Hillary Clinton dodged an indictment last week thanks to FBI Director James Comey's recommendation not to press charges. But the court of public opinion is far less forgiving.
In an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday, a majority of Americans, 56%, disapprove of the FBI's decision. Only 35% approve.
Voters are also anticipating trouble with Clinton in the future. For 57% of Americans polled, Clinton's use of a private email server makes them “worried” about what the presumptive Democratic Party nominee will do if she is elected president.
Despite those numbers, 58% of Americans say the outcome of the FBI's investigation makes “no difference” on the likelihood of them supporting Clinton or not at the voting booth in November.
According to the poll, Republicans disapprove of the FBI's decision and worry about what Clinton will do as president with near unanimity at nearly 90%. About 60% of Independents agree.
But the opinion of Democrats varies. About two-thirds approve of the FBI's decision not to recommend charges and think the email server issue is unrelated to how Clinton would act as president. But 30% of Democrats think she should have been charged.
Clinton's perceived untrustworthiness has long plagued her political career and the investigation into her use of a private email server as Secretary of State fed that image.
Although Clinton has long blamed Republican attacks for her trust problem, she recently credited her untrustworthiness to a surprising new cause: herself.
Speaking to a friendly crowd in Chicago the week before Comey's announcement, Clinton said:
“I personally know I have work to do on this front; a lot of people tell pollsters they don’t trust me. It is certainly true I have made mistakes. So I understand people having questions.”
“You can’t just talk someone into trusting you. You’ve got to earn it.”
Rather than trust, Clinton's actions have instead earned her one-half of the 2016 showdown featuring the two least popular presidential candidates in decades.
That's a hole only the voters will decide if Clinton can pull herself out of.