By 7/16/16 3:54 PM
Supporters of rebel Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders are not following his lead in backing Hillary Rodham Clinton, detouring away from the establishment Democrat to other candidates including Donald Trump.
A new Economist/YouGov poll showed that the email scandal, and FBI Director James Comey’s charge that Clinton’s behavior was “extremely careless,” has led Sanders backers to abandon the former secretary of State.
Since Comey’s House testimony, support for Clinton has dropped 12 points, to 41 percent. For the first time, Sanders supporters now prefer either someone else or they won’t vote.
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It is the latest evidence that Clinton suffers from a trust and honesty deficit.
And some 14 percent support Trump, a number that has increased in the last month as the Sanders campaign died.
From the poll analysis:
First of all, Clinton has yet to convince those who favored Vermont Senator for the Democratic nomination that they should, as Sanders said this week, vote for Clinton in November. This group seems to have been especially affected by the tongue-lashing Clinton received from FBI Director James Comey about using a private email server while she was Secretary of State. Last week, before Comey’s statement that the FBI would not pursue criminal charges although Clinton’s behavior was “extremely careless,” a majority of Democratic primary voters who favored Sanders said they would vote for Clinton. Though that figure was low (only 53%), it was even lower in the poll conducted after Comey’s statement. This week, only 41% of Sanders voters said they would vote for Clinton, a drop of 12 points.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org