Well … yes. Name recognition is a huge advantage — especially in a presidential campaign, I’d think, since voters would rather trust The Button to the devil they know than the devil they don’t. And there’s no pol in America save for The One and the aspiring First Gentleman whose name recognition is higher than Hillary’s. Except for a few polls taken last year showing her neck and neck with Christie — and those polls are now old, old news — she leads every major Republican contender, often by double digit margin. I’m not even sure why it’s newsworthy that McCain said this except for the fact that it’s McCain, whose chronic RINOism leaves him forever under suspicion of wishcasting Democratic victories. Note that he’s quick to say “She wouldn’t be my candidate.” You believe him, don’t you?

In case you still doubt Maverick’s assessment , check this out. Hoo boy.

hcgal

There’s a modest drop after the Benghazi attack in September 2012 but nothing too dramatic. It may not even be Benghazi that’s keeping her a few points south of her loftiest numbers during O’s first term: The closer we get to the next election, the more partisan a figure she’ll seem and the more she’ll lose some goodwill from right-leaning independents. Benghazi may have little to do with it. Worth bearing in mind as the GOP prepares a battle plan against her for 2016.

Then again, maybe Gallup’s an outlier. Here’s what HuffPo’s average of Hillary’s favorable ratings looks like since 2009.

hchp

This time the Benghazi effect is dramatic — although it’s worth noting that most of the data above comes from a single pollster, YouGov. Whom do you trust more, them or Gallup?

Exit question: Is Bachmann right that there’s no “pent-up desire” among voters to elect the first woman president? I say yes, with the caveat that Hillary’s not just any woman candidate. She’s made the top 10 most admired women list every year for more than two decades. There’s a fan base out there, I think, that really wants to see her elected as the first woman president, even if they’re more or less indifferent to making 2016 the Year That It Happens for some other woman candidate.