A Closer Look by the ECPIP Staff … 2008 All Over Again: Obama Still More Popular Than Clinton

As we gear up for our next Rutgers-Eagleton Poll – the big 200th in 44 years of polling New Jersey! – our student staff takes a closer look at some of the data from our October survey that we have not yet had a chance to fully explore. This particular post puts a very interesting spin on the relationship between Obama and Hillary supporters!

2008 All Over Again: Obama Still More Popular Than Clinton

By Zachary Goldfarb

Zachary Goldfarb is a junior at Rutgers University. Evan is a research assistant with the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling and the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.


Many people claim that a Hillary Clinton presidency would simply translate into a third Obama term. Yet, according to our October Rutgers-Eagleton Poll, 15 percent of New Jersey registered voters who viewed Obama favorably held an unfavorable opinion of Clinton. This difference in favorability can be found among all demographic groups, with Clinton trailing Obama in all categories.

Obama holds a higher favorability rating than Clinton among all recorded racial groups. Among white voters, Obama holds a 6-point favorability advantage over Clinton (41 percent to 35 percent). Similarly, Obama surpasses Clinton among black voters, with a 6-point difference (93 percent to 87 percent). Likewise, Obama holds an advantage over Clinton among Hispanics (74 percent to 58 percent). Although Clinton does maintain a strong level of support from black and Hispanic communities, she is clearly having more trouble garnering support among these groups than Obama has had.

When it comes to age, Clinton falls behind Obama among all groups. This difference is most evident among those 18-29 years old, where Obama leads in favorability by 19 points (64 percent to 45 percent). While Obama’s favorability remains higher than Clinton’s in all other age groups, it is by a smaller margin. For those 30-49, 50-64, and 65+, Obama remains 5-8 points more favorable than Clinton. These results tell us that Clinton is struggling to excite all age groups the way Obama has, particularly millennials.

Surprisingly, Obama is more favorable than Clinton among both men and women. The gap among men remains large, with a nearly 12-point advantage favoring Obama (48 percent versus 36 percent). Women also favor Obama by a higher margin than Clinton, with a 6-point difference between them (58 percent versus 52 percent). This finding conflicts with the notion that, as a woman, Hillary would garner more support among female voters.

In order for Clinton to win over even more Obama supporters, she needs to work harder across all demographics. With the election a year away, we will continue tracking the favorability rating of both the current president and the Democratic frontrunner in New Jersey.

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