Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2015

American Enterprise Institute Compilation, Public Opinion on Hillary Clinton, 1992-2015

Karolyn Bowman

April 2015

American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research


For many years, we have reviewed polls about leading political figures, including Hillary Clinton. For this AEI Public Opinion Study, we have examined almost 5,000 questions asked about her and compiled views on Clinton as a first lady, senator, presidential candidate, and secretary of state. Polling data on Hillary Clinton include several long trends, including ratings of her favorability. The first such questions about her were asked in early 1992, when many people knew little about her. In Gallup’s trend, her favorable rating hit 51 percent in July 1992 after the Democratic convention. Gallup noted that the campaign’s effort to improve her image had paid off. She did not receive a post-election bounce as Bill Clinton did, and Gallup reported that her favorable ratings had “dipped slightly.” Gallup noted that 26 percent of both men and women said they were worried that she would play too large a role in the administration. Forty percent in a November 1992 poll said she came closer to their own views than previous First Ladies, but 40 percent said she did not. Her marks went down in the 1994 to1996 period, hitting an all-time low of 43 percent in January 1996 (Gallup). During her Senate tenure, her national favorable ratings ranged from a low of 43 percent to a high of 58 percent. Her national favorable ratings when she served as Secretary of State were consistently high, though they have declined slightly since she resigned from office. Without a doubt, questions specific to the issues in the presidential race will emerge in the polling data as the race to 2016 heats up, and Americans’ views of Hillary Clinton will evolve as the presidential election season progresses. See the latest public opinion data on her in AEI’s infographic and Public Opinion Study, Public Opinion on Hillary Clinton, 1992-2015.