It’s just one poll, on a complex legal issue, with rather convoluted wording, but the answers the Washington Post obtained on a question about whether Americans thought Hillary Clinton ought to have faced prosecution for her email practices are still rather shocking. By a 56-35 margin, Americans (the poll was of adults, not registered or likely voters) disapproved of “[FBI chief James] Comey’s recommendation that Clinton should NOT be charged with a crime.” Which presumably means they’d just as soon see Hillary Clinton in the dock as in the White House. The internals of this small poll are equally shocking: 31 percent of Democrats seem to be disappointed HRC isn’t being hauled in front of a grand jury….
Even if you treat this poll as just another measurement of Clinton’s approval/disapproval ratings, it offers a sharp contrast to the general-election trial heats showing her pretty consistently leading Donald Trump(the Post’s own most recent survey had her up by ten points). One might deduce there are a significant number of Americans who think HRC should be at risk of losing her personal freedom but still prefer her to Trump.
More generally, it’s an indicator of something we should have already realized: Hillary Clinton is not going to win the presidency based on her personal popularity, and probably won’t win if the election is a pure referendum on Barack Obama (yes, his job approval rating is now back up above 50 percent, but there’s always some “time for a change” sentiment after two White House terms).