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Nate Silver Looks at Hillary Clinton's Ratings, and 2016

Nate Silver takes a look at Hillary Clinton's chances in 2016 with regard to a moving average of Mrs. Clinton’s favorable and unfavorable ratings dating back to 1992. Silver notes that Clinton is popular now, but boosted by the fact that her role as Secretary of State is for the most part non-partisan, and that at the times when she has become an "explicitly political figure" her favorability has also taken a hit:

HillaryThe surge in Mrs. Clinton’s favorability ratings late in the 2008 campaign, although perhaps partly testifying to her steadily improving skills as a campaigner and to her new role as an underdog in the Democratic primary race, may also have reflected the fact that Republicans had less incentive to criticize her. Instead, they were trying to woo her supporters — or bolster her chances to prolong the Democratic nomination process.

...

A secretary of state is not necessarily above partisan criticism, but attacking a secretary of state can potentially backfire on the opposition party. As Mitt Romney discovered during the presidential campaign foreign affairs can present an unlevel playing field to the opposition party. The White House and the Department of State have a number of defenses that they can employ to shield themselves from criticism, from claiming that they are protecting the national interest, to accusing their opponents of being unpatriotic, to arguing that their opponents lack knowledge of the situation on the ground. The secretary of state, like the president, also enjoys the symbolic trappings of incumbency when she conducts diplomatic affairs.

Were Mrs. Clinton to run for president again, she would lose most of these advantages. Republicans would begin to criticize her, delicately at first, and then more expressly as the election drew nearer.

Silver's Clinton chart, AFTER THE JUMP...

Hr_clinton

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Comments

  1. I like Hillary Rodham Clinton, but feel very uncomfortable with dynastic politics in a so-called democracy.

    Posted by: MaryM | Dec 11, 2012 1:55:48 PM


  2. She's been very quiet on DOMA, the hideous piece of decades long anti-gay bigotry her husband signed.

    She has NEVER endorsed marriage equality for gay couples.

    Her husband signed DADT too. Not her fault but she's been far from a fierce advocate on gay issues.

    Barack Obama has repealed DADT and directed his Justice Department not to defend DOMA. He's ten times the leader she has ever been. Thank goodness he won.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Dec 11, 2012 2:07:06 PM


  3. Let me be the first to say: FK 2016!!! This last election was the worst, most hideous and exhausting ones I have ever lived through. NOOOOO MOOOOORRRREEEE

    Posted by: AJ | Dec 11, 2012 2:11:30 PM


  4. @Marym I agree with you, but there is a boatload of Americans who love Bill clinton and want to see him in the White House again...even if it's just as "First Lady". ;-)

    Posted by: Howard | Dec 11, 2012 2:11:44 PM


  5. She'll run. And she'll win handily.

    Posted by: AERES | Dec 11, 2012 2:15:10 PM


  6. Go read Charles P. Pierce over at Esquire on why this Hillary speculation is so premature and pointless. He says it much better than I can.

    Posted by: Butch | Dec 11, 2012 2:29:19 PM


  7. YONKERSCONQUERS lacks some serious context. Bill Clinton signed DOMA to prevent the Republican Congress from passing a Constitutional amendment. He disagreed with it then, and he disagrees with it today.

    Hillary hasn't been able to endorse marriage equality, b/c, as Silver notes, the Sec of State doesn't get involved in politics. As soon as she steps down, you'll see her give a full-throated endorsement.

    You also seem to forget how hard she's been fighting for our right simply to exist in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

    Posted by: brian | Dec 11, 2012 2:34:37 PM


  8. @YonkersConquesr.... Obama didn't repeal DADT. That repeal was done by the House and Senate DESPITE Obama's objections. Obama wanted to wait to address DADT until after the 2010 elections. The problem with Obama's plan of course was that the Republican's took control of the House in 2010 and would NEVER have repealed DADT. Obama doesn't get the credit for repal of DADT. Pelosi gets it for forcing his hand.

