Hillary’s Numbers Improve Despite Scandals

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According to a new poll from The New York Times and CBS, Democrat voters are more entranced with Hillary Clinton than they were only a few short months ago. Despite the stories about Clinton’s email server and the deeply troubling concerns about donations to the Clinton Foundation, her numbers have improved since the poll was last taken in late March. Her favorability rating has gone up nine percentage points, indicating that the scandals have only solidified her position as the 2016 frontrunner.

The number of Americans who give Clinton high marks on leadership has also soared. Only 57 percent of respondents said she had strong leadership qualities in March; today, 65 percent of respondents feel that way. She in underwater on honesty and trustworthiness – only 48 percent of Americans would describe her as strong in those categories – but Democrats aren’t buying into the hype. Four out of five say she has plenty of both.

What can account for these numbers? Are Democrats so beholden to their party that they are willing to ignore the disturbing questions surrounding Clinton’s tenure at the State Department? Has American politics become little more than a team sport, with faithful fans sticking by their champions no matter what happens on the field? How can it be that Hillary Clinton is positioned more strongly today than before the scandals?

Perhaps it’s not fair to blame it on the voters. If they get their news from The New York Times and CBS, they aren’t getting the whole story. Though the mainstream media has covered the scandals, they have done so with a wink and a nod, never failing to remind viewers that all of this comes down to typical election-season nonsense. When voters are left to think that these are nothing more than partisan attacks, they feel justified in ignoring it. Worse, they dig their heels into the dirt, feeling they must defend their heroine against the unfair assault.

Conservatives have their own blind spots when it comes to finding fault with Republican positions, but we are far better at recognizing a problem when we see it. Jeb Bush, for instance, has been attacked more in the conservative media than he has on the liberal side of the spectrum. Is there any Democrat who has been subject to as much liberal criticism?

Some see that as a problem on the right. We’re too driven by ideology. We’re too obsessed with the search for the truest conservative. But isn’t that better than the alternative? What are the merits of blind allegiance to a political party? Is there even a single American who agrees with their party 100 percent of the time? We need more Americans willing to decide for themselves what they want out of a president, not fewer. And we need a news media willing to bring at least a modicum of objectivity to their reporting.

If Clinton’s Teflon coating remains intact, Republicans will just have to defeat her with ideas. And maybe, when it’s all said and done, that’s the way it should be.