A new Rasmussen survey finds Donald Trump with a 2-1 edge over Hillary Clinton on an important measure of honesty. Almost a third of likely voters, 30 percent, said Trump was more honest than the average politician. Just 15 percent of voters said the same about Hillary Clinton, though.
The simple question was put to 1,000 voters likely to cast ballots in November. Voters were asked whether Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were more, less, or equally honest than other politicians. A plurality of voters thought Trump (45 percent) and Clinton (46 percent) are less honest that other political figures. Voters were twice as likely, though, to say that Trump was more honest than Clinton, compared to other politicians.
In the expected close election in November, such differences can have a huge impact.
More worrying for Clinton is that voters’ impressions of her honesty have been shaped by some significant events in her record. A Rasmussen survey late last year found that more than half of likely voters, 52 percent, didn’t think Clinton was being honest and truthful about her handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack.
Only 41 percent of Democrats, even, felt that Clinton has been honest and forthcoming about the attacks in 2012.
Growing voter concern over her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State presents even more of a challenge for Clinton. According to a survey released Wednesday by Morning Consult, a majority of voters believe Clinton’s use of the private email was illegal. Only 20 percent of voters felt her use of a private email system was ethical.
Almost half, 48 percent, view the email controversy as a “major problem” for Clinton. Even a quarter of Democrats say Clinton’s use of a private email server is a “major problem.”
With an ongoing FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of private email, the issue isn’t likely to disappear for the presumptive Democrat nominee. Voters are also uneasy about her reluctance to release transcripts of paid speeches she made to several big Wall Street investment banks.
Her primary opponent, socialist Bernie Sanders, has made the issue a centerpiece of his argument against her candidacy. According to Morning Consult, 64 percent of voters believe she should release the text of the speeches. Almost half of Democrats nationally, 47 percent, believe she should release the speeches.
The questions about Hillary Clinton’s honesty are troubling for the candidate because they are based on concrete actions she has or hasn’t taken. They go beyond the general feeling voters have that politicians aren’t very honest and trustworthy.
Donald Trump, keep in mind, is at heart a real estate developer and salesman. Such vocations have a certain flair for promotion and exaggeration. That said, he scores far better than Hillary Clinton on the serious question of whom voters trust more.
That is a significant headwind for Hillary Clinton’s campaign.