Can Hillary overcome the liar factor

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Can Hillary overcome the ‘liar’ factor?.

WASHINGTON — When voters got a chance to describe Hillary Rodham Clinton in a single word, they selected “liar” as their top choice, according to a poll released Thursday. Hillary Clinton took a new tack this week when answering questions about her use of a private email account as secretary of state: She took responsibility and admitted she was at fault. Of 1,563 voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University, 178 said “liar” was the first thing that popped into their heads in association with Clinton — followed by 123 who chose “dishonest” and 93 who said “untrustworthy.” But critics found plenty of ways to disparage the former secretary of state. “Crook” was the choice of 21 voters, while “untruthful (19), “criminal” (18) and “deceitful” (18) also received mentions. On Thursday, the reason for the change in tone came into sharper focus with a stunning new poll illustrating the extent to which voters don’t trust Clinton to tell the truth. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world,” Clinton said. “But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States, yet they espouse out of date and out of touch policies,” she added at a rally in Cleveland. “They are dead wrong for 21{+s}t century America.” “For Hillary Clinton to equate her political opponents to terrorists is a new low for her flailing campaign,” said Republican National Committee spokesperson Allison Moore. “She should apologize immediately for her inflammatory rhetoric.” Clinton, seeking to become the first woman to win the White House, said she took it “a little personal when they go after women,” pointing to Republican efforts to cut access to women’s health centres and opposition to abortion rights.

The first word voters had for him was “Bush,” volunteered by 136 voters, followed by “family” (70), a reference to the Bush political dynasty. The No. 1 response was “liar,” followed by “dishonest” and “untrustworthy.” Overall, more than a third of poll respondents said their first thought about Clinton was some version of: She’s a liar. When she announced her candidacy in April, Clinton was considered nearly unbeatable, her campaign perceived as more of a coronation than a real nomination contest.

Yet no speech, no policy proposal, no argument, nothing from the other candidates has come close to capturing the imagination of voters, giving Trump the space to loom all the larger. John Kasich of Ohio, telling supporters he had banned state funding for some rape crisis centres because they sometimes referred women to other health facilities that provide abortion services. But Clinton does have other strengths to build on, according to recent polls: Voters admire her leadership, and women believe she cares about them. “The dichotomy is hard to figure out,” said Tim Malloy, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “The numbers show that people don’t think she’s particularly honest or trustworthy.

The videos have prompted investigations by congressional committees and Republicans in Congress, and several states have sought to block government payments to the group. Trump is such a forceful communicator that he comes off as some sort of throwback alpha male, whereas Bush is such an earnest wonk, he looks and sounds like a sensitive dad from a contemporary sitcom. Ed Rendell called it “tone deaf.” The situation is no laughing matter to investigative reporter Bob Woodward, who has likened Clinton’s private e-mail usage to the Watergate scandal. Her shift this week from blaming Republican attacks for her problems, to taking responsibility herself, seemed a clear attempt to remedy that perception. So while Bush has methodically built the superstructure of an impressive campaign — with fundraising, organization and policy proposals — he has so far barely warmed up an ember among voters.

It, in a way, reminds me of the Nixon tapes: thousands of hours of secretly recorded conversations that Nixon thought were exclusively his.” With her ethical baggage and status as the candidate of the past, Clinton looks to be an albatross for Democrats in the suburbs and in Greater Minnesota. A so-so debate performance and the rise of Trump have continued his long fade to middle of the pack in the latest early state polling (tied for fourth in New Hampshire and tied for seventh in South Carolina).

Walker’s ability to appeal to both the establishment and activist wings of the party had looked like a strength, but now it seems a precarious balancing act, made all the more difficult by a panicky reaction to Trump. Just 3-in-10 white women said she is honest and trustworthy — including only 34 percent of white women with a college degree, a constituency crucial to repairing Democrats’ numbers among whites. No sooner had Walker pronounced himself “aggressively normal” in the debate than he seemed to opt for just “aggressive” in an attempt to play to the passions tapped by Trump. Who could have predicted that the Midwestern candidate who tells stories about buying shirts for $1 at Kohl’s would have to play populist catch-up with the New York billionaire who travels by eponymous helicopter?

Senate race on the statewide ballot for the first time in 12 years, the top of the ticket matters more than ever because of its influence on legislative races. Bill Clinton is perhaps the most apparent example of the disconnect between earning voters’ trust on a personal level and their confidence as president. He has a cogent theory of the case, which is that if he is nice to Trump — and the other outsider candidates — he eventually can inherit his supporters.

This makes intuitive sense, although Cruz — exceedingly careful in crafting his words and in calculating his interest — is hardly a natural anti-politician. But [Hillary’s] not Bill Clinton,” said the Republican pollster. “Likability means a ton, and if you’re unlikable and not viewed as honest, you have a problem.”

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