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Poll: Not Many Americans Care About Clinton Emails

Memo Pad Politics

Poll: Not Many Americans Care About Clinton Emails


On Tuesday afternoon, Hillary Clinton will publicly answer questions about her use of personal email accounts while she served as Secretary of State. But according to one new poll, most Americans won’t be listening.

A Pew Research Center survey released Monday finds that just 17 percent of Americans are closely following the controversy over Clinton’s emails. That leaves it behind the U.S. economy, the Justice Department report on Ferguson police, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, and the King v. Burwell case before the Supreme Court in the public’s consciousness.

The Week's Top Stories

Unsurprisingly, there is a partisan split in the numbers; many more Republicans are monitoring the story than Democrats. Still, barely one-third of Republicans are following the story closely.

Partisan Differences in Interest in Clinton Emails, Netanyahu

Other polls support the notion that the Clinton controversy has not made much of an impact outside of the political media bubble. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted as the email story captured headlines found that Clinton’s numbers remain strong; voters view her favorably by a 44 to 36 percent margin, nearly unchanged from earlier this year.

Still, the story is unlikely to go away any time soon. After all, serious questions remain about Clinton’s decision to use a private email address for official business. And Republicans have proven time and time again that they won’t let public indifference force them to back off a “scandal” — especially when there’s a Clinton involved.

Photo: Mark Nozell via Flickr

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. Independent1 March 11, 2015

    Of course a vast majority of Americans (especially nonRepublicans) couldn’t care less about what’s going on with Hillary’s emails; most Americans understand that the government is really no better at protecting emails than any other organization. In fact, one doesn’t have to go back very far to remember a recent incident where the government lost a bunch of emails related to Darrel Issa’s fake IRS scandal investigation; to be made aware of that.

    And if Hillary really got pressured, she could always point back to the Bush White House which it appears may have lost as many as 22 million emails back in 2007; to prove that even the White House being run by a Republican has been inclined to not always use pure government servers for their emails.

    See this from wikipedia:

    The Bush White House email controversy surfaced in 2007 during the controversy involving the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. Congressional requests for administration documents while investigating the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys required the Bush administration to reveal that not all internal White House emails were available, because they were sent via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government. Conducting governmental business in this manner is a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act.[1] Over 5 million emails may have been lost or deleted.[2][3] Greg Palast claims to have come up with 500 of the Karl Rove lost emails, leading to damaging allegations.[4] In 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails may have been deleted.[5]

    The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called gwb43.com, owned by and hosted on an email server run by the Republican National Committee,[6] for various communications of unknown content or purpose. The domain name is an acronym standing for “George W. Bush, 43rd” President of the United States. The server came public when it was discovered that J. Scott Jennings, the White House’s deputy director of political affairs, was using a gwb43.com email address to discuss the firing of the U.S. attorney for Arkansas.[7] Communications by federal employees were also found on georgewbush.com (registered to “Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc.”[8]) and rnchq.org (registered to “Republican National Committee”[9]), but, unlike these two servers, gwb43.com has no Web server connected to it — it is used only for email.[10]

    For more:


    1. Dominick Vila March 11, 2015

      …or Nixon’s erased tapes…

      1. Independent1 March 11, 2015

        Exactly! Good morning Dominick! And I really believe that if the Republicans aren’t careful, they could in fact open up a Pandora’s Box, they will regret. Because I believe there are many more instances that supporters of Hillary could bring up demonstrating that Republican’s are more careless and actually more prone to questionable dealings; more so than they can point to against Hillary or the Dems in general. For example the lost e-mails and use of private servers in the Bush White House and the Nixon tapes you mentioned.

        Of course, having said that, I sit here stupified that the Dems haven’t yet done just that with Benghazi. For example: getting a number of Democrats onto national media sites pointing out that there were 13 Benghazi’s during the Bush Administration with not only the White House not doing anything to stop any of them or the legislators now making a ruckus out of Benghazi having done anything to investigate why there were 13 Benghazis with 70 people being killed including a diplomat while Bush was in office. (And of course the fact that there were 12 Benghzis when Bush 1 was in office with more than 60 dying then; and at least 7 plus Benghazis when Reagan was in office with more than 300 dying if we take into account the Marines who died in their sleep in Lebanon.)

        I’m dumbfounded that the Dems haven’t pounded the GOP over all their hypocrasy!!!

