Benghazi Hasn't Exactly Hurt Hillary Clinton's Poll Numbers  

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 16 2013 12:14 PM

Witness the Devastating Impact the Benghazi Story Has Had on Hillary Clinton's Poll Numbers

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Hillary Clinton and Harrison Ford attend the 16th annual Conservation International dinner at The Plaza Hotel on May 15, 2013 in New York City.

Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images

Public Policy Polling has come out with some of the more trollish-yet-useful polls of the 2016 race. (By definition, any 2016 poll conducted in 2013 is trollish.) Because they always put a ballot test in the questionnaire, PPP's robots get a pretty lean, accurate measure of what people think of the candidates as candidates, not as famous people.

So. In February, they found this rating for Hillary Clinton, much softer than her usual +30 point favorable rating.

Screen shot 2013-05-16 at 11.34.29 AM

Yesterday, the robots returned with a new study of 2016. It had been a full week since documents started tarnishing her State Department's role in Benghazi spin. Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar has played the short version* of Clinton's answer to Sen. Ron Johnson—the "what difference does it make?" tape—in front of Benghazi whistleblower Gregory Hicks. Hicks basically condemned the thought on live TV.

The damage:

Screen shot 2013-05-16 at 11.34.41 AM

* Republicans typically cut off the Clinton answer to make it sound like she was wholly callous about the deaths of Americans in Benghazi. Her full answer, of course, was that "four Americans are dead," and "what difference does it make" whether that came after a protest or a planned attack. Still bad!

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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