Doubts About Clinton Honesty Hurt Her In North Carolina

Posted April 5, 2008 at 1:57pm

A new poll in North Carolina, where surveys consistently show Barack Obama with a big lead over Hillary Clinton, says a key element in Obama’s success is that the state’s voters value trust over experience. The survey for the Charlotte Observer/WCNC-TV reported that only 25 percent of voters gave high marks to Clinton for trustworthiness compared to 48 percent for Obama and 54 percent for John McCain. Nearly 9 in 10 voters said trust would be a major factor in deciding how they would vote.

At the same time, a new Rasmussen Reports survey conducted April 3 says Obama’s lead over Clinton has now soared to 56 percent to 33 percent. With that gap, you probably don’t need to know the margin of error, but it is 4 percent. Rasmussen noted that one bit of bad news for Obama is that 56 percent of Clinton supporters said they would not be likely to vote for Obama in a race against McCain. The Charlotte Observer poll put that number lower, saying 20 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for McCain if Obama gets the nomination while 13 percent of Obama backers would do the same if Clinton is the nominee.

The poll was conducted as Clinton got caught up in news reports contradicting her account of once coming under sniper fire in Bosnia. The same doubts about Clinton’s honesty have surfaced in polls by Gallup and Pew Research

On the honesty issue, Rasmussen says 77 percent have followed news stories about Clinton’s misstatements about her Bosnia trip. Twenty-three percent say they are a “very important” issue while 25 percent say the issue is “somewhat important.” Sixty-three percent say that most politicians lie or embellish the truth when discussing their own accomplishments.

The state’s May 6 primary is the next big prize on the campaign trail after the April 22 vote in Pennsylvania.

The Charlotte Observer poll also found:

– Two-thirds of voters give Obama high marks for his ability to connect with voters compared to a third who give McCain and Clinton high marks.
– Three-quarters give high marks to Obama for intelligence compared to the more than the two-thirds who gave his rivals high marks.