Kate Hicks

...Hillary Clinton. A Quinnipiac poll released today reveals the just-former Secretary of State also has the approval of well over half of Americans, revealing that yes, relatively apolitical Cabinet positions really can do wonders for image rehabilitation. She surpasses even President Obama, her once-rival for the Oval Office, and a stat like this is sure to set tongues further wagging for the potential of a run in 2016.

President Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, but today the former Senator and Secretary of State is more popular, with a 61 - 34 percent favorability rating among American voters, compared to the president's 51 - 46 percent favorability, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

"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," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"After an initial burst of reelection enthusiasm for President Barack Obama, we may be seeing a return to the age of the polarized electorate."

"The difference in favorability ratings for the two leaders lies in Clinton's ability to win thumbs up from many more independent voters and Republicans than does the president," said Brown. "The lower approval numbers for the president could be because once the election afterglow is gone, governing inevitably requires decisions that make some voters unhappy."

Notably, she's about twenty points more popular than Vice President Joe Biden, a known 2016 hopeful; indeed, this all but cements the popular thought that the nomination is hers to lose. Of course, that race won't start to shape up for another two years or so; still, though, it's worth noting that the controversies that marred her last days in the office (not least of which was the Benghazi scandal) did essentially nothing to stunt her standing among Independents and even Republicans. Should she decide to run, Republicans better be ready.


Kate Hicks

Kate Hicks is one of Townhall.com's web editors. You can follow her on Twitter @KateBHicks.