July 15, 2015

Ropegate, Disastrous Interviews May Be Hurting Clinton’s Poll Numbers

A new nationwide poll released yesterday by USA Today & Suffolk University reveals Hillary Clinton’s support is continuing to sag.

Matched up against many Republicans, Clinton fails to reach 50% support:

Tuesday’s USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll shows a much closer race, with Clinton leading the former Florida governor by only 4 points, 46% to 42%. Clinton is struggling, and she is polling under 50% not only against Bush, but also against Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

David Paleologos, the director of Suffolk University’s Political Research Center in Boston, has a few theories on Clinton’s decline in the polls:

There may be good reasons for the Clinton campaign’s unwillingness to be more accessible to national interviews. Perhaps the lingering questions about/investigations of Benghazi, the deletion of emails, or the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of funding from foreign governments while she was secretary of State would shift the conversation away from the voter engagement currently taking place. Or perhaps the campaign is saving its (and her) energy for the big show with the assumption that Clinton will sail through the Democratic primary process.

Whatever the reason, the general election race is getting dangerously close for her. And last week, the tweets and video from “Ropegate” didn’t help matters. During a July Fourth parade in New Hampshire, the Clinton campaign decided to use a rope to corral national reporters and photographers so that Clinton could engage with real voters.

The strategy backfired, however, when unflattering video and photos of national press being herded along the parade route exploded on social media. That one event ignited widespread reports reminding voters that she has not been willing to engage the national media with the same passion as she uses in courting voters.

It’s likely that these, among her other entanglements, are hurting Clinton among voters. The degree to which her numbers continue to fall will largely be based on if her team is able to come up with some justification for her involvement in these scandals.