POLITICS
02/08/2013 11:43 am ET Updated Feb 08, 2013

Poll: Hillary Clinton 'Easily The Most Popular' Political Figure

Hillary Clinton is viewed favorably by more than six in 10 voters, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released Friday, making her the most liked among the eight political figures listed.

Clinton had a 61 percent favorable rating among voters and a 34 percent unfavorable rating, according to Quinnipiac. Her ratings have been stable at about that level throughout her tenure as secretary of state.

"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," said Quinnipiac's assistant polling director, Peter A. Brown.

Her relatively nonpartisan work for the last several years helped her win considerably more favor among independents and Republicans than did President Barack Obama, whose overall ratings were 51 percent favorable to 46 percent unfavorable, or Vice President Joe Biden, 46 percent favorable to 41 percent unfavorable.

She also led several prominent Republican figures. Rep. Paul Ryan's favorable and unfavorable ratings were essentially tied, while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and House Speaker John Boehner saw net unfavorable ratings. Sen. Marco Rubio was little known to most voters, but mostly liked among those who had heard of him.

John Kerry, Clinton's replacement as secretary of state, takes office with a 10-point net favorable rating -- 43 percent favorable to 33 percent unfavorable.

In answer to an open-ended question, voters who liked Clinton primarily cited her job performance as secretary of state, her experience in general, or her competence and capability. Those who disliked her mainly mentioned her oversight of the Benghazi attack controversy, with smaller numbers questioning her political philosophy or viewing her as dishonest.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,772 registered voters by phone between Jan. 30 and Feb. 4.

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