Most Americans 'don't want' Oprah to run for president

Oprah Winfrey poses with her Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes.
Oprah Winfrey poses with her Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Americans may love Oprah Winfrey, but most don't want the chat show queen to run for president - although if she did, she would beat Donald Trump, a poll revealed on Friday (Jan 12).

Winfrey's rousing speech at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards ceremony ignited speculation that the billionaire entertainment mogul, the first black woman to own a television network, is harbouring Oval Office ambitions.

Sixty-four per cent of respondents have a favourable view of Winfrey, including 43 per cent of Trump supporters, according to the NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist survey.

But when asked if they wanted Winfrey to run in 2020, only 35 per cent said yes.

A majority - 54 per cent - said no and 11 per cent said they were unsure.

Yet if a hypothetical presidential head-to-head was held today, 50 per cent of national registered voters said they would vote in Winfrey as a Democrat. Only 39 per cent said they would return Trump to office.

Voters were predictably split along party lines. Ninety-one per cent of Democrats backed Winfrey. Eighty-five per cent of Republicans said they would vote for Trump.

While there is little indication that 63-year-old Winfrey wants the job, Hollywood's loathing of Trump and Democrats' bafflement that a reality TV star could win with no previous government experience has fuelled talk of finding their own celebrity candidate.

Trump said on Tuesday he doubted Winfrey would run, but if she did, he would win.

The survey was carried out among 1,350 adults earlier this week, after Oprah's speech made headlines. The poll carried a margin of error of 2.7 per cent and 3 per cent among registered voters.