WASHINGTON – Even as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton holds a growing lead in the presidential race among Minnesota voters, a majority of them say she has not been fully truthful about her use of private e-mail as secretary of state, a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll has found.
Statewide, 54 percent said they don’t believe she has been honest about the extent of her use of private e-mail. Even in the Democratic strongholds of Hennepin and Ramsey counties, 49 percent say she has not been truthful, compared with 41 percent who say she has. Voters in greater Minnesota and outer ring Twin Cities suburbs have less confidence in what Clinton has disclosed.
Concern about the State Department e-mails is part of a broader set of trust issues still facing Clinton in the closing days of the presidential campaign, along with recent revelations about her paid speeches and private campaign e-mails that were hacked and made public by WikiLeaks.
Yet, that concern extends only so far. Asked whether Clinton should be in jail for the private e-mail use as secretary of state, as Republican nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly said, 60 percent of those polled said his comments are inappropriate. Another 33 percent said Trump is right to press for jail.
The Minnesota Poll found that income is the most vivid dividing line on the issue of Clinton and trust.
Among those who earn more than $50,000, 62 percent said she is not being honest when it comes to her e-mails. Only 25 percent from that group said she has shared all she knows.
Among those who earned less, 48 percent said they think she is truthful on the subject and 38 percent did not.
As secretary of state, Clinton sent and received thousands of e-mails from a personal server — hundreds of which were classified. In August, FBI Director James Comey recommended no criminal charges against Clinton, but called her use of private e-mails “extremely careless.”
In the second presidential debate earlier in October, Trump said Clinton should be jailed for her use of private e-mail at the State Department. Trump said if he wins, he will appoint a special prosecutor to look into Clinton’s e-mail server usage.
Men and women took starkly different views of Trump’s comments. Among men, 41 percent said the jailing comments were appropriate, but only 26 percent of women said they feel the same way.
The Star Tribune polled 625 likely Minnesota voters between Oct. 20-22, after the third and final presidential debate.
The poll was conducted by landline and cellphones, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Clinton’s Minnesota campaign spokesman had no comment on the poll findings.
Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said the poll results are a reflection of an overwhelmingly negative and bruising campaign, causing voters to sour on both candidates.
“This campaign has been very negative all around and I think there has been a huge focus on each on what’s wrong with the other candidates and not enough on what a candidate stands for and the vision,” he said.
Andy Post, Minnesota state director for the Trump campaign, said he wasn’t surprised that most voters don’t trust Clinton and are troubled by the paid speeches.
“Every day, we see another example of how the Clintons used their offices ... for personal profit,” he said.
Statewide, 59 percent said the recent disclosures about Clinton’s paid speeches and campaign e-mails are at least somewhat damaging to her presidential bid.
Another 34 percent called the disclosures not too damaging or not at all problematic.
Clinton has faced sharp criticism from Republicans and some leaders in her own party for lucrative speeches she made between her departure from the Obama administration and the launch of her 2016 White House bid.
The degree of concern about the leaked e-mails and the speeches divides sharply along political and geographic lines.
Among DFLers, 45 percent called the recent revelations at least somewhat damaging. Among Republicans, 71 percent said the news is damaging.
Among respondents in greater Minnesota, 64 percent called the disclosures harmful, and within the Twin Cities, in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, 49 percent called it troubling.
Allison Sherry 202-662-7433