Six months ago, Hillary Clinton insisted that her private e-mail system contained no sensitive material, and that the federal government had no need of her server. With federal investigators trying to track down all of the records from her private e-mail server and revelations about Top Secret/compartmented material on her unauthorized system, Hillary’s public statements look like lies to a majority of those polled in the latest Fox News survey. In a poll of 1,008 registered voters, 58% say Hillary lied about the e-mails, and 54% believe she damaged national security:

A Fox News poll released Friday finds a 58 percent majority thinks Clinton “knowingly lied” when she announced in a March press conference that no emails on her private server contained classified information.  A third says there is “another explanation” for internal government investigators determining secret info was in fact on Clinton’s server (33 percent).

Moreover, by a 54-37 percent margin, voters feel Clinton put our national security at risk by using a private email server.

The poll gave three options: Clinton liedThere’s another explanation, and Clinton told the truth. Only 2% overall think Hillary told the truth, a staggeringly bad number, and only 33% overall think there’s another explanation than Hillary lying.  On option 3, the internals on this poll are instructive. The highest that Clinton told the truth polls in the demographics is 5% among black voters, where 63% choose another explanation. Among Democrats, the number is a whopping three percent. And among younger voters — who are presumably very familiar with e-mail — the “Hillary’s honest” option didn’t get enough responses to register.

Frankly, this question is designed to let respondents get off the hook for deciding whether Hillary lied or not. The middle option of another explanation implies incompetency — not exactly a good look for a presidential candidate — or some milder form of dishonesty. And yet, not many voters took the middle option. Self-described liberal, Democrats, and black voters all had majorities choosing the less-bad option, but almost none of them chose told the truth. 

Instead, majorities in almost all other demos believe Hillary lied, even when given a softer option. Younger voters under 35 years of age were especially harsh on this judgment at 63/30/0, but the next age demo (35-54) was almost as dismissive, 61/31/2. In a rare show of consensus, those with (59/34/1) and without (58/33/2) college degrees agree on Hillary’s dishonesty. Two-thirds of independents believe she flat-out lied (67/23/2), and even a majority of women agree (51/40/2).

The responses to the question of harm to national security fall into the same pattern. This was presented as a yes/no, and 54% overall chose yes. The key demos all have yes majorities:

  • Independents – 54/36
  • Women – 50/40
  • College degree – 53/38
  • No college degree – 55/37
  • 18-35YOs – 61/34

In other words, she’s rapidly approaching Richard Nixon levels of trust in, say, August 1973 or so.

A couple of other notes in the poll will have an indirect impact on Hillary, who’s going to be a continuity candidate based on her participation in the Obama administration. A recent trend toward the positive in Barack Obama’s job approval reversed itself in this poll, the first taken since the Iran deal was announced. He slid from a 46/46 in the beginning of July to 42/51, his worst showing since March. Voters want Congress to reject the Iran deal 31/58, and substantially more of them believe Iran can’t be trusted, 18/75, which is actually a slight improvement from the historical trend. With that hanging in the air, Hillary would have had trouble gaining trust from voters anyway — but the e-mail server scandal all but moots the point now.