WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- A majority of Americans have a positive view of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is expected to make a run for the White House in 2016, a Gallup poll released Friday found.
Fifty-nine percent of Americans still view Clinton favorably a year after she left her post as secretary of state, a rating that is significantly lower than the 64 percent she averaged while serving in U.S. President Barack Obama's cabinet.
The last time she had a higher unfavorable than favorable rating in the U.S. was in February 2008, when she was running for the Democratic presidential nomination against Obama, Gallup said.
Clinton, an enduring figure on the U.S. political stage, has seen her favorability ratings rise and fall since she was introduced to the American public during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, Gallup noted.
The first time Gallup asked Americans about her, in March 1992, 39 percent viewed her favorably, 26 percent unfavorably, and 35 percent either did not know who she was or had no opinion of the then-first lady of Arkansas.
Since then, Hillary Clinton's favorability peaked at 67 percent in late 1998, just after her husband was impeached by the House of Representatives during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and her rating remained high through most of 1999.
During her time as a U.S. senator, from 2001-2009, her favorability rating leveled off, fluctuating within the 40 percent and 50 percent range. Clinton enjoyed a long period of high favorable ratings during her time as secretary of state, staying above 60 percent during her entire time in Obama's cabinet. Clinton dipped below 60 percent last June, several months after she left public life, but her ratings remain high, Gallup said.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who also may make a 2016 run for president, is not viewed as favorably as Clinton, with 46 percent of Americans having a positive image of him, while 42 percent view him unfavorably, Gallup found.
Biden's favorability topped 50 percent from October 2008 to January 2009, during the end of his successful campaign with Obama and just prior to his inauguration into office.
Biden's favorability has been in the 40 percent range for the entirety of his time as vice president, with unfavorability ratings in the same range, Gallup said.
While the 2016 presidential election is more than two years away, it is possible that the battle for the Democratic nomination will begin after November's Congressional elections. It is also possible that the race will start later because of Biden's and Clinton's high name recognition with the American public, Gallup said.