How they love Hillary

By Tim Grieve
Published February 9, 2005 5:41PM (EST)

Hillary Clinton's recent comments about abortion may have sent tongues wagging in the pro-choice community, but heads seem to be nodding in the senator's home state. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that Clinton is more popular than ever in New York. She gets an all-time-high approval rating of 65 percent to 27 percent; 74 percent of New York voters say she has strong leadership qualities, and 65 percent say that she cares about their needs and problems.

Although his numbers have climbed shortly in the wake of the Iraq elections, George W. Bush hasn't seen job approval ratings like Clinton's since the middle of 2003.

Clinton is up for reelection in 2006, and the Quinnipiac Poll shows her ahead of two potential Republican challengers: She leads Gov. George Pataki 61-30 percent and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani 50-44 percent. Clinton may have her eyes on a bigger prize, of course, and the poll offers mixed news on that front. Overall, respondents were divided, 46-48 percent, on whether Clinton should make a run for the White House. Not surprisingly, Democrats were much more supportive, coming in at 67-27 percent in favor of her entering the race.

And while Clinton may have seen her abortion comments as a way to begin positioning herself for a presidential campaign, it's not clear that they're having much of an effect, at least so far: Eight-two percent of the poll's respondents said they'd heard little or nothing about them.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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