Gallup released findings earlier this week indicating that Hillary Clinton is by far the best-known and most popular 2016 contender, which wouldn’t be too notable if Republicans hadn’t spent last month claiming that the country is tired of the former secretary of state.
The survey showed that 91 percent of American adults are familiar with Clinton, and 55 percent have a favorable opinion of her. Clinton’s numbers in both categories far exceed potential GOP rivals like Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Jeb Bush.
And Gallup noted that, although Clinton’s popularity has declined as she’s moved from her relatively non-political role at the State Department, her standing remains stronger than in July of 2006 — a year-and-half before she ran her first presidential campaign.
Essentially, the poll represents a continuation of a steady trend. But it also serves as counter-evidence to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, who provided no evidence late last month when he insisted that the country is sick of Clinton.
“There’s Hillary fatigue already out there,” Priebus said during an appearance on “Meet the Press.” “It’s setting in. People are tired of this story. And I just happen to believe that this early run for the White House is going to come back and bite them. And it already is. People are tired of it.”
Those comments briefly commanded the news cycle, prompting MSNBC’s Chuck Todd to observe that “the media has Clinton fatigue.”
Priebus and other Republicans were obviously eager to highlight Clinton’s rocky book tour, widely seen as a launching pad for her White House bid, as proof that she isn’t ready for prime time. Her gaffes on her personal wealth, Republicans argued, showed that she is out of touch with regular Americans.
But polling at the time didn’t provide much support for those claims either.