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Hillary Clinton beats Obama in new Gallup poll

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses students of Moscow State University on Wednesday. Clinton has ranked higher in popularity than President Barack Obama, according to a recent Gallup poll. (Oct. 14, 2009) Credit: AP

Barack Obama may have beaten Hillary Rodham Clinton in the presidential primaries last year, but she's ahead of him in a new popularity poll.

The Gallup survey conducted Oct. 1-4, and released Thursday, shows Clinton's favorable ratings at 62 percent and Obama's at 56 percent.

Gallup said the juxtaposition is due more to Obama's declining popularity than any rise in Clinton's favorable numbers, which have changed little since January. Then, 78 percent saw Obama favorably, compared with 65 percent for Clinton.

Gallup noted Obama's decline has come after nearly nine months in office in which he's confronted such issues as the auto industry bailout and the economic crisis.

As Obama's secretary of state, Clinton "has helped advance Obama's foreign policy around the world, but in a far less prominent role than the president's," Gallup said.

"Now operating in a much less bright spotlight than Obama does," the former first lady and U.S. senator from New York has been able to retain her "strong" favorable rating.

It was Clinton's best Gallup showing since December 1998, when her favorable rating hit 67 percent. That was just after the House impeached her husband, President Bill Clinton.

Clinton suspended her campaign for president last June, and endorsed Obama after it became clear that he had secured enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination.

The national poll of 1,013 adults aged 18 and older had a maximum margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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