Hillary Clinton could not say on Sunday why Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) is twice as popular than she is with young voters.
"Thiry second follow up. Why is Senator Sanders beating you two-to-one among younger voters?" NBC anchor Lester Holt said at the Democratic debate in South Carolina.
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Clinton said that she respected her running mate and hoped to win everybody’s votes, without quite addressing Holt’s question directly.
"I, I,—look. I have the greatest respect for Senator Sanders and for his supporters, and I’m going to keep working as hard as I can to reach as many people of all ages about what I will do, what the experience and the ideas that I have, that I will bring to the White House, and I hope to have their support when I’m the Democratic nominee," Clinton said.
Clinton has suffered a decline in poll numbers in recent weeks, dropping seven points in Iowa between December and January, while Sanders’s poll numbers have improved. Some attribute Sanders’s popularity in Iowa and with younger voters to his authenticity.
By contrast, Clinton is not seen as honest and trustworthy by a majority of voters. She has worked to close this trust deficit by downplaying her legal woes and convincing voters that she understands and shares their concerns.
"I mean, look, I am a real person with all the pluses and minuses that go along with being that," Clinton said in a September interview.
To pad her popularity with millennial voters, Clinton has campaigned alongside Girls actress and abortion activist Lena Dunham. Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, has hosted fundraisers for her campaign at SoulCycle.