Hillary Clinton has sacrificed nearly one-third of her support among likely Democratic primary voters since news broke of her use of a private email system while at the State Department.
A Monmouth University poll of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters released Tuesday indicates that Clinton’s support among likely primary voters has declined from 60 percent to 42 percent since April, the month after the New York Times first reported that Clinton exclusively worked on a personal email account during her time in the Obama administration.
That means that almost one-third of those initially supporting Clinton for the Democratic nomination has now turned away from her. The sharpest drop off in Clinton supporters occurred over the last month, as the share of Democrats backing the former secretary of state has declined by 10 percent since August.
Meanwhile, support for competitor Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has nearly tripled since April. Currently, 20 percent of likely Democratic primary voters say they will vote for Sanders.
Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to officially announce a 2016 White House bid, has also experienced a boost, particularly over the last month. The share of Democratic voters backing Biden has grown from 12 percent in August to 22 percent in September, almost doubling.
Suspicion surrounding a potential Biden run has mounted as Clinton endures scrutiny regarding her use of private email at the State Department. The FBI began investigating the security of Clinton’s personal system after the intelligence community inspector general determined that at least two emails contained on her server hold "top secret" information that was classified at the time the messages were sent.
While Clinton has repeatedly insisted that she never sent or received information marked classified on her email, a special review recently conducted by the CIA and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency confirmed I. Charles McCullough III’s findings.
Clinton’s favorable and honesty scores have eroded amid the scandal, and majorities of Americans now view her unfavorably and rate her as not trustworthy.
Tuesday’s poll indicates that Clinton’s unfavorable rating among Democratic voters is higher than those of all of her competitors. What’s more, the share of voters in her party viewing her favorably has sunk 11 percentage points since December.