Forty-nine percent of independent voters in 10 battleground states for the 2016 presidential election rate Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton unfavorably, according to survey results released Wednesday by the Republican National Committee.
In addition, Clinton rates only 36 percent when compared with a "generic" GOP candidate, said the survey of 1,500 adults, conducted May 3-7 by the American Viewpoint opinion-research firm. The poll has a margin of error of 2.5 percent.
"Character, trust and decision-making are all key tests voters have for a candidate running to be president and commander in chief, and this survey clearly indicates a pattern of Hillary Clinton failing all three of these," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement with the survey's release. "Further conveying her problems on these tenets will prove to be very problematic for her."
The 10 states carry a total of 137 electoral votes. They are Florida, with 29 votes; Pennsylvania, 20; Ohio, 18; North Carolina, 15; Virginia, 13; Arizona, 11; Wisconsin, 10; Colorado, 9; and Iowa and Nevada, with six each.
The RNC poll also found that:
- Clinton has a 49-43 percent favorable rating among independent women voters in those states — and only 3 points ahead of a Republican candidate.
- She has a 74-20 unfavorable rating among independents who disapprove of the job President Barack Obama is doing.
- On Obama, his rating was 52-43 percent disapprove.
Throughout the survey, respondents raised questions about Clinton's trust.
"Messages tested dealing with her email scandal and the influence peddling of her brothers underscore her untrustworthiness, but were not in the top tier overall because this perception is already established and doesn’t move Independents as much as other issues," the survey said.
And independents also told the RNC questioners that Clinton's speeches should focus less on her "getting rich and more about how this hurts working families.
"Making tens of millions, flying in private jets and the outrageous demands she made of those giving her six figures for speeches may work well with the base, but for swing voters in these essential battleground states, it’s more important to tie the millions taken from public universities to tuition rate increases and budget cuts," the survey's summary said.
Questions also were raised about Clinton's fairness to women — championing equal pay while paying female staffers 72 cents for every dollar paid to men — and regarding her mismanagement of the State Department during her four years as the nation's top diplomat, according to the survey.
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