If a politician and her team lied repeatedly about an event nearly everyone has seen, would they still believe her? A snap poll from Politico and Morning Consult over Hillary Clinton’s collapse at a 9/11 memorial event provides a classic glass-half-empty-or-half-full scenario. Half of the 1500 registered voters surveyed said that Hillary had lied about her health. That, of course, leaves half choosing to believe Team Hillary’s lips over their own lyin’ eyes:
–It’s a trust issue: 50% of people polled say Hillary Clinton has given the public false information about her health. Just 37% say the same about Donald Trump.
Let’s recap the events that took place on Sunday. Breaking news went out across the nation that Hillary had left the 9/11 memorial service in New York under some distress; her campaign said she’d “overheated” in 79-degree weather. The video of her collapsing in the street went out, and her team claimed she had only gotten “dehydrated.” A couple of hours later, Hillary herself went out to the street to wave at cameras, hug a little girl who just so happened to slip through a Secret Service cordon (one that all but managed to block view of her collapse earlier), and declare herself recovered. Hours later, the campaign admitted Hillary had pneumonia and canceled two days of events.
The same poll showed that nearly 80% of respondents had heard “some or a lot” about this story. And yet, only 50% can find the lies in that sorry string of prevarications?
Still, there are signs that this may not yet be over for Team Hillary. Opinions have begun to shift on Hillary’s health, and that may be an issue that takes more time to fully mature:
Opinions on the former secretary of State’s health have already begun to shift since last month. Today, a little more than two in 10 (22 percent) say Clinton’s health is above average or excellent, down from 29 percent from a late August national survey. Additionally, 41 percent now say it is below average or very poor, compared to only 26 percent who said that in August. A plurality, 28 percent, rank her health as average (compared with 30 percent last month). …
It is not clear how much Clinton’s health issues will impact voters when they head to the polls. Half of them said Clinton’s health will not affect their vote, while a quarter of them said it will make them less likely to vote for her.
Less than half (44 percent) of voters said Clinton’s health will negatively impact her ability to serve, including 23 percent of Democrats, 44 percent of independents, and 69 percent of Republicans.
That’s not exactly encouraging. Forty-four percent of voters think Hillary’s health will impact her ability to serve, slightly more than those who think it won’t, but only 25% are willing to consider that when voting. In part, that might be because Trump doesn’t exactly get a ringing endorsement o health issues, either. He does better than Hillary on above average/excellent rating, but only incrementally at 36/22, and the same is true about honesty in health-status disclosure at 38/29.
That gives Trump an opportunity for a checkmate on this issue with a full disclosure. The upcoming Dr. Oz show may work, but it may also look too gimmicky to work effectively. Why not just opt for a straight disclosure of all medical records?