If Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton though she was bringing out her campaign’s “not-so-secret weapon” when her husband former President Bill Clinton hit the campaign trail for her full time earlier this month she was wrong. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll released Saturday morning, Jan. 16, 2016 shows that Bill’s presence on the campaign neither helps nor hurts Hillary’s campaign. The poll also shows that neither does the former president’s presence hurt Hillary’s campaign, despite GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s constant attacks on Clinton’s past sex scandals.
The new Reuters poll claims that 56 percent of voters say that Bill’s campaigning will not affect their support Hillary in the campaign. A minority of Americans say that will affect their support for Hillary’s campaign, 12 percent say they will support her more while 15 percent are “less likely” to support her because of the former president.
There is a bipartisan consensus on Bill Clinton not mattering in the campaign, with “73 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans” saying the former president would not “factor into their opinion of Hillary for president.” For the most part, Clinton’s past sex scandals are not making a difference to the campaign according to Democrats 68 percent but have been more for Republicans with only 50 percent saying it will make a difference.
More women, however, find the former president a problem that might hinder Hillary’s chances of winning although they are still a minority with only 21 percent feeling that way. A majority 56 percent do not think it will hinder her campaign.
As Reuters points out, “Bill Clinton simply is not wielding that kind of influence – good or bad – over voters so far this year.” American voters seem to have no interest in the former president either way. Many young millennial voters do not even remember Clinton’s presidency or the circus his sex scandals, particularly with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky brought to the White House that led to his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998.
Although the poll does not discuss this, Clinton’s own scandals with her private email server as Secretary of State, and the popularity rise of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have had a greater effect on her campaign and her shrinking poll numbers particularly in the early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Additionally, Hillary is not resonating with millennials with most them supporting Sanders.
Trump’s has been attacking former President Clinton’s sex scandals since the end of December in response to Hillary accusing him of having a “penchant for sexism.” Trump began with vague attacks that have become a full frontal assault on Bill’s misconduct as president and towards women, and Hillary’s hypocrisy in her unwavering support of her husband and on women’s issues. Recently, Trump called the former president “one of the world’s great abusers of the world” He also ramped up his accusations against Hillary blaming her partially for her husband’s sex scandals, “I think that Hillary is an enabler.”
Although fellow Republican candidates New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina agreed Bill Clinton’s sex scandals are fair game, but they did not think attacking the former president on that front was the strategy the GOP should use against Hillary Clinton. Even Hillary’s Democratic opponent Sanders condemned Bill’s behavior, but said, “Look, Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton. But what Bill Clinton did was totally, totally, totally disgraceful and unacceptable. But I am running against Hillary Clinton, not Bill Clinton.”