Corey’s e-mail server report: How it will affect Hillary’s chances.
The first polls following FBI Director Comey’s decision are in. On Tuesday, July 6, FBI Director James Comey announced his long awaited conclusion to the email controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton. He announced that he would recommend to the Justice Department that Clinton should not be indicted, not even even for lesser misdemeanor charges. In explaining his position, Comey acknowledged “extremely careless” behaviors by then Secretary of State Clinton, in her use of a home server for State Department business emails, some of which contained classified information, and a some that were classified at the time she sent or received the emails.
My immediate reaction was that Comey’s statement gave some material that would serve as fodder for both sides in this extremely ugly presidential race. Hillary’s supporters would, with a big sigh of relief, focus on the bottom line of Comey’s statement, i.e., no charges will be filed against Clinton. Trump backers would jump on the “careless” part of Comey’s comments, and the finding that, indeed, Hillary did send or receive emails that were classified at the time, which was at variance with her earlier assertions. Comey’s statement did imply that it was through carelessness, including lack of computer knowledge on the part of Clinton a the time. Based on Trump’s earlier attacks on then rival Ted Cruz, constantly calling him “Lying Ted, Liar, Liar, Liar, The Biggest Liar Ever,” I fully expected something on the order of “Liar, Liar, Pants are on on Fire,” to soon pour out of his mouth. He didn’t disappoint me, sounding like a grammar school kid when he ranted so many Liar, Liar, Liar, Liar’s, the Biggest Liar Ever’s, that I lost count of the number of Liars he used–certainly many multiples of liar more than I have ever heard come from any leader, let alone one vying to represent his country to the world as its president.
The likely effect? Each of the candidate’s strong partisans would focus on the parts of Comey’s report that would reinforce their already held beliefs. The real question would be how it played with borderline partisans as well as Independent voters who have yet to make up their minds. So what does the first poll following Comey’s decision show?
Well, Rasmussen found Trump in the lead by 2 points, 42 percent to Clinton’s 40 percent. Rasmussen’s polling all took place on July 6. Regular readers will recall that I’ve previously noted a Republican bias in Rasmussen’s sampling. Because of this, their results are often outliers. Nevertheless, it is still useful to study Rasmussen’s poll by focusing on the changes from poll to poll. In this case, Rasmussen’s poll, a week earlier, had Trump leading Clinton by 5 percent. Therefore, up to the time their polling stopped, the night of Comey’s report July 6, Trump lost 3 percentage points. Reuters poll covered the days from July 2 to July 6. Thus it only had one day of polling following Comey’s report. They showed Clinton with a large 11 percent lead. This figure was unchanged from their previous poll.
It must be noted that the polls were undoubtedly influenced by other things besides the FBI Director’s findings. Trump’s support for the U.K.’s leaving the European Union resulted in an immediate dumping of the pound, which will make imports that much costlier. REIT’s are under fire as London real estate values come under pressure. Perhaps even more import in this poll is the controversy that ensued when Trump tweeted a graphic showing Hillary and a Jewish Star of David containing the word corrdup against a backdrop of hundred dollar bills. The clear meaning to many was that Hillary was controlled by Jewish-controlled Wall Street. It turned out, unsurprisingly, that the same graphic was posted ten days earlier on a clearly anti-semitic white supremacist site. Under an avalanche of criticism, Trump’s campaign changed the star on the graphic to a circle. But they continued to insist that the star could have been a sheriff’s star. Trump refused to disavow the use of the offensive graphic. Donald’s ego simply doesn’t allow him to apologize for much of anything. The final implications of the FBI Director’s report may be different than these early returns. My guess is that any slight poll changes now will pale against the often very large, but temporary, bounce in polls that the presidential nominees will get following the two upcoming party conventions. In Trump’s case, it will be influenced by how much solidarity there will be within the Republican party. In Clinton’s case, I fully expect enthusiastic support from Bernie Sanders will give Democrats a unified party to present before the nation’s large viewing audience.
Hillary’s response to the issue of the discrepancy between her former statements of sending or receiving classified e-mails is still wanting. I think it is essential that she answer these charges.I believe it is essential that she make a well conceived response. My guess is that it would focus on the difference between lying and not knowing they were classified. I would suggest that she spend some time on the difference between documents with a classified header on the top of the documents, as the manual indicates, and those that have the “C” only attached to portions of a comment that was forwarded through a chain, by people with proper clearances, on up to the Secretary. She should plead mea culpa to not having understood the details of how such documents should be read or responded to. It would help to suggest a new system of support on technical matters to incoming Secretaries, not only of State’s And it should assure voters that she, and others in positions of importance, wouldn’t and couldn’t (because of the new support systems in place) make such mistakes when she is President.