Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Most continue to believe likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is a lawbreaker, but half of all voters also say a felony indictment shouldn’t stop her campaign for the presidency.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters think Clinton should immediately stop campaigning if she is charged with a felony in connection with her use of a private e-mail server while secretary of State. Fifty percent (50%), however, think she should continue running until a court determines her guilt or innocence. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Voters were evenly divided on this question in January, but at that time we didn’t include the name of any candidate.
Among Democratic voters, 71% believe Clinton should keep running, a view shared by only 30% of Republicans and 46% of voters not affiliated with either major party.
Forty percent (40%) of all voters say they are less likely to vote for Clinton because of the e-mail issue, while nearly half (48%) say it will have no impact on their vote. Just eight percent (8%) say the issue makes them more likely to vote for the former first lady.
Sixty-five percent (65%) consider it likely that Clinton broke the law by sending and receiving e-mails containing classified information through a private e-mail server while serving as secretary of State. This includes 47% who say it’s Very Likely. These findings are unchanged from January. Thirty percent (30%) still say Clinton is unlikely to have broken the law with the e-mail arrangement, with 16% who say it’s Not At All Likely.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on May 29-30, 2016 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.
Last August, 46% of all voters - and 24% of Democrats - said Clinton should suspend her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination until all of the legal questions about her use of the private e-mail server are resolved. But just 25% think it is even somewhat likely that Clinton will be indicted.
In a report released last week, the State Department’s inspector general, an Obama appointee, concluded that Clinton knowingly broke department rules by using the private e-mail server for official business including top secret discussions. This contradicts her claims that the arrangement had been officially approved.
Just 30% give Clinton good or excellent marks for her handling of questions about her use of the private e-mail server while secretary of State. Forty-nine percent (49%) rate her performance as poor. This is little changed from voter perceptions last September.
Democrats are happier with Clinton’s answers than Republicans and unaffiliated voters are. But then 73% of GOP voters and 53% of unaffiliateds say it is Very Likely that Clinton broke the law with her use of the private e-mail server during her years as secretary of State. Only 18% of Democrats agree.
Women are slightly less critical of Clinton's handling of the situation than men are and are more supportive of her staying in the race if indicted.
Those under 40 are less convinced than their elders are that Clinton broke the law and are more supportive of her staying in the race even if indicted. But roughly 40% of voters of all ages are less likely to vote for Clinton because of the e-mail issue.
Black voters are much less likely than white and other minority voters to think Clinton broke the law and feel much more strongly that she should keep running if indicted.
Fifty-four percent (54%) of all voters believe the Justice Department should name an independent prosecutor to decide whether criminal charges should be brought against Clinton in the e-mail case.
Ninety-two percent (92%) of Democrats believe Clinton is likely to be their party’s presidential nominee, with 62% who say it’s Very Likely.
Clinton is essentially tied with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in Rasmussen Reports’ latest weekly White House Watch survey. We will update those numbers Thursday morning.
Voters tend to think Hillary Clinton will work better with the United States’ allies if elected president but are evenly divided over whether she or Trump will be tougher with this nation's enemies.
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