidates. Fifty-six percent (56%) think both Clinton and Trump are liars.

Rasmussen Reports thought it would cut through all the charges and counter-charges flying in the presidential race and ask voters which candidate they think has more to hide. They say Clinton does. 

Most Democrats (65%) say they’d vote for Obama for a third term given the current presidential matchup. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Republicans and 52% of voters not affiliated with either major party say they wouldn’t.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters under 40 would opt for Obama if he were legally allowed to run for a third term, a sentiment shared by just 30% of middle-aged voters and 29% of those 65 and older.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of blacks and 60% of other minority voters prefer Obama over Clinton and Trump. Just 29% of whites agree.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the president’s job performance say they’d vote for him in this election if they could. Ninety-six percent (96%) who Strongly Disapprove of the job Obama is doing wouldn’t vote for him.

Since 2013, the president's monthly job approval rating has typically improved slightly at the beginning of each year and then fallen back. That hasn’t been the case in the final year of his presidency.  In the final months of his campaign for reelection in 2012, his monthly approval index was in the negative teens.

The percentage of voters who say the country is heading in the right direction has hovered in the mid- to upper-20s for most of this year.

As the nation reels from angry protests and deadly violence against police officers, voters are more pessimistic than ever about the state of race relations in this country since the election of its first black president.

In a hypothetical matchup last year, Democrats preferred Clinton over first lady Michelle Obama 56% to 22%. But among black voters, it was Obama 44%, Clinton 36%, with 12% favoring another candidate and seven percent (7%) undecided. 

Earlier this year, 62% of Democrats said an endorsement from the president of one of the presidential candidates would be important to their vote.

The race between Trump and Clinton nationally continues to be close in Rasmussen Reports' daily White House Watch survey.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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