Quinnipiac: Swing-state voters don't trust Hillary Clinton

Earlier this year, I wrote that Hillary Clinton’s favorability dropped into negative numbers during almost every campaign in which she has taken part. Now it appears the campaign doesn’t have to be officially under way for the trend to emerge. A new Quinnipiac poll puts Hillary Clinton into a dead-heat head-to-head matchup in three key swing states against Rand Paul, but more importantly, shows that voters no longer consider her “honest and trustworthy”:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lead is wilting against leading Republican presidential candidates in three critical swing states, Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, and she finds herself in a close race with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in each state, according to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released today. In head-to-head matchups, every Republican candidate effectively ties her in Colorado and almost all Republicans effectively tie her in Iowa.

Secretary Clinton has lost ground in almost every matchup in Colorado and Iowa since a February 18 Swing State Poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University. The Swing State Poll focuses on key states in the presidential election.

One bright spot for Clinton is Virginia, the largest of the three states, where she leads all Republicans, including 47 – 40 percent over Bush, compared to a 42 – 42 percent tie in February.

Voters in each state say Clinton is not honest and trustworthy. Her overall favorability has dropped significantly in Colorado and Iowa, while Virginia is unchanged. Favorability ratings for the Republicans are lackluster, at best.

Ignore the head-to-head matchups. Paul’s recent jump into the race will have provided a momentary boost in name recognition, but Hillary will do better with that dynamic until the debates start. Until then, the polls will really only test name recognition rather than true brand loyalty.

The more significant finding here are voter impressions of Hillary’s qualities. In all three states, her honesty/trustworthy numbers are now underwater — by double digits in Colorado (38/56) and Virginia (40/52), two states Democrats cannot afford to lose in 2016. She’s only above water on favorability in Virginia (+3), and in Colorado Hillary’s at -10. She still gets positive marks on leadership and her tenure at State, but no one has challenged her directly on either yet, and may not for another 17 months unless Democrats put together a competitive primary.

The e-mail scandal has taken a toll, but not yet a decisive one. Each state splits about 50/50 on the importance of the issue, but wide majorities in each state think Hillary has not yet supplied satisfactory answers. Voters in all three states support a Congressional investigation of the e-mail scandal, by majorities in Colorado and Virginia, although majorities in all three states say that such a probe would be politically motivated rather than justified — an indication that Quinnipiac may have asked either or both questions poorly.

Jim Geraghty writes that “everybody who insisted “voters do not give a [hoot]” about the e-mail story are invited to enjoy a big glass of shut the heck up,” but it’s not yet a consensus on just how damaging it should be, either. Interestingly, Quinnipiac didn’t ask about the Clinton Foundation scandal, which is still percolating today, albeit in a different context:

The Clinton Foundation is accepting a major donation from a Moroccan government-owned company to hold a high-profile conference next month in Marrakech with the king of Morocco — an event likely to reignite concerns about the foundation’s acceptance of foreign money just as Hillary Clinton prepares to announce her presidential candidacy.

Clinton had been scheduled to appear at the meeting in Marrakech, dubbed the Clinton Global Initiative Middle East and Africa Meeting, on May 5-7. But an official with the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation told POLITICO it’s “unlikely” the former secretary of state will join her husband, Bill. He is still expected at the event, as is Moroccan King Mohammed VI. …

When Hillary Clinton announced the Marrakech meeting in September, she praised Morocco as “a vital hub for economic and cultural exchange” in a region “in the midst of dramatic changes.”

But in 2011, Clinton’s State Department had accused the Moroccan government of “arbitrary arrests and corruption in all branches of government.” And while the country that same year enacted a new constitution that guarantees gender equality, women’s rights advocates say Morocco’s family law still falls short of that promise.

Plus, be sure to read Noah’s last post on what looks like a quid pro quo involving Colombia, and the campaign trail begins to look pretty bleak for Hillary. One could say that this is less of an issue with Hillary out of government now, but she’s vying for the top job. Why is she accepting cash from foreign governments while preparing a run for the presidency? Has there been any other precedent for that? It reminds us that her family foundation took cash in a similar way while she represented the US as its top diplomat, a scandal which might be worse than clintonemail.com, or connected to it. It’s curious that the media has not been terribly interested in that aspect of Clintonland, and that pollsters have so far steered clear of it.