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Voters Troubled by Hillary’s Private E-Mails, Foreign Donations

Monday, March 09, 2015

Voters have national security concerns about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail provider while serving as secretary of State but aren’t as sure she was trying to hide anything. More troubling are the large donations made to the private Clinton Foundation by foreign governments while Clinton was the nation’s chief overseas diplomat.

Half (49%) of Likely U.S. Voters believe Clinton’s use of a private, non-government e-mail provider for issues at the highest levels of the U.S. government raises serious national security concerns. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 36% disagree with these national security worries, while 15% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Thirty-nine percent (39%) believe Clinton deliberately used the private e-mail account to hide things from government oversight. But 30% don’t think that’s true. Just as many (31%), however, are undecided. The e-mails in question include the period in September 2012 when the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. Embassy employees were murdered in Benghazi, Libya.

But 57% of voters are at least somewhat concerned about the potential for conflict of interest raised by the failure of the private Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation to get government approval for some large donations it received from foreign governments while she was secretary of State. Thirty-nine percent (39%) don’t share that concern. These findings includes 34% who are Very Concerned by the appearance of possible conflict of interest and 16% who are Not At All Concerned.

Predictably, most Republicans see all these issues through a negative lens, while Democrats give Clinton the benefit of the doubt. But perhaps troubling to Clinton as she weighs whether to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 is the doubt expressed by voters not affiliated with either major party.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 4-5, 2015 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Clinton remains far and away the leader for her party’s 2016 nomination among Likely Democratic Voters.

Seventy-one percent (71%) of all likely voters say they have been following recent news reports about Hillary Clinton, with 33% who have been following Very Closely.

Voters who say they have been following these news reports the closest are even more likely to be concerned about the national security risk posed by Clinton’s private e-mails and to think she was deliberately trying to hide things from government oversight.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of Republicans think Clinton was trying to hide her e-mail from oversight, and 20% of Democrats and 36% of unaffiliated voters agree. Fifty percent (50%) of Democrats disagree, while 39% of unaffiliateds are not sure.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of GOP voters and 55% of unaffiliated voters are concerned about the potential for conflict of interest from the foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Democrats are not concerned.

Four-four percent (44%) of all voters think the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi incident will hurt Clinton if she runs for president in 2016

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has surged to the front of the pack of Republican presidential hopefuls in recent weeks, and he now gives Clinton a run for her money.

Only 28% of voters think Clinton and President Obama like each other, but 75% think the president is likely to endorse her over other Democratic contenders if she runs next year. 

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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