U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a news conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels December 5, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
A new poll shows all the speculation over a Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016 is well-founded. Americans love her.
A new ABC News/Washington Post survey shows 57 percent of people surveyed would support a Clinton as a presidential candidate.
Her support jumps to 66 percent among women. She has the backing of 82 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents. She even snags 23 percent of Republicans.
Her high marks are likely due to her popularity as Secretary of State. A full 68 percent of Americans approve of her job in that position, and 66 percent have a favorable view of her overall.
And of course, some of her support among conservatives might be because they think she'll do poorly in a general election, increasing the chances that the Republicans take back control of the White House.
While Clinton has continued to insist that she is done with public service once she retire from the State Department next year, those kinds of denials are pro forma for future candidates. There's really no way she'll be able to convince anyone she's actually out of the race until someone else gets nominated.
She's the most popular choice for the Democrats in 2016, so the pressure will only get more intense from here.
Clinton is a former senator and first lady, who came a narrow second to Obama in a bid for the Democratic nomination. She has very heavy support on both sides of the aisle, and she has been acclaimed by both Democrats and Republicans in her role as America's foremost ambassador.
She also has the support of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who has become a celebrity among Democrats.
Clinton would also continue the streak of historic firsts for the Democrats, following the first African-American president with the first female president.
That will provide ammunition against anyone the Republicans front in 2016, which could include Marco Rubio, who would be the first Hispanic presidential candidate, or perhaps even a woman of their own.