The snowballing email scandal surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is negatively impacting her favorability numbers, pollster John Zogby said Tuesday on "America’s Forum."
"We're starting to see evidence already that it has affected her," Zogby told Newsmax TV
. "I'll have some new numbers out late tonight showing her in a crowded Democratic field polling in the mid-40s and some trouble among some target base groups.
"Will it affect her decision to run? That's anybody's guess. The Clintons are well-known for weathering any kind of storm. But I suspect she does not have as much of the charm that her husband has had and the slow and steady drip, drip, drip may ultimately severely damage a potential candidacy."
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Clinton is the presumed Democratic nominee for 2016, but even before the revelation that she used a private email server
and address for official government business — shielding her correspondence from public view — there have been a faction of Democrats who have been questioning "who [Clinton] is and what she represents," according to Zogby.
"That's always been a key problem for Hillary Clinton," he said. "But, in this case, you cannot help but conclude that the left of the party, which is very strong within the Democratic Party and within the primary system, are looking around and looking for somebody else and they're sort of bypassing Mrs. Clinton in terms of credibility."
Clinton is set to address the issue publicly Tuesday after scheduled remarks at the United Nations.
President Barack Obama’s polling numbers have so far managed to remain untouched by the email scandal, said Zogby, whose poll this week shows Obama at a 47 percent approval rating.
"I don't think that this has gotten close to the president at all," he said. "We all get emails and sometimes they come in with a person's name or a different sort of identifier. Do we pay attention to an email address that comes in?
"I'm not blindly defending Mr. Obama, but I just don't know that it's gotten any traction yet with him."
In the likely GOP field, numbers for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
are flagging a bit after a surge in the polls a few weeks ago, according to Zogby, who predicted that if Rubio can survive early primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina he will be "well poised" for the Republican nomination.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is also "very hot" at the moment, he said, while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
is not commanding front-runner numbers — he’s polling in the mid-to-high teens — despite his name recognition and heavyweight fundraising mettle.
"His biggest problem is he's the Ted Kennedy, the third brother or the third name to be out there," Zogby said. "For starters, George W. Bush's name, if not quite toxic, is still remembered and not remembered fondly — and while you've got to seize the moment and he's at a capacity to raise an awful lot of money, and he is his own person, he still has that albatross around his neck."
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