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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What America Thinks: Is Bill Ready to Be First Man?

If Hillary Clinton as expected is formally nominated this week as the Democratic candidate for president, we could be looking not only at our first woman chief executive but also our first First Man in the White House. What does America think about having former President Bill Clinton as the FMOTUS?

Back in 2009, more than eight years after he left the presidency, 58% of voters still had a favorable opinion of Clinton, and 26% said their opinion of him had gotten better since he’d left the White House. Three years ago, 41% said it was a positive label to compare a candidate to Clinton, while 31% considered it a negative instead.

When it comes to which president Americans think is the most influential of the past 60 years, Ronald Reagan still tops the list with 32% voter support. Twenty-four percent (24%) see John F. Kennedy as the most influential modern president, but Clinton’s in third place with 13% support.

During his wife’s first run for the presidential nomination in 2008, however, 43% of Americans felt Bill Clinton’s behavior during the campaign would hurt his reputation in history. As recently as last December, just 36% of voters said the former president will help his wife’s run for the presidency. That’s been trending downward from 54% since early 2014.

Perhaps the best news for both Clintons are the changing attitudes about the sex scandal that led to Bill’s impeachment nearly 20 years ago. 69% believe 22-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky’s sexual relationship with the then-49-year-old president was a consensual one between two adults. Just 22% think Lewinsky was the victim of an older, more powerful man.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.