Memo to Hillary: Bill is a Campaign Asset

June 24, 2013, 8:36 AM GMT+0

Voters think Bill Clinton should play a central role in a Hillary campaign

Hillary Clinton is widely expected to be preparing for a presidential run to replace Barack Obama as president in the 2016 elections. Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are among the most popular politicians in the country consistently outscoring President Obama and all Republican leaders in Economist/YouGov polls. More than half the public holds favorable opinions of each of them and only just over a third hold unfavorable opinions, with even some Republicans having favorable opinions of the pair.

Some commentators have suggested that, if she runs, she should keep her husband Bill out of the campaign as much as possible. The latest YouGov research, however, suggests that Americans tend to think that Hillary Clinton would do better if the former President played an active role on her campaign, with more saying that this would be a better option than if he were sidelined in the campaign. Democrats, who would decide who would become the party's nominee, are especially likely to be motivated by the former President's involvement. 57% of Democrats think Hillary Clinton would do better if her husband were actively involved in her campaign, and only 16% think she would do better if he stayed away.

But would it make a difference in their vote if the former President were likely to play a role on a Hillary Clinton administration? Most registered voters have already made up their minds whether or not to vote for Hillary, but the presence of Bill Clinton in a Hillary Clinton White House is a narrow positive.

Half of Democrats say they will vote for the former First Lady no matter what. For most of the rest, Bill Clinton's active presence in a Hillary Clinton administration is a good thing. His presence is less likely to affect independents and Republicans. Most Republicans say they would never vote for Hillary Clinton anyway, along with 30% of independents.