MSNBC: Words Voters Most Associate With Hillary Clinton Are ‘Liar’, ‘Not Trustworthy,’ ‘Scandals’

• May 26, 2016 10:42 am


Voters most associate the words "liar," "not trustworthy," and "scandals" with Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, according to the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

The same poll found last month that only 19 percent of Americans believe Clinton is honest and straightforward.

MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki explained the survey findings on Thursday and how the results could spell trouble for Clinton as she fights Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) in the Democratic primary while trying to shift her attention to the general election and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Kornacki showed a word cloud that was created for Clinton from a poll question that asked, "And suppose for a moment that Hillary Clinton is elected president in November, what word or short phrase best describes how you feel when you hear the words President Hillary Clinton?"

"One of the most frequently heard things back when that question was asked [were] liar, not trustworthy," Kornacki said. "There are some other things that are negative in here, too: the scandals surrounding Benghazi or the emails. You know, sick/nauseated; this is not a good word."

The MSNBC host noted that there were some positive words, but negative words appeared largest in the word cloud, meaning they were the most common answers to the poll question.

Kornacki also described how only 19 percent of voters believe Clinton is honest and straightforward, according to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

"19 percent of voters say they consider Hillary Clinton honest and straightforward," Kornacki said. "Now look, the number is not exactly great for Donald Trump, 35 percent. Normally you’d say that’s a pretty bad number for a politician, but it’s almost twice the number Hillary Clinton faces right now … This has been a huge obstacle for her in this campaign, the honest and trustworthy question."

"And that is the risk of the email story for her, especially in light of this new report," Kornacki added.

Kornacki was referencing a new report from the State Department inspector general that says Clinton failed to comply with National Archives and Records Administration regulations governing the use of personal email accounts by senior administration officials. It also undercuts Clinton’s defense that the department knew about and allowed her to exclusively use a private email server while serving as secretary of state.

"There’s the problem for Hillary Clinton with the email issue right now. Her line for the past year has been the State Department allowed [her to use a private email server]; this has been confirmed by the State Department; they approved this," Kornacki said. "Well, this new report, this inspector general’s report from the State Department, says Hillary Clinton did not seek approval from the State Department to have her own private email server to conduct official business on and that the State Department would not have approved it if she sought it."

The report may prove troublesome for Clinton on the campaign trail as she tries to improve her honesty numbers.