        1. Carolyn1520 March 11, 2015

          Maybe we haven’t pounded them because reacting to all the
          stupidity from the right gives it attention it doesn’t deserve.
          Intelligent people already know it for what it is and the rest will
          buy whatever is sold to them.
          I do agree there are important issues we need to call them out about but we should save our righteous indignation and use it sparingly. Otherwise we give things traction by doing so. Ignoring them takes much less effort and they die when the next
          weekly “scandal ” is presented. I’d rather we pound them with all the things the left has done right. Let’s talk about the economy for instance. 🙂

          1. Independent1 March 11, 2015

            I’d rather we pound them with all the things the left has done right. Let’s talk about the economy for instance. 🙂

            Problem is that the MSM rarely will publish news that is positive. For example: In an effort to counter the rights 24/7 bashing of Obamacare, many have tried to get news outlets to publish accounts of where Obamacare has actually saved lives and helped people but news outlets have refused to publish such articles.

            It’s the MSM’s perception that ‘positive news’ rarely sells papers or attracts listeners; which is why the MSM will grab at any negative news it can get it’s hands on, and run with it. Which is why with respect to ACA (Obamacare), the Dems should be focusing (harping on) how many Americans are dying prematurely, bringing examples to bear in red state after red state, because Republicans are refusing to embrace ACA or expand Medicaid.

          2. Carolyn1520 March 11, 2015

            That’s why I said we should be pounding them on important issues such as the ones you mention. Definitely the ACA!
            My only point is, if we react with the same fervor to all of their assholery, people stop listening to that too. Some of it, is not worthy of more than a comment. Others that affect the greater good , most definitely.

          3. Theodora30 March 11, 2015

            I agree that we need to watch how we communicate with average people who are not that political (swing voters – right wingers are too biased.) But we need to pressure the MSM and other Dems. The right has been pounding the MSM for years and it has had a chilling effect even though they know that a lot of the criticism is overs the top. I have heard journalists admit that it affects them even though they know it shouldn’t because a lot of their “facts” are bogus. Why else do you think they are so wedded to faux balance? They have been deeply intimidated by charges of liberal bias and would rather protect their image by ignoring right wing wrongdoing and loony behavior while holding Democrats to a much higher standard.
            There has been no such concerted effort from the Democrats and we need to speak up – but make sure we have our facts straight.

          4. Carolyn1520 March 11, 2015

            I agree with you too. The right accuses the MSM of liberal bias and we do nothing, nothing to refute the misinformation put out there daily. From the top down there’s been a void from day 1.

          5. dpaano March 27, 2015

            I agree….I said long ago that the main reason why the Republicans did so well in the midterm elections was because many of our democratic senators and nominees for office decided to back away from our president and denounce him. Had they just spoke up about all the good things he’s done….they might have done better in the elections. It’s hard for people to vote for a person who is “supposedly” a Democrat, but who does not appear to support the Democratic president!!!

          6. Independent1 March 11, 2015

            I agree completely. Progressives shouldn’t get caught up in the petty issues that the GOP seems to thrive on with their fake scandals and conspiracy theories. As I mentioned to Theodora30 a moment ago, I think Progressives need to bring out examples of bad things that are happening on some ‘big ticket issues’:

            At the moment my vote for those ‘ big ticket issues’ are:

            ACA (there’s a lot harm that the GOP is creating in millions of people’s lives because they’re refusing to promote ACA or expand Medicaid – it shouldn’t be hard to find tons of cases of how this has seriously impacted people’s lives – especially those in red states);

            Climate Change (there’s a lot of damage already being done to America by climate change which even Republicans in states run by the GOP are currently working to mitigate (like in southeastern Florida); coastline damage created by sea level rise which the majority of Americans are not aware of;

            The Economy (there are clear examples that could be published about how the damage the GOP has deliberately done to our economy by stonewalling and holding back the economy which have kept millions of red state residents on welfare and unemployment which I don’t think a large portion of Americans, especially those living in red states really understand);

            Alternative Energies (there’s a lot of damage being done in America by fossil fuel companies which can be mitigated to some extent by moving away from fossils and moving towards alternative energies which the GOP is resistive to; for example: Oklahoma has suddenly become the state with the most earth quakes in the nation because of fracking. Americans across the nation need to become more aware of the damages oil companies are creating in America).

