Who is the most popular national figure in America today?
Nearly two thirds of Americans hold a favorable view of Hillary Clinton according to the latest Bloomberg poll. And this has triggered a kind of buyer's remorse among a full third of Democratic voters:
The finding in the latest Bloomberg National Poll shows a higher level of wishful thinking about a Hillary Clinton presidency than when a similar question was asked in July 2010. Then, a quarter of Americans held such a view.
"Looking back, I wonder if she would have been a stronger leader, knowing the games and the politics and all that goes on," said Susan Dunlop, 50, a homemaker in New Port Richey, Florida. "I don't think she would have bent as much."
Clinton, 63, a former first lady and U.S. senator from New York, fought with Obama for the Democratic nomination until June 2008, in what was often a combative primary that included her questioning his presidential readiness.
While 34 percent say things would be better under a Clinton administration, almost half -- 47 percent -- say things would be about the same and 13 percent say worse.
"Some of her appeal is that she is not Barack Obama," said J. Ann Selzer, president of Des Moines, Iowa-based Selzer & Co., which conducted the Sept. 9-12 poll.
Clinton has recently said that the chances of her challenging Obama are "below zero." For panicking Democrats, that might not be what some of them want to hear. But her reluctance is only reflective of the reality that it is far too late to make a serious run at an incumbent president of your own party.
Buyer's remorse or not, the Democrats are stuck with Obama.