Bernie Sanders was right: America is tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s emails. While few Americans believe she has been honest about her handling of emails while Secretary of State, few believe she was trying to hide something by using a private account. The Monmouth University Poll also found that most Americans believe the special Benghazi Committee, who Clinton will face tomorrow, is more interested in going after the candidate than learning the facts.
The controversy over Hillary Clinton’s emails has dogged her campaign since the summer and is at least partially responsible for her drop in the polls. However, over half (52%) of the American public feels that Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account during her time as Secretary of State was mainly a matter of convenience compared to 33% who say this behavior suggests she has something to hide. These results are largely unchanged from a Monmouth poll taken in August.
On the other hand, Americans are less likely to believe that she has been honest (35%) in her subsequent explanation of how she handled those emails, with nearly half (48%) saying she has not been honest about it. Clinton will get a chance to clear the air tomorrow, when she is expected to be asked about her email use during testimony before the Congressional committee investigating the deaths of American officials in Benghazi, Libya. The American public is predisposed to believe that the committee is looking to discredit Clinton. Specifically, a majority (52%) say the committee is more interested in going after Clinton than it is with learning the facts of the matter (32%).
The Monmouth University Poll also found that Bernie Sanders wasn’t off the mark when he turned to Clinton duringTuesday night’s debate and said “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.” Specifically, 59% of the public are tired of hearing about this issue and just 32% say the media should continue to cover it.
“Bernie Sanders was right. America has heard enough. Hillary Clinton’s testimony tomorrow can either cement that view or open up a new can of worms. Right now, it looks like the public is more inclined to side with Clinton when she goes up against the House committee” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute based in West Long Branch, NJ. “The bottom line is that, despite Clinton’s apparent failure to come clean, most Americans see the continuing discussion of her emails as mainly partisan politics.”
The Monmouth University Poll also found that Hillary Clinton’s rating with American voters has not changed much since August. It currently stands at 41% favorable to 48% unfavorable, compared to 38% – 48% two months ago. Voter opinion of Bernie Sanders has improved, mainly due to increased name recognition. His favorable rating stands at 35%, which is up from 24% in August, and his unfavorable rating stands at 30%, which is up slightly from 26%. Joe Biden, who has yet to decide on a presidential run, currently holds a 44% favorable and 31% unfavorable rating among registered voters nationwide.
On the Republican side, of six presidential candidates tested in the poll, Ben Carson has the strongest rating among all voters – 40% favorable and 25% unfavorable. Front-runner Donald Trump’s voter rating has remained fairly stable. It currently stands at 32% favorable and 50% unfavorable, compared to 31% – 54% two months ago. Voters are split on Marco Rubio (31% favorable and 30% unfavorable) and Carly Fiorina (30% favorable and 30% unfavorable), and are slightly negative toward Ted Cruz (29% favorable and 36% unfavorable). American voters’ views of Jeb Bush are decidedly negative, at just 27% favorable and 47% unfavorable, which is down slightly from 33% – 43% in August.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 15 to 18, 2015 with 1,012 adults in the United States. This sample has a margin of error of + 3.1 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch