Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is seeing some major problems in her four month old presidential campaign as her past as Secretary of State comes back to haunt her. Clinton’s email scandal resulting from her usage of a private email server during her tenure is growing and it is affecting the public’s perception of the once inevitable Democratic nominee. Two new polls released this past week show that American voters consider Clinton a liar, and possibly a criminal, the first was conducted by Monmouth University and released Wednesday, Aug 12, 2015 and the second by Fox News on Friday, Aug. 14.
This past week Clinton finally handed over her private email server to the Justice Department amid speculation Clinton did in fact send classified information through the account, as part of an FBI probe. News regarding this broke on Tuesday evening, Aug. 11. Clinton also handed over a USB thumb drive with all the emails she previously gave to the State Department. On Friday, Aug. 14, Clinton also agreed to appear before Congress to testify about her email server. Reports indicate that two of the emails Clinton had given over to the State Department had been labeled “top secret,” and may have been considered classified information. Also, there are rumors that that firm she hired to take care of the server may have made a copy of the emails on it.
The new Fox News poll shows 58 percent of American voters believe Clinton “knowingly lied” about having classified information on her email server in March. Additionally, 54 percent believe Clinton jeopardized national security with her email usage. The numbers were clearly skewed towards Republicans feeling that way. According to the poll, 87 percent of Republicans believed she lied and 81 percent believed she risked national security. Independents’ mindset was closer to Republicans with 67 percent believing she lied, and 54 percent believing she risked national security. Democrats clearly sided with their choice candidate with only 27 percent believing she lied and 29 percent believing she risked national security.
The Monmouth University poll shows that the problem is even greater than being considered a liar, American believe Clinton’s actions may have been criminal. According to the poll 52 percent of American voters believe Clinton “should be subject to a criminal investigation for potential release of classified material.” Here again the results were skewed misleadingly showing bias, because Republicans overwhelmingly favored the probe, but Democrats opposed it. Independents again sided closer to Republicans with 54 percent wanting the probe. No matter the political leanings, voters do not believe Clinton created the email system to hide anything, but rather it was “a matter of convenience.” The problem with both polls are the results from independents, hinting that Clinton will have not have the support she needs from that voter group.
Clinton has been laughing off the email scandal, speaking at the Wing Ding Dinner at the Iowa State Fair on Friday, Clinton declared its only about politics. Clinton remarked, “It’s not about Benghazi. You know what? It’s not about emails or servers either. It’s about politics.” Continuing she used it as an opportunity to blame her Republican opponents and the party, saying, “But here’s what I won’t do: I won’t get down in the mud with them [Republicans]. I won’t play politics with national security.”
The email scandal is not Clinton’s only problem, Democratic rivals both declared and potential are spelling trouble for Clinton’s campaign. Independent Vermont Senator and self proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders is a perpetual problem, as he is gaining celebrity backers, packing huge crowds at rallies. Sanders’s event in Dubuque, Iowa at the end of the state fair, has been moved to a bigger venue to accommodate his supporters. This past week Sanders also did what many thought was an impossible feat, he beat Clinton in the polls for New Hampshire for the first time.
Then there are the potential Democratic rivals, Vice President Joe Biden and a blast from Clinton’s past her husband Bill Clinton’s Vice President and 2000 Democratic nominee Al Gore. After tragedy stroked the Vice President with the death of his son Beau, Biden is back on track and yet again considering a presidential run. Biden is using his August vacation time to consider a run and he will make a decision by the end of the summer, which is quickly approaching. Politico reports that the Vice President will make the decision in a family meeting at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. Additionally, there are some early leaks about his possible strategy, forgoing Iowa and New Hampshire and making his first primary South Carolina.
Then for a brief day, former Vice President Al Gore who famously lost the 2000 election to George W. Bush in the closest election in history was considering another presidential bid. Gore’s Supporters wanted him to take the plunge again, rumors started flying on Thursday, Aug. 13, but in less than 24 hours Gore associates and his spokesman were fanning out those flames that heated up social media and the news. Gore’s spokesman cleared everything up, saying, “I am 1000 percent behind Gore but I’ve spoken to him and don’t see any moves for a 2016 run. He’s focused 100 percent on his first love — which is climate.”
Clinton still has the edge in the national polls but is now trailing Republicans candidates in swing states, and her once huge lead margins are shrinking over her opponents. A Quinnipiac University poll from July showed Clinton trailing no one but three Republican candidates in three swing states Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia. Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker all polled better than Clinton, something that was considered impossible just a few months back, where Clinton beat almost every potential GOP opponent in matchups.
Clinton’s once perceived nomination coronation is on shaky ground or is it? Gone are the days when Clinton’s only liability was her husband former President Bill Clinton’s scandals. Despite Clinton’s problems and dismal favorability ratings, a majority Democrats still back her, because they believe she is the Democrats only chance. Clinton has electability on her side; the only Democrat in the game or considering that could possibly win the general election against a very divided GOP field. Her electability will save her, and still probably allow her to claim the nomination, no matter how much Democratic voters might not favor her, or find her trustworthy or as liberal as they will like, because she still has the chance to keep the White House in Democratic hands.