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59% Think Hillary Likely To Have Broken The Law

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Most voters think Hillary Clinton needs to do a better job of explaining her use of a private e-mail server when she was secretary of State and suspect that she broke the law.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Likely U.S. Voters think it’s likely 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. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 34% believe Clinton is unlikely to have done anything illegal. This includes 42% who say it is Very Likely Clinton broke the law and only 15% who think it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Even among her fellow Democrats, 37% think it’s likely Clinton broke the law while using the private e-mail server at the State Department, with 16% who say it’s Very Likely.

Only 28% of all voters believe Clinton has done a good or excellent job handling questions about her use of the private e-mail server as secretary of State. Fifty-one percent (51%) rate her handling of these questions as poor.

In late July, 54% said Clinton’s use of a private, non-government provider for her e-mail while serving as secretary of State raises serious national security concerns.  The Justice Department, a congressional committee and several court cases are now probing the matter.

Forty-six percent (46%) of all voters - and 24% of Democrats - think 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.

Still, our last Hillary Meter in mid-August showed that 74% of Likely Democratic Voters believe Hillary Clinton will be their nominee next year, although that’s down from 93% in early July. However, the latest finding includes just 35% who say Clinton is Very Likely to win the nomination.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 10 and 13, 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.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has surged significantly in Rasmussen Reports’ most recent look at the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but Clinton still leads him by a two-to-one margin.

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Democrats think Clinton has done a good or excellent job explaining her use of the private e-mail server. Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans and 54% of voters not affiliated with either major political party feel she’s done a poor job explaining herself.

Eighty-two percent (82%) of GOP voters and 63% of unaffiliateds believe Clinton is likely to have broken the law.

Men and those 40 and over are more likely to think Clinton broke the law than women and younger voters are.

But most voters in nearly every demographic group say Clinton is likely to have broken the law.

Most voters who believe Clinton has done a good or excellent job explaining the situation feel she is unlikely to have broken the law. Those who say she’s done a poor job explaining think overwhelmingly that she’s likely to have done something illegal.

Democrats nervous about the problems surrounding Clinton have been talking up Joe Biden’s candidacy. Are Democrats ready for the vice president to jump into the race for their party’s presidential nomination?

Support for Sanders among Democrats has surged over the summer, but do voters in his party think he is any more likely to win their presidential nomination next year?

Voters have been concerned about the e-mail issue since it was first disclosed earlier this year.

Forty-five percent (45%) of all voters - but only 18% of Democrats - consider the national security questions raised about Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while serving as secretary of State to be a serious scandal.  Twenty-eight percent (28%) of likely voters consider the matter an embarrassing situation, while nearly as many (23%) say it’s no big deal.

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

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