Hillary’s Deepening Problem

Aug. 19, 2015 — Fox News just released their latest poll (Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company; Aug. 11-13; 1,008 registered voters; 401 likely Democratic primary voters; 381 likely Republican primary voters), and the traditional media coverage seems to be emphasizing a lesser analytical point.

Their stories highlight that Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are expanding their respective leads (25-12-10 percent) over whom the media identifies as the Republican establishment candidates, namely ex-Gov. Jeb Bush (who posts 9 percent), and the many elected governors and senators who are in the race. The Hillary Clinton results, however, are actually more compelling.

Once again we see a familiar pattern defining the Clinton performance. Democrats favorably view her, but Republicans and Independents generally hold a highly negative impression. She leads in all ballot test pairings but breaks 50 percent at no time, and the vast majority of voters don’t trust her.

In the Democratic primary, the numbers are again consistent with other published polls. Though Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is attracting crowds and media attention, as we’ve previously detailed, he hasn’t yet made substantial polling gains outside of New Hampshire. The Fox News survey confirms the pattern. Here, Clinton leads Sanders and Vice President Joe Biden 49-30-10 percent. While there is no doubt that her support has declined in the past few months even among Democrats, her intra-party lead remains substantial.

The Fox survey then dissects the veracity issue, and allows us to see that the respondents’ impressions about whether or not she is telling the truth regarding the email issue are deep seeded.

The pollsters asked the trustworthiness question in an interesting manner, actually using the term “lied” in reference to Clinton’s explanation for her actions. This appears to be the first poll that uses such language.

The text of the question is as follows:

As you may know, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state she used a personal email account and a computer server at her home to do government work. In March, Clinton said no emails on her private server contained classified information. However, internal government investigators recently determined classified information was contained in Clinton’s emails on that server. Do you think Clinton knowingly lied about the emails or there’s another explanation?

By a margin of 58:33 percent, the respondents believe she lied. This underscores her fundamental problem in facing the electorate. The crosstabs reveal that the negativity surrounding the situation is pervasive. Though a strong majority of polled Democrats, for example, (60 percent) say they believe there is “another explanation”, more than a quarter of her base voters (27%) say she was less than truthful.

Additionally, 36 percent of self-identified liberals also believe she is not telling the truth about the email controversy, an additional high dissatisfaction number from a core support group.

Republicans, in an 87:9 percent ratio, believe that she lied, but that is not particularly surprising. Of much greater concern to the Clinton camp is the Independent split that finds an almost 3:1 ratio not believing her (67-23 percent). This obviously bodes badly for the general election.

Poll after poll is delivering this type of disturbing results about Hillary Clinton’s integrity, which has clearly damaged her chances of winning the 2016 election. This is an arduous situation for she and her team to rectify but, regardless of the difficulty factor, failure to improve her personal image will doom her campaign.

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