Democrat Insiders: Hillary's not out of the woods yet on emails
The Justice Department has given Hillary Clinton a clean legal bill of health in the long-running saga over her private email server while she was secretary of state, but few Democrats think the news will help her campaign.
That’s according to the POLITICO Caucus — a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 10 key battleground states. Just under a quarter (24 percent) of Democrats said FBI Director James Comey’s statements this week would help Clinton’s campaign because she avoided criminal charges.
Slightly more Democratic insiders (26 percent) said Comey’s stern rebuke — in which he called Clinton “extremely careless” for using a non-secure platform for her email, which included some classified material — would hurt Clinton’s campaign. Half of Democratic insiders said it would have no impact.
Republicans were far more likely to see Comey’s statement as bad news for the Clinton campaign. About two-thirds (66 percent) said it would hurt Clinton’s campaign, compared to 16 percent who thought it would help, and 18 percent who said it would have no impact.
A number of Democrats said the results of the investigation — disclosed by the FBI in a rare public statement Tuesday — reinforces voters’ feelings that she isn’t honest and trustworthy. Just 30 percent of registered voters in a Fox News poll last week said the words “honest and trustworthy” describe Clinton, compared to the nearly two-thirds who said they didn’t describe her.
“This is not a win. Comey eviscerated all the excuses for Hillary and her team’s behaviors. It plays into the narrative that she can’t be trusted,” said an Iowa Democrat, who, like all respondents, completed the survey anonymously. “If she was running against anyone other than Trump, this would have been blown up much bigger and hit much harder.”