Overcoming Clinton fatigue syndrome

A new poll shows that public support for the New York senator's possible 2008 presidential run is on the rise.

Published May 27, 2005 7:24PM (EDT)

Is Hillary an inevitability? That's the question sparked by a new Gallup poll, which shows that 53 percent of Americans would vote for the junior senator from New York if she ran for the White House in 2008. The poll marks the first time Gallup has found majority support for the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidential run.

According to the poll, as reported by USA Today, "29 percent were 'very likely' to vote for Clinton for president if she runs in 2008; 24 percent were 'somewhat likely.' Seven percent were 'not very likely' and 39 percent were 'not at all likely' to vote for her."

The paper notes that Clinton is in a better position than Al Gore was in two years before he ran for president. Clinton enjoys roughly the same favorability ratings as George W. Bush did in 1998, but opposition to Clinton is also stronger than it was to Bush. Remarkably, though, even Clinton's strongest opponents are (slowly) changing their ideas about her, the poll reveals. In the past two years opposition to a Clinton presidency has dropped by 5 percent, USA Today says.

Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center, tells the paper that "over time, Clinton fatigue has dissipated... and people are looking back on the Clinton years more favorably." Is it possible that the long national nightmare of peace and prosperity we suffered during the 1990s wasn't so bad after all?

By Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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