Hillary Clinton’s campaign team appears to be conducting secret polls of Iowa voters to test negativity ratings in the aftermath of the email scandal now engulfing the former Secretary of State.
The Bleeding Heartland blog reports that, “Someone is paying to test a series of negative messages about Hillary Clinton among Iowa Democrats,” noting that an Michigan-based polling firm is calling households of likely voters to get their response to unflattering questions about the former First Lady.
Republican Party political strategist Patrick Ruffini tweeted that polls are almost certainly being conducted by a Democratic Party firm, noting that the phone number is the same one used for polling on behalf of Democratic congressional candidate Tim Bishop last year.
The Iowa Starting Line also agreed that the poll was likely being conducted by Team Hillary.
“If the survey firm mainly works for Democrats, then Clinton’s team or a group supporting her aspirations must be behind the poll. No rival Democratic candidate would have paid for a lengthy questionnaire including zero positive messages about alternatives to Clinton,” writes the Bleeding Heartland blog.
The poll begins by asking voters who would be their first and second choice candidate out of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.
After a question about whether Benghazi is a real scandal or an issue raised for political concerns, respondents are then asked to specify whether a list of qualities apply to Hillary Clinton, with a rating of 1 meaning it applies strongly and 7 meaning it doesn’t apply at all.
The qualities include, “Honest and trustworthy, “In touch with the needs of average people,” “Will keep America safe,” and “Is straightforward with the American people.”
The poll then lists a series of statements about Hillary Clinton and asks the respondent to state whether each statement makes them more or less likely to vote for her. The statements include;
– She was involved in the Whitewater and Travelgate scandals when Bill Clinton was president
– She only paid women on her staff 72 cents for every dollar earned by men
– She didn’t protect diplomats in Benghazi
– She wasn’t able to account for billions of dollars spent at the State Department while she was Secretary of State
– The Clinton Foundation took $30 million from Middle Eastern governments
– She allowed Iran’s nuclear program to advance when she was Secretary of State
– She supported Obamacare
At the end of the list, the pollster also asked, “Of the things that you’ve heard, what bothers you the most about Hillary Clinton?”
Meanwhile, the email scandal that some have predicted could sink Hillary’s presidential aspirations continues to deepen.
During an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation yesterday, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the chairman of the House select committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks, said there were “gaps of months, and months and months” in email logs that Hillary had handed over, adding, “If you think to that iconic picture of [Hillary] on a C-17 flying to Libya — she has sunglasses on and she has her handheld device in her hand. We have no e-mails from that day. In fact, we have no emails from that trip.”
“It strains credibility to believe that if you’re on your way to Libya to discuss Libyan policy, that there’s not a single document that’s been turned over to Congress,” concluded Gowdy.
Polls taken in the days after the scandal emerged suggest that the controversy is hurting Hillary politically.
“Hillary Clinton’s troubles are costing her politically, as potential Republican presidential rivals have inched closer to her in 2016 matchups,” finds a new McClatchy-Marist poll. “The former secretary of state fell below the crucial 50 percent level of support in one-on-one matchups against Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, and she was barely above that benchmark against Rand Paul, Rick Perry and Ted Cruz.”
As the Washington Times notes, Hillary is still ahead of all the presumptive Republican challengers, but her lead has markedly shrunk from surveys which at one time showed her favorability rating over 60 per cent.