AP’s Pace: Clinton’s Falling Favorability ‘Calls Into Question’ Campaign Strategy

Associated Press reporter Julie Pace said Tuesday that Hillary Clinton’s extreme drop in favorability among women "calls into question" Clinton's entire campaign strategy.

Andrea Mitchell asked Pace to explain the results of a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll that asked Democratic-leaning female voters whether they were expecting to vote for Clinton. In July, 71 percent of these women said that they were going to vote for Clinton, compared to only 42 percent in September.

Between July and September, Clinton has come under scrutiny for handling classified information on a private e-mail server. An August Quinnipiac poll reported that voters saw her as a "liar," "dishonest," and "untrustworthy."
Pace said that the drop among women is especially "troubling for the Clinton campaign," because it fundamentally undermines her campaign strategy.

"Her strategy has been to basically replicate, and in some cases, particularly with women, build on the coalition that President Obama put together. If she’s dropping with women, that really calls into question that whole strategy, which is what her data operation is built around," Pace said.

She added that Clinton is likely losing favor with women for the same reason she is losing favorability with voters generally—voters are questioning "her honesty, her trustworthiness, and her authenticity."

It took Clinton months to apologize for her e-mail scandal, saying that she made a "mistake," and "I'm sorry about that."

In a comparison to Richard Nixon, one Wall Street Journal op-ed noted Clinton's many "personality flaws," including suspicion about the media, self-righteousness about her own innocence, and a "sharp temper."

Clinton's aides told the New York Times last week that Clinton would re-orient her rhetoric to show "more humor and heart."

Full transcript below:

ANDREA MITCHELL: How do you explain the decline in Clinton’s polling, in particular, in the Washington Post-ABC poll, where she has dropped 29 points among white women in just the last eight weeks?

JULIE PACE: Yeah, that data point is the most troubling for the Clinton campaign, not just in a primary but if they are looking ahead to a general election because her strategy has been to basically replicate, and in some cases, particularly with women, build on the coalition that President Obama put together.

If she’s dropping with women, that really calls into question that whole strategy, which is what her data operation is built around. I think that women are probably seeing the same thing that voters broadly are seeing with Hillary Clinton, which is questions about her honesty, her trustworthiness, her authenticity… You saw Bernie Sanders, he’s really trying to capitalize on that as well. So I think both women and men are having both those questions.