          7. Carolyn1520 March 11, 2015

            I agree with you 100%.These are all issues that directly affect the greater good and the welfare of all of us. It’s so frustrating to see so little being said from the top down about these very issues and for the life of me I don’t know why. Frustrating is too mild a word, change that to infuriating. I write letters to elected officials and the White House several times a week beseeching them to speak out. Talk to the people, tell them what is going on in no uncertain terms point by point.

          8. Theodora30 March 11, 2015

            Personal stories. Not just statistics.

          9. Independent1 March 11, 2015

            Absolutely!! And I know there are a lot of them out there which would really focus many Americans’ attention on the damage that the GOP is doing to thousands of lives in the red states that are insistent on not promoting ACA or expanding Medicaid. I’ve seen a few of these, but they’re mostly in publications read mainly by non Republicans; so they really don’t help sway the opinions of the people whose minds we really need to change.

            To me, the hot buttons should be ACA, climate change, the economy and alternative energies. A lot is being done on climate change even by some Republicans in order to save places in America that are already being threatened by changes in nature, which are not being made widely know. And a lot of good things which are positive about the economy,which also does not get wide dissemination.

          10. dpaano March 27, 2015

            It’s unfortunate that most of the news outlets are owned by Republicans and conservatives…..it’s difficult to get anything positive on these outlets because of these people!!!

        2. Theodora30 March 11, 2015

          I guarantee you if they don that the MSM will hammer them for being defensive or using the “other people did it” argument to deflect criticism. They are already doing that to Democrats who point out Powell not only used private email, he says he had all of them deleted. That is clear cut proof of a double standard but it is used against Dems for being defensive, too aggressive, etc. The MSM same folks that admired Chris Christie for bullying reporters. They also sided with Poppy Bush when he attacked Dan Rather for daring to ask about his involvement in Iran Contra. I have been seeing this kind of thing ever since Carter (I am old) – long before Rush or Fox News. The malpractice of our MSM is a clear, ongoing threat to our democracy and we all need to wake up before we have another neocon Bush in the White House.

    2. Theodora30 March 11, 2015

      No she cannot point to that because the MSM will trash her for using the “excuse” that others did worse. I have already seen her trashed for pointing out that Powell used private emails. Her people can’t do that either which is why it is up to all of us to get this information out – letters to editors and to the MSM, posts on sites like this, etc. If Democrats do not wake up to the MSM’s complicity – witting or not – with the MSM we are likely to get yet another Bush in the Whitehouse because the media has always given the Bush family a pass. They even allowed Poppy to get away with lying about his deeded involvement in the unconstitutional Contra op and pardoning Weberger which prevented the hard evidence of his complicity to come out at trial.

      We need to stop trusting what the MSM says about Democrats. Their selling of Cheney’s WMD lies should have put stop to our gullibility but sadly it seems not. Our democracy cannot function until the public gets reliable information about substantive issues.

      1. Independent1 March 11, 2015

        You make some good points!! But I think in this case, there were no set rules established with regard to – you have to maintain your emails on a government server. The American public needs to be more aware of that – Hillary was violating no rules!!

        This can be seen by the fact that no SOS prior to John Kerry had ever seen it necessary to establish such a rule. And I’m not aware that there have been State Department email related problems that anyone can point to which justify that rule even now. And as I’ve pointed out, the government has no better of a record of maintaining email integrity than the private sector has. And prior to John Kerry establishing that rule in the State Department, it was at the discretion of the SOS, so the GOP turning this into just one more fake scandal, needs to be made more public. Somewhere along the line, the American public needs to wake up and realize that the GOP is nothing more than a corrupt organization of borderline criminals who will do anything to cover up their ongoing nefarious activities – stealing as much money from the taxpayers as they possibly can, any way they possibly can.

        1. Theodora30 March 11, 2015

          While I agree with everything you said my point is the the mainstream media is a huge part of the problem. They are well aware of the tactics of the right yet they continue to aid and abet. Without media outlets like the NY Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, NBC ( Cheney’s notes that came out in the Plame case made it crystal clear that they used the still highly respected Tim Russert to get their WMD lies out to the general public), ABC, CBS (though Bob Simon did get the WMD story right now the CBS News President is David Rhodes – the ex VP of News at Fox. Bet most of you had no idea about that.)
          We need to wake up and start holding the MSM’s feet to the fire. I am a regular reader of NY Times but after there role in this I am boycotting them. I will only read Krugman’s blog since he actually is wedded to the truth. If enough people did the same – and let the Times know – you can bet they would notice because it would cost them advertising $$.

