Hillary Clinton Drops Below 50 Percent Nationally

Democratic voters name honesty most important quality in nominee

• January 26, 2016 10:37 am


Hillary Clinton has a mere 12-percentage-point edge over Bernie Sanders nationally just days before the Iowa caucuses, according to new polling out this week.

Clinton’s support among likely Democratic primary voters has dropped to 49 percent, according to a Fox News poll released Monday evening. The former secretary of state has lost 5 percentage points since voters were last polled on the same question at the beginning of January. This also represents the first time since October that Clinton has dropped below 50 percent support.

Meanwhile, 37 percent of likely primary voters want to see Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) become the nominee; 10 percent of Democrats say they remain undecided.

Generally, Clinton’s support has eroded since last June as Sanders’ has expanded. Seven months ago, Clinton was backed by 61 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, while Sanders polled at 15 percent.

The latest survey, conducted between January 18 and 21, also shows that a plurality of Democratic voters say it is most important that their nominee be honest and trustworthy, nearly one-third saying so. Clinton has struggled to convey honesty and trust to voters as she battles controversy surrounding her use of personal email at the State Department.

Polls have repeatedly shown that Clinton is viewed as not honest by a majority of American voters.

While widely believed to be the likely nominee, Clinton is struggling against her opponent in key early states, which could spell trouble for her as she makes her way through the primary. Recent polls have indicated that Sanders maintains leads over Clinton in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Clinton’s support has fallen amid new revelations about her use of personal email. According to a report last week, an intelligence review discovered several dozen classified emails on Clinton’s personal system, some of which contained intelligence from the government’s most secret "special access programs."

The FBI has been investigating Clinton’s email setup since the inspector general of the intelligence community determined last August that at least two emails contained top secret information at the time they were sent or received.

Clinton has insisted that she never sent nor received information marked classified on her personal email.