WASHINGTON - There's an old, common sense saying about never putting your eggs in one basket.Yet that's what Democrats have done by overwhelmingly bowing to Hillary Clinton's vaunted ambition to be the next president of the United States.
But the polls of the last few weeks suggest that Clinton's coronation campaign, with all of the trappings of pomp and power that preceded it, is coming apart at the seams.
The former secretary of State's precipitous decline was first noticed in March in a national CNN poll that found her unfavorable numbers were rising, and perceptions of her as honest and trustworthy were falling.
Her slide in the polls began with disclosures that her use of a personal and secret email system throughout her four years at State, and her decision to delete every email she deemed of no interest to anyone, especially to any future investigations.
Overall, 51 percent of those surveyed said her actions raised very to somewhat troubling issues in their minds, and the same percentage said she did something wrong, while 47 percent said she did not.
As the email scandal drew increasing attention to her obsessive secrecy, public doubts about her character and candidacy grew. And her poll numbers began to fall.
By April 2, a Washington Post-ABC News survey found her numbers were "continuing their steady erosion" -- with her favorable rating dropping to "a pedestrian 49 percent, compared to 46 percent unfavorable."
It was the first time Clinton's favorability rating had fallen below 50 percent since April 2008, "when she conceded the Democratic nomination for president to Barack Obama," the Post said.
Then came this month's explosive disclosures that the Clintons' vast, $2 billion global charitable foundation raised huge sums of money from rich foreign governments, some with business deals requiring State Department approval on her watch.
That has sent her character ratings into a nose dive, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll.
"American voters say 54 - 38 percent that Clinton is not honest and trustworthy," a lower score than any of the top Republicans seeking their party's 2016 nomination.
The same poll found that the voters were split 47 to 47 percent about whether "she cares about their needs and problems." And by a 53 to 43 percent ratio, they support a Congressional investigation into her private email use for official business while at the State Department.
"Yes, she is a leader, but can she be trusted? Mixed reviews for Hillary Clinton on key character traits," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.
When details of Peter Schweizer's book, "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich," leaked out to the press, the Clinton family foundation and Hillary Clinton's campaign attacked its findings as little more than a partisan hack job.
But their strategy failed on every count because of the richly-detailed research in the book, and the fact that the story was embraced by the liberal news media, including The New York Times and the Washington Post -- under an unusual agreement with the book's New York publisher HarperCollins.
One of the biggest revelations that was pursued by the newspapers and other media powerhouses dealt with several business tycoons in the Canadian mining industry who have been major donors to the Clinton's foundation.
"Members of that group built, financed and eventually sold off to the Russians a company that would become known as Uranium One," the New York Times reported last week.
"Beyond mines in Kazakhstan that are among the most lucrative in the world, the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States," the Times said.
The headline that ran in the Pravda website, the official mouthpiece of the Kremlin, touted the sale as "Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers the World."
Because of the sale's implications for national security, it had to be given the green light by several government agencies, including the State Department headed by Mrs. Clinton.
Between 2009 and 2013, Canadian records show that the Clinton Foundation benefited from four donations that totaled $2.35 million from Uranium One's chairman, the Times reported.
But those contributions "were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors," the Times noted.
Soon after Russia was about to obtain a majority stake in Uranium One, Hillary's husband, Bill Clinton, "received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian bank with ties to the Kremlin that promoted the uranium stock deal.
These and other tawdry disclosures that were reported in Schweizer's forthcoming book have led to a reaction that Hillary Clinton has never had to deal with before: her friends in the liberal media criticizing her shady ethics.
In her op-ed column in the Washington Post, headlined "Sloppiness and greed -- Hillary Clinton's clash of money and ethics," Ruth Marcus said this:
"You don't have to be a political strategist to lament that the Clintonian approach to ethics seems always to err in favor of taking the check."
The Times said Mrs. Clinton has some explaining to do, "because this problem is not going away."
It certainly isn't. There's another shoe to drop and it's Peter Schweizer's scandal-filled book that's due out soon. If the public thinks Hillary's polls are tumbling now, wait 'til they read the rest of this sordid tale about a couple for whom ethics is a dirty word.