Poll: Voters Have Issues With Clinton Emails

Poll: Voters Have Issues With Clinton Emails
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Voters are following the story of Hillary Clinton’s private email account closely, and nearly half think Clinton’s use of a private email while secretary of state raises national security concerns, according to a new poll released Monday.

Forty-nine percent of likely voters said yes when asked if Clinton’s use of a private server while conducting official business raised serious national security concerns, according to a survey from Rasmussen Reports. Thirty-six percent of respondents said it didn’t create such concerns and 15 percent said they weren’t sure.

Voters also had concerns about the Clinton Foundation’s failure to receive approval for donations from foreign governments while Clinton was secretary of state. More than half of voters, 57 percent, said they were very or somewhat concerned about potential conflicts of interest, while 39 percent said they weren’t concerned about it. Only 4 percent said they weren’t sure whether they had concerns over conflicts of interest. 

A majority of likely voters have been following the email story that has dominated the news since the New York Times reported on it early last week. A third of voters said they have been following the story very closely, while slightly more, 38 percent, said they were following somewhat closely.

The survey also asked voters about Clinton’s motives, with 39 percent saying yes when asked if she used the private server to deliberately hide things from government oversight, and 30 percent saying no.

Not surprisingly, voters’ concerns over the private email split sharply along party lines. Only 28 percent of Democrats said it raised serious national security concerns, while 78 percent of Republicans thought so. Two-thirds of Republicans thought Clinton was deliberately hiding things from oversight, while only 20 percent of Democrats agreed.

In defending Clinton, some Democrats have suggested that most voters would not be as concerned about the controversy as political insiders are. Potential Democratic challengers to Clinton’s expected 2016 presidential run have been largely silent on the issue that has enveloped the presumed frontrunner.

Over the weekend, longtime Clinton friend Lanny Davis said the former secretary of state would be open to a “neutral” party examining the emails.

For the most part, Clinton has been quiet on the issue, except for a tweet last week saying, “I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.”

Some Democrats have begun calling for Clinton to speak out on the controversy. California Sen. Diane Feinstein said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “from this point on, the silence is going to hurt her.”

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said on NBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday that she expected Clinton to address the issue sometime this week.

The Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters, conducted March 4-5, has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. 

James Arkin is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at jarkin@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @JamesArkin.

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