          1. Independent1 March 11, 2015

            I agree completely. Somehow we need to wake up some progressives that are more involved in the actual mechanics of the progressive movement to realize that and start holding MSM outlets’ feet to the fire. People maybe highly involved with trying to promote Elizabeth Warren’s, Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary’s campaigns for the 2016 presidency??? Unfortunately, I live on an island almost as far east in America as you can get and don’t have many folks here I can influence aside from signing a lot of petitions and blogging here on the NM.

  2. Dominick Vila March 11, 2015

    The reason most Americans are not too concerned about Hillary’s e-mails is based, in part, because many among us have not even heard of it, those who have don’t understand what the big deal is because they use personal e-mail accounts every day, many have not considered the implications of a senior government official using unsecured mediums to communicate with subordinates and fellow government officials, and because the GOP has not yet engaged in a full blown attack to turn this issue into the ultimate manifestation of recklessness. The moment Hillary announces her candidacy, if she does, this issue will dominate the airwaves for months. The focus will be on the logic of voting for a person who lacks the judgment to use established resources to guarantee the preservation of national security, and the impact of voting for someone who cannot be trusted. Judging by how people have reacted on other recent “scandals”, the opinion of most Americans is likely to change when the GOP big guns are aimed straight at Hillary. Thus far, they just fired a warning shot across the bow. If she persists and runs, all Hell is going to break lose. The fact that there is no evidence of secret or top secret messages being sent via Hillary’s personal e-mail account, and that our national security was not compromised in any way, means nothing to the Grand Ayatollahs of make believe. I wonder what would have happened to Hillary if she had sent an e-mail to the real Ayatollahs and Mullahs telling them, essentially, that the U.S. should not be trusted? Then again, the letter to members of radical Islam was sent via official conduits, which make it all fine in the eyes of a Republican.

    1. Independent1 March 11, 2015

      And with regard to that letter sent by those 47 Senators, not only has the neoconservative newspaper the NY Daily News called them traitors, there is actually a petition on the White House website encouraging the Obama Administration to press charges against those 47 for violating the Logan Act.

      As has been pointed out, it’s not likely that charges against them would stick, but just like with Benghazi, the Obama Administration should make a spectacle out of these 47 senators to all the country – to show just how reckless they’ve been in trying to sabotage the negotiations with Iran to reduce their nuclear capabilities.

      Here’s a link to that White House website for any NM posters who would like to sign the petition; there are already over 135,000 signers.

      File charges against the 47 U.S. Senators in violation of The Logan Act in attempting to undermine a nuclear agreement.


      1. Dominick Vila March 11, 2015

        For better or worse, President Obama is not a vindictive person, and he is not the type that will spend weeks in witch hunts or pay backs. He is a very calm, focused, and pragmatic individual, and even though things like this are likely to upset him, he is very unlikely to go after those who do not deserve to be in the United States Senate.

        1. 1standlastword March 11, 2015

          More GOP footprints on his face…no good…to appeasing…Bullies with their intent and level of power and influence need to be taken down!!!!!

        2. Independent1 March 13, 2015

          Yes, and in many cases that’s good; but there comes a time when spectacles need to be made of those who are clearly flaunting every principle that our country was founded on. The GOP has gotten to the point that it’s really working hard to destroy our democracy. And the sad part is, a huge portion of our electorate and even all Americans, are so caught up with seeking entertainment and just trying to survive that they’re oblivious to what the GOP is doing.

          The Justice Department charging these 47 with flaunting our Constitution in a court where a lot of what the GOP is doing could be published to the nation in hopefully a media circus at least as extensive as the GOP has done with Benghazi, may well be what this nation needs to wake them up to the the reality that the GOP is now nothing more than a political party that’s turned into nothing but Fascists.

          And note that the We the People petition that had 165,000 or so signers 2 days ago now has over a 1/4 million at 267,000 plus. It’s clear that many Americans are fed up and Obama needs to for one time, get by being a nice guy; because his not being a nice guy is really needed to at least try at saving our country.

      2. Dominick Vila March 11, 2015

        For better or worse, President Obama is not a vindictive person, and he is not the type that will spend weeks in witch hunts or pay backs. He is a very calm, focused, and pragmatic individual, and even though things like this are likely to upset him, he is very unlikely to go after those who do not deserve to be in the United States Senate.

