A veteran Republican pollster tested some of Hillary Clinton’s statements about her honesty on a focus group, and the results weren’t pretty.
On CBS News on Monday, Frank Luntz showed voters video clips of the Democratic nominee, and Democrats actually reacted more negatively than Republicans in seeing Clinton attempt to defend her honesty.
In the first clip, Clinton tells CBS that she has always “tried” to tell the truth.
A chart on-screen that measured voters’ reactions showed the green line, for Democrats, plunging even farther than Republicans’ when Clinton insisted that she doesn’t believe she’s ever lied.
Luntz said it was the “one of the worst responses on the campaign trail” he’d ever seen.
“That was one of the worst responses on the campaign trail I have ever seen, not just in this election,” Luntz said. “You don’t try to tell the truth, either you do or you don’t. … The more that she said, the lower the line went, not just for Republicans but for Democrats as well.”
Clinton’s negativity ratings, like that of her rival, Donald Trump, are high. The perception of her as a dishonest politician has stuck with voters throughout this election.
“It’s an issue of integrity,” Luntz said. “And that response indicates that she doesn’t have the integrity, which is one of the reasons why her negatives are higher than her positives.”
Luntz also showed a clip of Clinton discussing her infamous exaggeration about her 1996 visit to Bosnia. She said years after the trip that she landed under “sniper fire,” which was later disputed.
“There’s a simple rule in politics, which is … don’t exaggerate, and assume that the reporter who’s covering you has been covering you for months or years and was actually there to see it. I think that if Hillary Clinton loses, she will lose because of the issue of integrity, the perception that she is dishonest.”
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