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Clinton Email Controversy Takes a Toll in Poll
In no state is Clinton considered honest and trustworthy
Clinton still leads all potential Republican candidates overall
Clinton still considered “strong leader”
A new Quinnipiac poll indicates Hillary Clinton might not be quite as inevitable as a possible presidential candidate as she once was: her margins are down when matched against possible 2016 Republican candidates in three critical swing states.
Clinton has proven to be a polarizing figure, especially after revelations that she used a personal email address and server to conduct public business when she served as secretary of state. Her actions stirred further criticism when it was revealed last last week that she had wiped the server clean, making it supposedly impossible for the House Benghazi Committee or anyone else to conduct independent reviews of the deleted material.
Clinton and her lawyers have assured congressional investigators that they turned over all relevant government-related emails before deleting information. However, Clinton’s critics consider the assurances disingenuous and insincere– and her actions calculated– since the deleted material allegedly fell under the category of information that should have been preserved and possibly turned over in response to subpoenas, Freedom of Information requests and lawsuits.
The tendency for Clinton to–as a New York Times report described it–“scramble in the dirt on the crabbed limbs of legal compliance” is taking a toll, according to results from the poll.
The swing states in which Clinton cannot be over-confident, according to the poll, include Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Florida, the Republican viewed by some as his party’s inevitable nominee, Jeb Bush, edges out Clinton 45% to 42%. Republican Sen. Rand Paul takes a one point lead over Clinton in Pennsylvania, 45% to Clinton’s 44%. And Clinton’s margin fell in Ohio but she still leads Paul there 46% to 41%.
According to the poll, “in no state do voters say [Clinton’s] honest and trustworthy.”
“Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, Florida voters say 50 – 41 percent and Pennsylvania voters say 49 – 44 percent,” Quinnipiac reports. “Majorities in each state think Clinton still has questions to answer about her e-mails.”
Despite the decline in key states, Clinton is still ahead of any potential candidate overall, and her supporters maintain that she is still qualified for and entitled to the nomination.
“The good news for Hillary Clinton is that the e-mail controversy has not done huge violence to her presidential chances. But the matter is taking a toll on the former secretary of state’s public image,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll.
Also on the plus side for Clinton, she is widely considered a strong leader–more so than her most ambitious potential GOP opponents. Clinton leads among women everywhere by margins from 7 to 28 percentage points.
The poll did not test other Democrats against Clinton or against potential Republican candidates.
2008 December: President Obama nominates Hillary Clinton for secretary of state. 2009 Jan. 13: Reports say the clintonemail.com domain was established. Jan. 21: Senate confirms Clinton as secretary of state. March 18: Clinton will later name this as the date she began using a private server for government business. 2012 Sept. 11: Islamic extremists launch […]