Fifty-seven percent of Americans who were aware of Clinton hold a
favorable opinion of her, compared to 43 percent who see her
negatively, according to the online survey. Nearly one-quarter of
Republicans said they had a favorable view of Clinton, a Democrat.
While Clinton has not yet declared her candidacy for the White
House, she is widely viewed as the front-runner if she does run.
Over half of respondents said Clinton would "most likely win" the
general election, and over half of Democrats and independents polled
said they would vote for her in the party's primary elections,
compared to just 10 percent for Vice President Joe Biden.
"Benghazi" was the term that stood out most when respondents who
said they had an unfavorable view of Clinton were asked to explain
Overall, the term that resonated most among Americans was "strong."
Clinton's foreign policy record has come under fire in recent weeks
with the formation of a House of Representatives committee to
investigate the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the
U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.
Clinton on Wednesday defended her tenure at the State Department,
where she was the country's top diplomat for four years under
President Barack Obama. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton,
also played down questions on the health of the former First Lady,
who is 66 years old.
While her poll numbers are high, politicians' favorability ratings
tend to drop once they declare their candidacy for office and this
will likely happen to Clinton too if she chooses to run, Ipsos
pollster Chris Jackson said.
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"When she's not in public office, you see her favorability shoot up
because people who do think good things about her - but don't want
to say that when she's a threat to win office - are more likely to
talk nicely about her than when she is running for office," he said.
Clinton says she will not decide on a presidential run before
November's mid-term elections. She is regarded by 56 percent of
Americans as an effective leader, and 62 percent said she knows how
to connect with voters.
After over 20 years in the public eye, Clinton also enjoys extremely
high levels of name recognition: 96 percent of all respondents said
they were aware of her.
"That's presidential level-high," Jackson said. "The only people who
have numbers like that are the president, maybe the vice president,
and movie stars."
Ipsos polled 1,518 American adults online from May 11 to 15. The
poll had a credibility interval - a measure of precision - of 2.9
(Editing by Alistair Bell and Eric Walsh)
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