      3. Mikey7a March 12, 2015

        Thanks Indy1. I signed, and post the link on my Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Sedition at best, Treason at the worst, and I truly feel like this was a criminal act, perpetrated by the RWNJ Senate Majority. There should be repercussions, but sadly, I doubt anything will come of it.

    2. Theodora30 March 11, 2015

      If the media really cared about the public’s right to know they would be in an uproar about Colin Powell’s revelation on Sunday that he not only exclusively used private email when Sec of State he has not responded to the request that they be turned over because they have all been erased!

      What we need to understand that no matter who the Democratic nominee is the right will do anything to smear him or her and the MSM will at best stand by rather than vigorously debunking the lies then blame the candidate for looking defensive if they fight back or being hapless and passive if they ignore attacks like they did with the “Truthers” who attacked Kerry for being a war hero. Or they will actively join in like they did with the lie that Gore was a serial exaggerator who had claimed to have invented the Internet. Rove was right that Republicans create their own reality but they would not be able to without the complicity of the mainstream media.


      1. Dominick Vila March 11, 2015

        Most importantly, if the so-called liberal media was, indeed, as liberal as some think the headlines today would have been about the letter that U.S. Senators wrote to radical Islamic clerics assuring them that an agreement with a President of the United States is meaningless because they have the authority to over turn it. Instead, the focus is on e-mail-gate.
        Has anyone seen pictures of Republicans using their cell phones and BlackBerries? Has anyone questioned them about such use? I am convinced that Hillary made a horrible mistake communicating via a personal e-mail account, and using the private Clinton server, and that her candidacy is now very much in question. However, she did not break any laws, inasmuch as our antiquated security laws don’t address cell phones, e-mails, private servers, or BlackBerries, if nothing else because most of the applicable laws were written in the days of manual typewriters and carbon paper, and black berries were a little fruit we purchased at grocery stores. The only problem for Hillary, when it comes to violations, is that she ignored a directive issued by President Obama instructing his subordinates to use government facilities and resources to guarantee transparency. If what we know today is correct, she ignored that directive, did as she pleased. and does not seem to be too concerned about what she did.

  3. FT66 March 11, 2015

    We don’t care at all about Hillary’s e-mails. Why should we? What are e-mails going to do in changing peoples lives for betterness? Do we evaluate a person’s past performance depending how she/he treated the e-mails? Is there any ticking Box that people must go through in choosing the President? If republicans don’t trust her, well and good, BUT we democrats do. After all republicans are not going to cast a single vote for her. Republicans should leave everything in the hands of voters. Voters have the whole POWER to decide what is right/wrong and not republicans deciding for us.

  4. Carolyn1520 March 11, 2015

    Much ado about nothing. It is encouraging to know there are republicans who seem to understand this is yet just another contrived scandal.

  5. 1standlastword March 11, 2015

    I think the emails are important but not for the same reasons as the republicans but simply because they are property of the American people.

    It’s too bad she cross contaminated her personal business with the business of the State: and the stealth (a personal server) doesn’t help her it just distracts from what is a strong position

    As for the GOP, if republicans can front run a man who withheld the majority of his tax returns this witch hunt of Clinton is unproductive and self-defeating from a National election perspective.

    I think they would do well to focus on building an agenda of goals and objectives that they can run on. But it’s hard to even IMAGINE what that would be since all they’ve done for almost 8 years is generate misery and strife: Constantly fanning the flames of conflict!!!

    They haven’t governed since Bush!

    Gerrymandering, voter suppression, Cock money, slander, fear and terror won’t sway 80% of Americans come 2016!

    And I know we are all just plain tired of it!!!!!

  6. doug b March 13, 2015

    Too bad these LUNKHEADED Republicans can’t expend the same energy on RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT CORRECTLY.

  7. LCR78 March 13, 2015

    Much as the news media wants a story here, the American public just does not care about emails. Email, in general, isn’t very interesting. Why didn’t the State Department IT office require the Secretary to use their email system? Just about every other governmental organization sees to require it and its not that hard to lock down a cell phone or laptop so that only a department’s email system can to be used, especially if the state department is providing the hardware to her. Remember, when Obama wanted to use his own cell phone when he became President and wasn’t allowed to?


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