Hillary Clinton wins ‘most popular’

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Hillary Clinton is America’s most popular public figure, according to a Quinnipiac poll released Friday. The outgoing Secretary of State enjoys a 61 to 34 favorability rating among voters, much higher than President Obama’s split 46 to 45 percent job approval.

“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 Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a press release.

Twenty-one percent of voters who disliked Clinton cited her handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack as their reason, while 13 percent cited her political philosophy.

The president, meanwhile, has seen his popularity drop since November — a sign the election “afterglow” is wearing off, according to Brown. One month after the election, Obama’s favorability rating was 53 to 40. His split job approval today is much closer to his rating for most of his first term, according to Quinnipiac.

Clinton ranked well above other public figures, including Vice President Joe Biden (46 to 41); House Speaker John Boehner (20 to 42); and Rep. Paul Ryan (34 to 36).

Two-thirds of voters said they still don’t know enough about Chuck Hagel, Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, to rate him positively or negatively. Hagel has a favorability rating of 14 to 18, with 67 percent saying they don’t know enough about him.

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