Clinton's Third Debate Performance Did Not Help Her

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Dec 22, 2015 5:15 PM
Clinton's Third Debate Performance Did Not Help Her

Hillary Clinton’s third Democratic debate performance did her no favors in the 2016 race to the White House, according to recent polling. While Clinton is still comfortably in front of her two opponents, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, Rasmussen Reports reveals her competitors are gaining ground in the wake of Saturday’s debate.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey - taken on the two nights after the debate - finds that 46% of Likely Democratic Voters would vote for Clinton if the Democratic presidential primary were held in their state today. Thirty percent (30%) would opt for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, while seven percent (7%) prefer former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. Nine percent (9%) like some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

Following the two previous debates, Rasmussen recalls, Clinton held 50 percent of the public’s support.

One factor that may explain Clinton’s loss of support was the naiveté she displayed when describing the threat of ISIS. The U.S. is “where we need to be” in the fight against this terror group, she claimed. Critics scoffed at the former secretary of state’s insensitive assumption that came in the aftermath of Paris and San Bernardino. She dug an even deeper hole when she accused Donald Trump of being ISIS’ “best recruiter” because terrorists were supposedly using videos of his controversial comments about Muslims to lure people into their organization. So far, no such videos have been found, but, embarrassingly for her, propaganda featuring President Obama and her husband have.

Clinton’s road to the nomination has been a bit bumpier than expected. She has had trouble, for instance, winning over younger voters. In November, a McClatchy-Marist poll concluded that voters aged 18-29 prefer Sanders by a margin of 58-35 percent. Independent voters, according to Rasmussen, prefer him by a margin of 53 percent to 33 percent.

One issue that transcends age or demographic is integrity. Clinton doesn’t seem to have that either. Fifty-nine percent say she has trouble with honesty.

Clinton has reason to be nervous about the fourth debate.