    Posted by: anonymous | Dec 11, 2012 3:04:57 PM


  9. If Republicans didn't pass a Constitutional amendment under the GWB administration they certainly weren't going to under Clinton.

    To give Bob Dole a chance in the 1996 election, the Republican Congress passed the gay-bashing DOMA bill and sent it to Clinton’s desk.

    They hoped he wouldn’t sign it so they could make gay bashing a campaign issue. But Clinton did sign it. He signed it before it had a chance to define the 1996 campaign. He consigned us to our fates.

    Clinton has always said if DOMA was bad the alternative was WORSE. But tell that to the millions of gay people who have suffered needlessly for decades under it. Especially tell that to the people in other countries who see DOMA tattooed to your foreheads before they entertain the notion of forging a relationship with you.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Dec 11, 2012 3:24:48 PM


  10. Hi. American with Japanese citizen partner here. Trust me, DOMA has hurt my relationship as much as any other.

    Posted by: brian | Dec 11, 2012 3:54:21 PM


  11. @yonkersconquers where is this utopia of yours and can I live there too? Yes, we would rather be fighting NOTHING right now but that would not have been the case unless some weird change in history prevented the class of 94' coming to power. So ask yourself, would you rather be trying to overturn a Consitutional Amendment right now (which by the way affected many us ALL, not just millions) or a federal law? Putting it simply, politics are usually never simple and certainly almost always ugly.

    Posted by: Opinionated | Dec 11, 2012 4:09:35 PM


  12. I deeply regret and I don't doubt that DOMA has hurt you in a myriad of deep and private as well as public ways, Brian. It was crafted to. It was created to purportedly protect other people's rights by removing yours. It's codified bigotry.

    Clinton (and the Republican and Democratic Congress members that signed it)owe the gay community a grovelling apology on their hands and knees for the pointlessly cruel and enduring suffering they created.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Dec 11, 2012 4:09:56 PM


  13. affected us ALL* sorry

    Posted by: Opinionated | Dec 11, 2012 4:10:48 PM


  14. The truth is rarely pure and never simple either, OPINIONATED. And the truth is Clinton blinked and folded on the two major gay rights bills that came before him.

    There is a special irony in these two (Clinton/Gore) championing heterosexual marriage over marriage equality for LGBT citizens, isn't there?

    Dole was a very weak opponent. Clinton could have picked that battle. He didn't. He consigned the gays and saved his own hide.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Dec 11, 2012 4:17:27 PM


  15. Again, simple question. Would you rather be fighting a Consitutional Ammendment, which would very likely have passed in 1996, and in which you have to overturn by passing another ammendment (only done once in our history) or would you rather be fighitng DOMA which can end either by judicial review or legislative repeal? You seem to think Clinton had another option and while a good politician he wasn't good enough to fight that GOP tide and the Newt cronies that had swept into power so he was forced to do damage control. Dole's influence was minimal but the American people would have supported him in this in 1996, as they did in 2000, as they did in 2004, as they did in states everywhere until 2012. Politics is messy, and I would challenge you to find a politician that could have done better than Clinton in this respect.

    Posted by: Opinionated | Dec 11, 2012 4:25:46 PM


  16. Again I can only say the lure of a hypothetical Consitutional amendment brought evangelicals to the polls in 2004. But, and this is rather important, once the election was won the proposal was quickly consigned to the dustbin.

    It's highly unlikely that anti-gay animus alone would have propelled Dole to victory against a popular incumbent president enjoying widespread national approval.

    I think Clinton himself could have done better than he did. He does too. It's why DOMA is mentioned nowhere in his 900+ page memoir.

    Posted by: yonkersconquers | Dec 11, 2012 4:35:22 PM


  17. "Go read Charles P. Pierce over at Esquire on why this Hillary speculation is so premature and pointless. He says it much better than I can."

