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- September 17, 2015

As Clinton Tries Desperately To Refocus Her Campaign, Her Burgeoning Email Scandal And Questions Of Trustworthiness Continue To Drown Out Her Message

Today, Clinton Will Be In New Hampshire To Discuss Her College Affordability Plan. "On Friday September 18 at 9:45, doors open at the University of New Hampshire Memorial Union Building for Clinton's 11 a.m. appearance at a 'Community Forum on College Affordability.'" ("Clinton To Attend Events In NH Over 3 Days," WMUR, 9/16/15)

EVEN AS CLINTON ATTEMPTS TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT FROM HER TRUSTWORTHINESS, HER EMAIL SCANDAL DOMINATES THE CAMPAIGN

Clinton's College Affordability Plan Has Already Been Drowned Out By Her Email Scandal

Last Month, Clinton Rolled Out Her College Affordability Plan As A "Main Plank For Her Policy Platform" Meant To Satisfy The Democrats' "Liberal Wing." "The college affordability plan, a main plank of her policy platform, is an effort to address a major financial stress for many American families and satisfy a central demand of the Democratic party's liberal wing." (Lisa Lerner, "Hillary Clinton To Propose $350 Billion College Affordability Plan," The Associated Press, 8/10/15)

  • Clinton Had Hoped Her Education Plan Will Excite Students And Millennials. "The Clinton campaign is hoping to use the issue to get students and millennial voters excited about the campaign." (Annie Karni and Allie Grasgreen, "Clinton Readies Student Loan Reform Rollout," Politico, 8/7/15)

But Clinton's College Affordability Plan Was Drowned Out In News Coverage By Her Email Troubles, Which "Marked A Retreat" From Her Normal Campaign. "The announcement about her email server, which got much more attention that her college affordability plan, marked a retreat for Clinton. She had previously refused to turn over the server to a House committee investigating the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton's attorney said then the server had been wiped clean and no emails remained on the device." (Ken Thomas and Lisa Lerner, "Email Troubles Persisting, Clinton Camp Reassures Backers," The Associated Press , 8/12/15)

Despite Clinton's Best Efforts To Distract With Her Policy Proposals, The American People Continue To Hear "Secret Server"

Clinton's Policy Proposal Rollouts Have Suffered The Most From The Scandal Plagued Summer. "Clinton's workmanlike strategy to roll out policy proposals roughly weekly over the summer suffered badly from the self-inflicted wounds of the e-mail saga and from a strong progressive challenge by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Her defensive, lawyerly answers to questions about her private e-mail system didn't sit well with voters. And on many days, her efforts to present herself as capable and presidential were all but drowned out by Trump's populist stand-up routine." (Anne Gearan and Philip Rucker, "After A Wilting Summer, Clinton Hopes For A Fall Rebound," The Washington Post , 9/7/15)

Gallup "Recently Asked Americans To Say What They Recall Reading Or Hearing About Her, One Word - 'Email' - Drowned Out Everything Else." "Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has offered specific positions on a variety of issues while campaigning. But when Gallup recently asked Americans to say what they recall reading or hearing about her, one word - 'email' -- drowned out everything else." (Lydia Saad and Frank Newport, "'Email' Defines Clinton; 'Immigration' Defines Trump," Gallup , 9/16/15)

  • Nearly All Of The Words Noted In The Word Cloud Refer To Clinton's Secret Email Server That She Used To Conduct Government Business. "In the verbatim responses from about 750 U.S. adults familiar enough with Clinton to offer an opinion of her, the word 'email' came up 329 times, phrased variously as 'email,' 'emails,' 'email scandal,' 'email scandals,' 'that email thing,' 'email stuff' and 'private emails.' Relatedly, there were 83 mentions of 'server.' All of these refer to the controversy involving Clinton's use of private email servers to conduct government business while she was secretary of state." (Lydia Saad and Frank Newport, "'Email' Defines Clinton; 'Immigration' Defines Trump," Gallup , 9/16/15)

(Source: Gallup )

Even Among Democrats The Email Scandal Dominates The Word Map. "Even when the responses of the 279 Democrats and Democratic leaners surveyed are isolated in a word map, 'email' trumps everything else." (Lydia Saad and Frank Newport, "'Email' Defines Clinton; 'Immigration' Defines Trump," Gallup , 9/16/15)

(Source: Gallup )

A Recent Quinnipiac Poll Found That The Most Common Words Voters Used To Describe Clinton Were "Liar," "Dishonest," And "Untrustworthy." "The concern for Clinton and her team is how people react to ongoing questions about how and when the e-mail server was used. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University asked voters to describe Clinton in one word. The most common word chosen was 'liar,' followed by 'dishonest' and 'untrustworthy.' The highest-ranking positive word was 'experience" - which only half as many people said as 'liar.'" (Philip Bump, "Why Hillary Clinton Apologized," The Washington Post, 9/9/15)

Instead Of Focusing On Her Policy Proposals, Clinton's Misuse Of Government Email Has Taken Control Of Her Campaign

