Why Hillary’s Emails Don’t Matter
October 16, 2015
Bernie Sanders did the unexpected in the first Democratic Presidential debate. He agreed with his opponent Hillary Clinton saying that he and the American public are sick of hearing about her “damn email”. The very democratic live audience loved the moment- Hillary off the hook; Bernie showing his expected reasonable, thoughtful self.
However, the next day, Phillip Bump of the Washington Post’s, “The Fix” argued that Bernie’s reassurance didn’t tell the whole story. In fact, polls show that Republicans are not at all tired of the email story and are certain that Hillary did something wrong. Independents are split in their degree of interest with the story.
Fine! But, the real point of the email interest question is whether it is likely to be a factor in preventing Hillary from winning the Presidency in 2016. The percentage of Republicans who find her handling of the email worrisome would only matter if we did not have an electoral college system – if each person’s vote counted and if there were more Republicans and Independents (with the negative view) who voted. Republicans in the deep red states may not be tired of the email story, but their concerns will not likely influence the election.
We have no evidence, however, that Obama’s 2012 coalition of voters has changed; most analysts find the Democrats have an advantage in the 2016 Electoral College. The states that are likely to vote Democratic will not change their vote because of Hillary’s email and the “battleground states” have a Democratic lean to them (see Table). Because of the Democratic advantage in the Electoral College and disinterest in the email story, it is difficult to see how Hillary’s emails will sink her election bid in 2016.