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Voter Suspicion Grows Over Hillary’s E-Mails

Thursday, April 30, 2015

As Obama administration officials wrestle with the news media and congressional investigators over releasing Hillary Clinton’s e-mail from her days as secretary of State, voters are growing more suspicious that Clinton has something to hide.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of Likely U.S. Voters now 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, up slightly from 49% in early March. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 35% don’t share this concern, while 13% are not sure. Both these findings are essentially unchanged from the previous survey. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But 45% now say Clinton deliberately used the private e-mail account to hide things from government oversight. That’s a six-point increase from 39% two months ago. However, the number of Clinton’s defenders has grown, too: 35% now think she wasn’t trying to hide anything, up from 30%. Twenty-one percent (21%) remain undecided.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans believe Clinton was trying to hide things from oversight, and 22% of Democrats agree. But most voters (59%) in her party say she wasn’t trying to hide things, up from 50% in March. Among voters not affiliated with either major political party, 43% think Clinton was trying to hide things from oversight, while 30% disagree; 27% are not sure.

As recently as two weeks ago, 57% of all voters said Clinton is likely to be elected president next year, but she definitely has a growing trust problem. Just over half of voters do not trust Clinton, but even more think she used her position as secretary of State to benefit some of those who gave money to her Clinton Foundation

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 27-28, 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.

It looks like Clinton now has an official opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Longtime Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a self-proclaimed socialist, is jumping into the race. Sanders earned just seven percent (7%) support among Likely Democratic Voters when Rasmussen Reports asked in early March.

An overwhelming 91% of Democrats think Clinton is likely to be their party’s nominee next year, including 66% who say it is Very Likely.

Roughly half of voters in most demographic categories think Clinton’s use of a private e-mail provider while serving as secretary of State raises serious national security concerns. But while 82% of Republicans and 52% of unaffiliated voters feel that way, just 25% of Democrats agree.

Men feel more strongly than women do that Clinton was trying to hide things by using the private e-mail account. Women are more likely to be undecided.

Pluralities of voters in all age groups think Clinton was trying to avoid oversight of her e-mail.

Among voters who trust Clinton, 72% say she wasn’t trying to hide anything. But 77% of voters who don’t trust her disagree.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of all voters now view Clinton favorably. In December 2012 when she announced her intention to step down as secretary of State, Clinton was still the most popular member of President Obama’s cabinet, viewed favorably by 61%.

When reviewing her resume, voters credit Clinton most for serving as secretary of State, but more voters than ever (47%) think the circumstances surrounding the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three other U.S. Embassy employees in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 will hurt her campaign.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of American Internet Users believe their online communications are at least somewhat private now, including 16% who believe they’re Very Private. Twenty-nine percent (29%) do not think their online communications are private, including nine percent (9%) who don’t think they are at all.

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

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