"A new poll of “News Watchers”— registered voters who follow the news “closely” or “very closely”— finds that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates have public approval ratings much higher than those of their boss, President Obama.
The Clarus Poll, which asked respondents to rate top Administration officials, reveals that Clinton – Obama’s former presidential primary rival – is the most popular member of the administration, drawing a 75 percent approval rating, including a 57 percent approval rating from Republicans.
Key findings from the Clarus Poll:
• The second most popular official in the Administration is Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Bush Administration holdover, who scored 69 percent approval and 20 percent disapproval. Clinton and Gates outscored their boss, the president, by 24 points and 18 points, respectively.
“Clinton and Gates were the only two names tested in the poll that won strong majorities across the partisan divide from Democrats, Independents and Republicans,” said Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus.
• Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the most popular Administration official – she scored a 75 percent job approval rating and a 21 percent disapproval rating.
• Two officials most closely identified with economic policies – Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and top Economic Adviser Larry Summers – both posted higher disapproval ratings (45, 41) than approval ratings (44, 25).
• White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, often viewed by political pundits as a tough partisan combatant, did much better among fellow Democrats (72 percent approval) than Republicans (13 percent approval).
• Press Secretary Robert Gibbs – the highly visible spokesman for the White House – had the highest approval rating (50 percent) among White House staffers and advisers. Summers had the lowest (25 percent)."