Americans are more likely to say Hillary Clinton would do a good job handling foreign affairs as president, but they believe her greatest strength would be race relations, according to a new poll.
The former first lady, who is the leading hopeful for Democratic nomination for the 2016 race to the White House, also gets generally mixed reviews of her tenure as secretary of state under her 2008 rival President Barack Obama in the latest Gallup poll.
Given her background including four years as America’s top diplomat, along with eight years as a US senator and eight years as first lady in the White House, Clinton’s prior service could be seen as a major plus for her presidential credentials, the opinion poll agency said.
Republicans and others, however, have assailed aspects of her tenure at the State Department, a time that involved her handling of the terrorist attacks at the Benghazi consulate and her handling of emails while secretary, it noted.
Americans give Clinton a net rating on foreign affairs (percentage good job minus percentage bad job) of +13, which is roughly the same as healthcare and the economy, but behind the +22 rating she receives for her potential to deal with race relations.
Her ratings on handling terrorism are just behind these others.
Americans are least positive about the job Clinton would do in handling two broad issues: the way government in Washington operates and the distribution of income and wealth in the US.
There are also large differences in how Republicans, independents and Democrats think Clinton would handle various issues as president.
Democrats generally expect her to perform well in all of the different areas, Republicans expect her to do poorly in all areas and independents have mixed views.
Both Democrats and Republicans rate foreign affairs near the top of their respective rank-ordered lists, but with vastly different absolute ratings.
Democrats’ net rating of her potential ability to handle foreign policy is +62, independents is +2, and Republicans is -44.
Americans are somewhat mixed in their evaluations of Clinton’s four years as secretary of state, with more Americans rating her tenure as outstanding or above average than rating it below average or poor.
The positive group consists of 38 percent of Americans, while the negative group represents 27 percent, with the rest saying her job performance was average.
Clinton’s experience as secretary of state does not appear to be either an exceptionally strong positive for her or a strong negative with the US public, according to Gallup
Gallup poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted May 6-7 with a random sample of 1,016 adults across US with a sampling error margin of ±4 percentage points.