Polling Memo: Clinton ‘Clearly Unpopular’ Among Battleground State Independents

WASHINGTON – The Republican National Committee (RNC) today released the following polling summary memo from American Viewpoint, showing Hillary Clinton's clear shortcomings in voter perception of her character, trust, and decision-making.

To: Chairman Reince Priebus
From: Linda DiVall, Randall Gutermuth
Re: Independent Battleground States Survey Key Findings
Date: June 9, 2015
The following are the key findings from a survey conducted on behalf of the RNC by American Viewpoint in 10 key battleground states with Independent voters, which provide 137 electoral votes.  Interviews were conducted May 3-7, 2015, using mix-mode interviewing.  The margin of error for the entire sample, N=1500, is +/- 2.5% at the 95% confidence level.   N=600 interviews were conducted with a landline sample, N=600 interviews were conducted with a cell phone sample and N=300 interviews were conducted online in the following states:

Hillary Clinton is clearly vulnerable and already has a net unfavorable rating with these Independents.

  • Clinton’s favorable to unfavorable ratio is 44:49 and she trails the generic Republican candidate 40%-36% in these key battleground states.

Hillary Clinton’s supposed superior strength with women is a myth with these battleground state Independent women.

  • Clinton’s favorable to unfavorable ratio with these Independent women is barely a net favorable (49:43) and she only leads the generic Republican by 3-points among them. Conversely, she trails among battleground state Independent men by 11-points (45%-34%) and her favorable to unfavorable ratio is an abysmal 39:56.
  • The Party, its candidates and its surrogates need to be very careful in their tone and demeanor towards Hillary Clinton to ensure she isn’t able to turn the gender gap back in her favor.

The most significant driving factor to Hillary Clinton’s perceptual issues is a question of trust.

  • Throughout the data, this was the most unprompted hesitation voters gave and is the attribute that she scored the lowest on. This is all before an attack ad has run this cycle.
  • Messages tested dealing with her email scandal and the influence peddling of her brothers underscore her untrustworthiness, but were not in the top tier overall because this perception is already established and doesn’t move Independents as much as other issues.

Hillary Clinton’s own personal problems are only further magnified by President Obama’s poor ratings. However, this shouldn’t be a race about the incumbent President.

  • President Obama has a net unfavorable rating with these battleground Independents (45:50) and his job approval is a similar 43% approve, 52% disapprove. This is problematic for Clinton’s candidacy as her favorable to unfavorable ratio is only 21:74 among those who disapprove of the job the President is doing.

When discussing Hillary Clinton’s speeches, the focus needs to be less about her getting rich and more about how this hurts working families.

  • Making tens of millions, flying in private jets and the outrageous demands she made of those giving her six figures for speeches may work well with the base, but for swing voters in these essential battleground states, it’s more important to tie the millions taken from public universities to tuition rate increases and budget cuts.

To further drive down Hillary Clinton’s support with Independent women, her hypocrisy on equal pay can be highlighted.

  • The fact that Hillary Clinton only paid her female Senate staff 72 cents on the dollar raises real questions as to her claims of being a champion of equal pay.

The most important case to prosecute against Hillary Clinton is her mismanagement of the State Department as Secretary of State. This severely undercuts her perceived strength of resume.

  • Specifically, the most persuasive message tested in this survey states “as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the sale of a Canadian uranium mining company to a Russian state atomic energy agency. This action allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to control 20% of American uranium and poses a grave threat to U.S. national security.”

Character, trust and decision-making are all key tests voters have for a candidate running to be President and Commander-in-Chief, and this survey clearly indicates a pattern of Hillary Clinton failing all three of these. Further conveying her problems on these tenets will prove to be very problematic for her.