WASHINGTON - She has yet to officially announce her bid for the US presidency, much less win the White House.
But Mrs Hillary Clinton is already seen as a better commander-in-chief than President Barack Obama, according to a new survey this week.
The poll of about 1,000 adults by CNN/ORC International found the former top diplomat scored much higher than Mr Obama on every issue tested, from management of the economy to foreign policy.
"That's helpful to her chances of actually getting elected if it holds up through 2016," CNN's polling director Keating Holland was quoted as saying in a report on CNN's website.
He added: "It suggests that the President's low marks on most issues might not drag Mrs Clinton down if she runs for the White House again."
Mrs Clinton conceded the Democratic Party's presidential nomination to Mr Obama in June 2008 after a bruising series of primary battles. But she later accepted his offer to serve in the Cabinet as secretary of state.
The former first lady won praise at home and abroad for her tenure as the top US diplomat between 2009 and last year, a subject which she recounted in detail in her new book Hard Choices.
Most pundits regard the cross- country tour she has embarked on to promote the book as a dry-run for an eventual presidential bid.
No major American political figure has yet announced an official bid for the 2016 presidential election. Mrs Clinton, however, has consistently come out tops in polls which pitted her against hypothetical contenders.
The latest CNN poll will strengthen public perception of her as an unassailable front-runner.
For instance, over 60 per cent of respondents said she would do a good deal on foreign policy and countering terrorism.
Mrs Clinton was also rated highly on domestic issues, with 63 per cent of respondents saying she would do a good job handling the economy and 57 per cent saying she would do well on health- care issues.
Mr Obama failed to score more than 50 per cent approval ratings on these issues.
Just 38 per cent of respondents approved of the way he is handling the economy, for instance.
"None of this means that Mrs Clinton is a lock for the White House," Mr Holland pointed out.
"But it is an enviable position for any candidate to be in."
None of this means that Mrs Clinton is a lock for the White House. But it is an enviable position for any candidate to be in.
- CNN's polling director Keating Holland
This article was first published on June 18, 2014.
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