    Actually, there is nothing to speculate about. The woman has made it abundantly clear, time after time, that she has no desire to run for President, again. And while, yes, politicians often don't mean that when they say it, in her case the explanations she gives are specific.

    So as much as it will frustrate some of the man-hating woman-idolizing individuals on this site who dream of the ultimate opportunity for "diva" worship, she is not tunning and if she did, she would almost certainly lose, since she is a far more polarizing figure than even Obama is (which is why she did not win in 2008).

    Posted by: Rick | Dec 11, 2012 4:54:36 PM


  18. I hear you, and understand where you are coming from, but in 1996 there was a clear path to something more lasting than DOMA so DOMA ended up being a save.

    Dole was surprisingly respectable on at least the conservative side and would side more with libertarians today so I don't think he would have used this, you are right. It wasn't till the Rove bullies came in and the GOP went theocratical.

    Either way, I feel like Clinton did the best he could and that no one could have done better in this instance. I wasn't happy in 1996 but I was also terrified about what was going on. American politics changed so dramatically in 1994 that nearly the whole system changed with it and that reverberates today with the obstructionist that still remain. This was never an easy battle and if we had to go through it again I would still want Clinton at the helm.

    Either way, respect your opinion greatly and agree to disagree with ya :)

    Posted by: Opinionated | Dec 11, 2012 4:55:03 PM


  19. Sorry to tell you this, guys but I believe Hillary when she says she's not running in 2016. As long as Obama voters remain in power in the Democratic Party, there's no way in hell Hillary will get within 10 feet of the White House again. Sure, DOMA and DADT have something to do with it along with the Clintons behavior during the 2008 campaign, but it's mainly because all the GOP would have to do is bring up Bill's shenanigans when he was President. Monica Lewinsky, Gennifer Flowers and Whitewater would all be brought up in the campaign. Put it this way-when Newt Gingrich is saying Hillary would be the toughest opponent for the GOP in 2016, don't believe him-it's a trap.

    Posted by: Doc Marten | Dec 11, 2012 7:39:40 PM


  20. @ANONYMOUS, you are being disingenuous. The only reason DADT was even a topic of discussion was because Barack Obama campaigned on it's repeal and got it done. He signed it and gets as much credit as anyone else if not more so for its repeal. This along with the Matthew Shepard Act and refusing to defend DOMA.

    Posted by: NY2.0 | Dec 11, 2012 10:46:56 PM


  21. Doc Marten may be right. Hilary is probably tired of politics at this point. My guess is that she wants a rest from it and won't run. I don't know whether or not Gingrich was serious when he claimed that he thought Hilary would be unbeatable or whether his words were intended as a trap - the mind of Newt Gingirch has always been a mystery to me. But I think I can explain some of the off-the-wall anti-Hilary hysteria that has eminated from the conservative movement since 1992. It was noticeably extreme even to this Republican. In Hilary, conservatives see a trifecta - a social liberal, a feminist, and a baby-boomer. It is the trio that sets their blood boiling. Conservatives have always had a degree of resentment toward the college-educated segment of the boomer generation - due to the radical Left faction it had during the late 1960's. Hilary is seen as the first "first lady" who is from this cohort (even though she was always someone who worked within the system.) You'll notice that other boomer women like Tipper Gore or Barbara Boxer don't bother them (Tipper is sort of square and Boxer is very Left enough but as Senator isn't a symbol of the whole nation the way a First Lady is). Not that this hysteria makes sense. But there you have it. If Hilary runs, a certain segment of the Republican party will act as if it's running against Satan.

    Posted by: Mary | Dec 11, 2012 11:58:11 PM


  22. I can't see much point in speculating on an election that's 4 years away. Anything could happen between now and then.

    Posted by: Erik | Dec 12, 2012 6:02:09 AM


  23. F*ck Hillary Clinton. F*ck 2016.

    I'm moving to Uruguay.

    Posted by: MJ | Dec 12, 2012 10:53:31 AM


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