Poll: Public Views Clinton Favorably

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In the days leading up to the release of his new book, former President Bill Clinton (search ) is receiving more positive popularity ratings than he has for quite some time, according to a Fox News poll.

The poll finds that 52 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Clinton today, up from 47 percent at the beginning of the year, and 40 percent today have an unfavorable view. The last time the former president’s favorable rating was above 50 percent was in July 1998, when 52 percent had a favorable opinion and 41 percent unfavorable.

Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search ) conducted the national poll of 900 registered voters for Fox News on June 8-9.

While there is almost no difference between how men and women rate Clinton, there is a huge partisan gap. Fully 78 percent of Democrats view the 42nd president positively compared to only 20 percent of Republicans.

Based on polls taken during Clinton’s second term, his highest favorable rating was 61 percent (October 1997) and his lowest favorable was 35 percent, received in March 1999, amid controversy over whether his administration had ignored evidence of China obtaining confidential Los Alamos nuclear weapons secrets.

Twice as many Americans think Clinton’s new book, "My Life," will focus on politics and policy than believe the book will reveal "intriguing details" of his life.

Polling was conducted by telephone June 8-9, 2004 in the evenings. The total sample is 900 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of ±3 percentage points.

I'm going to read the names of some people. Please tell me whether you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of each. If you've never heard of one, please just say so. (RANDOMIZE)
SCALE: 1. Favorable 2. Unfavorable 3. (Can't say) 4. Never heard of Bill Clinton

Later this month former President Bill Clinton’s new book entitled, “My Life” will be released. Do you think it is more likely to reveal intriguing details about Clinton’s life or will it mostly be about policy and political accomplishments?
SCALE: 1. Intriguing details about life 2. Policy and political accomplishments 3. (Not sure)