Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's approval rating is on the rise, with her popularity outstripping some of her high-profile colleagues and potential presidential rivals, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday.
"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," assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Peter A. Brown said in a statement.
After a brief honeymoon period, Obama’s overall job approval rating has cooled to 46 percent, with 45 percent of voters disapproving of his performance. That’s down from 53 percent approval in a December poll taken shortly after Obama’s election victory over Republican Mitt Romney.
"After an initial burst of reelection enthusiasm for President Barack Obama, we may be seeing a return to the age of the polarized electorate,” Brown said.
Former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is viewed positively by 34 percent of the electorate, against 36 negative, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is at 20 percent positive and 42 percent negative.
The public doesn’t know enough yet to sufficiently grade two potential GOP presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Rubio favorability rating is at 27 percent, while 15 percent hold an unfavorable view. Another 57 percent said they don’t know enough about him. Bush's favorability is at 25 percent, while he has a 29 percent unfavorable rating. Forty-five percent of voters say they don’t know enough about the former Florida governor.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress are well below break-even on favorability, but the GOP is viewed far more negatively.
Only 19 percent view Republicans in Congress positively, against 72 who view them negatively. That’s compared to 33 percent who view Democrats in Congress favorably and 59 percent who hold a negative view.
The Quinnipiac University survey of 1,722 registered voters was conducted between Jan. 30 and Feb. 4 and has a 2.3-percentage-point margin of error.