Attempts To "Refocus The Narrative" On Her Policy Proposals Have Fallen By The Wayside. "Whatever the explanation, the continued focus on Clinton's email practices has been an unwelcome distraction for her campaign, which has struggled to refocus the narrative on Clinton's policy proposals." (Jake Miller, "Justice Department In Possession Of Hillary Clinton's Email Server," CBS News, 8/13/15)

  • The Roll-Out Of Her Policy Proposals "Suffered Badly From The Self-Inflicted Wounds Of Her Email Saga." "Clinton's workmanlike strategy to roll out policy proposals roughly over the summer suffered badly from the self-inflicted wounds of the e-mail saga and from a strong progressive challenge by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)." (Anne Gearan and Philip Rucker, "After A Wilting Summer, Clinton Hopes For A Fall Rebound," The Washington Post , 9/7/15)

AS THE REFRAIN OF "SECRET SERVER" CONTINUES, AMERICANS HAVE LOST TRUST IN CLINTON

Clinton Has Tumbled In National Surveys, "Partly To Fallout From The Fracas Surrounding Her State Department E-Mails." "Clinton's tumble in national surveys, including in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, owes partly to fallout from the fracas surrounding her State Department e-mails and partly to an anti-establishment sentiment fueling Sanders's rise." (Anne Gearan, "As Worries Rise, Hillary Clinton Camp Says Stick To The Plan," The Washington Post , 9/16/15)

"Her Defensive, Lawyerly Answers To Questions About Her Private E-Mail System Didn't Sit Well With Voters." (Anne Gearan and Philip Rucker, "After A Wilting Summer, Clinton Hopes For A Fall Rebound," The Washington Post , 9/7/15)

Voters Do Not Trust Clinton Over Her Email Scandal. "But Mrs. Clinton, sliding in the polls - which show voters increasingly questioning her trustworthiness - does not want to see this shot at the presidency slip away." (Maggie Haberman and Amy Chozick, "Hillary Clinton's Long Road To 'Sorry' Over Email Use," The New York Times , 9/11/15)

  • According To A CBS - New York Times Poll Released This Week, "Sixty-Two Percent Of Registered Voters Don't Think Of Her As Honest And Trustworthy." "Even though Clinton is viewed as honest and trustworthy by her party's voters, this continues to be a problem for her among registered voters overall: only 32 percent see her as honest and trustworthy, down eight points from last month, and 15 points since May. Sixty-two percent of registered voters don't think of her as honest and trustworthy." (Anthony Salvanto, Jennifer De Pinto, Sarah Dutton and Fred Backus, "CBS/NYT Poll: Hillary Clinton's Lead Over Bernie Sanders Cut By Half," CBS News, 9/15/15)
  • A Washington Post - ABC News Poll Released Earlier This Week Found That 56 Percent Of Register Voters Do Not Believe That The Words "Honest" And "Trustworthy" Describe Hillary Clinton. "On top of all that, add this: Just 35 percent of registered voters believe that the words 'honest' and 'trustworthy' describe Clinton while 56 percent say they do not. That number has been in steady decline since the revelations about Clinton's server came to light in the spring; she was at 41 percent on the honest/trustworthy question in a May WaPo-ABC poll and back in June 2014 she was at 53 percent!" (Chris Cillizza, "Hillary Clinton's Email Issues Have Grown Into A Massive Political Problem," The Washington Post's The Fix , 9/14/15)

Clinton's Latest Polling Numbers Have Hit Record Lows

Clinton's Ratings Have Eroded, Reaching Lower Levels Than At Any Point During Her 2008 Campaign. "But over the last two months, the steady and expected erosion of her ratings has surprisingly accelerated. Her ratings are now lower than they were in 2007 or 2008, or at any point in her political career." (Nate Cohn, "Signs Of Hillary Clinton's Troubles, In Charts," The New York Times' TheUpshot, 9/15/15)

  • "For The First Time In Mrs. Clinton's Two Decades In National Politics, More Americans See Her Unfavorably Than Favorably." "For the first time in Mrs. Clinton's two decades in national politics, more Americans see her unfavorably than favorably. Her net-favorability rating - now a dismal minus-10 or perhaps worse - is at least 15 points worse than it was at this time in 2008." (Nate Cohn, "Signs Of Hillary Clinton's Troubles, In Charts," The New York Times' TheUpshot, 9/15/15)

Clinton's Major Supporters Are Fretting Over The Prospect That She Will Be Unable To Put Her Email Scandal Behind Her

Clinton Backers Believe That Clinton Will Be Unable To Put The Email Scandal Behind Her. "But even some of her strongest backers say they are not sure she can ever put the question of whether she skirted government rules behind her." (Anne Gearan, "As Worries Rise, Hillary Clinton Camp Says Stick To The Plan," The Washington Post , 9/16/15)

  • They "Are Uneasy About Where An FBI Investigation Into The Security Of Clinton's System Could Lead." "But two major donors - who requested anonymity to speak candidly - said they have told the campaign they felt blindsided by the e-mail issue and are uneasy about where an FBI investigation into the security of Clinton's system could lead." (Anne Gearan, "As Worries Rise, Hillary Clinton Camp Says Stick To The Plan," The Washington Post , 9/16/15)

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