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Obama and Hillary: Friends or Foes?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Voters tend to think a Hillary Clinton presidency would be like the Obama presidency when it comes to the major issues and expect President Obama to endorse his former secretary of State. But they’re not so sure the two top Democrats like each other.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 28% of Likely U.S. Voters think Clinton and Obama like each other. Thirty-four percent (34%) say they don’t. Slightly more (37%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Even among Democrats, just 43% believe Clinton and the president like each other.

But 52% of all voters believe Clinton and the president hold similar views on most major policy issues. Just 20% disagree, while 28% are not sure.

Seventy-five percent (75%) think it’s at least somewhat likely that Obama will endorse Clinton over other Democratic contenders if she runs for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016. But that includes only 40% who say it is Very Likely. Just 18%, however, believe an Obama endorsement of Clinton is not very or Not At All Likely.

Nearly half (48%) of voters still regard Clinton as a liberal, a view that has changed very little in regular surveys since June 2007. Thirty-five percent (35%) describe the former senator and first lady as a moderate, while only four percent (4%) view her as conservative. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 23-24, 2014 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.

A plurality (44%) of voters believes the Benghazi controversy will negatively impact Clinton’s expected bid for the presidency, but that was before the major congressional hearings on the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya began earlier this month.

Fifty-three percent (53%) have a favorable opinion of Clinton, who is considered a shoo-in for the 2016 Democratic nomination at this point. Forty-five percent (45%) view her unfavorably. This includes 22% with a Very Favorable opinion and 29% with a Very Unfavorable one. These views are little changed from April.

Sixty-one percent (61%) had a favorable view of Clinton in December 2012, just prior to her stepping down as secretary of State. Consistently the most popular member of Obama’s Cabinet, her favorables ranged from 53% to 62% in regular surveys from January 2009. By contrast, only 40% held a favorable view of her in September 2006 amid reports that she was considering a run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

Women have a slightly more favorable opinion of Clinton than men do and are more likely to consider her a moderate. Those under 40 like her a lot more than their elders do, but voters of all ages tend to agree that she is a liberal. Women and younger voters are also more likely to think that Obama and Clinton like each other.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of blacks and 62% of other minority voters view Clinton favorably. Whites by a 51% to 46% margin have an unfavorable opinion of her.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of both Republicans and Democrats think Clinton and Obama agree on most major issues, but only 45% of voters not affiliated with either major party share that view. Democrats are much more confident than GOP and unaffiliated voters that Obama will endorse Clinton for the party’s nomination.

The Political Class is a bit more convinced than Mainstream voters that Clinton and Obama like each other. Fifty-six percent (56%) of Political Class voters think Obama is Very Likely to endorse Clinton, a view shared by just 38% of those in the Mainstream.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of the Political Class consider Clinton a moderate. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Mainstream voters see her as a liberal.

Most voters in surveys throughout his presidency have said Obama is a political liberal.

Democrats overwhelmingly believe that Clinton will be the party’s presidential nominee in 2016.

Clinton earns 45% to 50% of the vote against six leading Republicans in potential 2016 presidential matchups, running best against Texans Rick Perry and Ted Cruz and poorest against Rand Paul and Dr. Ben Carson. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, once the GOP front-runner, now makes the weakest showing.

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

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