A new poll reveals potential Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton’s image has improved since her 2008 run for president, but nearly four in 10 voters say there’s no chance they’ll vote for her if she runs again in 2016.
And respondents see her gender as more of an asset than they did in 2008. Thirty-three percent in the current poll said her gender would help her, while only 20 percent said it would hurt her. In early January of 2008, more respondents, 35 percent, said it would hurt than help her.
A large majority say she is both tough and honest, but they’re less definite on whether she has new ideas — only 49 percent say that of the former secretary of State.
A slight majority, 51 percent, say they’d like her to run for president. About a third of respondents overall say there’s a good chance they’d vote for her, and another quarter say there’s some chance, but 38 percent say there’s no chance.
That includes 40 percent of independents and 12 percent of Democrats who say there’s no chance they’ll vote for her. Still, a vast majority of Democrats and independents are open to voting for her, as are a quarter of Republicans.
And despite some frustration among progressives with the prospect of a Clinton candidacy, she performs well among liberal respondents — 87 percent say they want to see her run. Sixty-nine percent of conservative and centrist Democrats want her to run.
The survey also reveals Benghazi is seen as the most negative aspect of her career, mentioned by 15 percent of respondents. Meanwhile, her tenure as secretary of State is most frequently seen as the most positive aspect, mentioned by 12 percent.
She maintains a high approval rating, at 67 percent, for the job she did as secretary of State.
Republicans have hammered her for her handling of the attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the survey is an indication that may be the party’s best opening against her.
Some Republicans have tried to rehash her husband’s affair as former President Clinton again hits the campaign trail for Democrats this cycle. But the Pew survey shows Americans are largely split on Clinton’s handling of the affair, with 8 and 9 percent saying it was the most positive and most negative aspect of her career, respectively.
The survey was conducted among 1,002 adults from Feb. 27 through March 2, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points overall.