The Slatest

Bill Clinton is Still the Most Influential Politician in the Country

Former president Bill Clinton waves as he leaves the 20th International AIDS Conference at The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on July 23, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia

Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images

The impeached president who left the White House almost 14 years ago is still the politician who is most able to sway voters with a simple endorsement. Former president Bill Clinton’s seal of approval would make 38 percent of people look more favorably on a candidate, versus 24 percent who would take a less favorable view, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Annenberg poll. Among Democrats, the positive number soars to 70 percent. Hillary Clinton comes a close second with 65 percent, followed by President Obama with 60 percent and Michelle Obama, whose endorsement would be seen as helpful by 56 percent of voters.

Republicans, for their part, still see Mitt Romney as their best campaign aide, with 59 percent saying that a seal of approval from the former candidate would help a politician’s image. And while other prominent Republican figures do not rank nearly as high in what is seen as evidence of the split, the only politician who is able to get independent voters to like a candidate is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. And Bill Clinton, of course.

The latest poll comes on the heels of another survey last month that revealed Bill Clinton is the only politician who enjoys a broad positive rating, with 56 percent saying they have a good view of the former president, versus 21 percent who have a negative impression. Hillary Clinton also had a net positive rating but a much narrower one at 43 percent—41 percent. They were the only two politicians that had an overall net positive rating, according to the Los Angeles Times.