Poll: Clinton Benghazi hearing eased voter concerns about email

Poll: Clinton Benghazi hearing eased voter concerns about email
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More voters say Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNo Hillary — the 'Third Way' is the wrong way The dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat MORE's email controversy won't be a factor in their 2016 vote following the former secretary of State’s appearance before a high profile congressional hearing, a new poll finds.

According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released late on Monday, 48 percent of the public now believes the presidential candidate's use of a private email server while secretary of State “is not an important factor” in determining whether or not to vote for her, compared to 44 percent just before her appearance in the House Select Committee on Benghazi. 

Meanwhile, 42 percent of the public believes Clinton's email issue is important, a 5-point dip from before the hearing.

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In all, the polling amounts to a 9-point swing in opinion about Clinton’s controversial email practices from before and after her Oct. 22 appearance before the Benghazi Committee.

The numbers have also swung slightly in Clinton’s favor with regard to the GOP-led committee, which Democrats have repeatedly castigated as a partisan witch hunt.  

Before the hearing, 44 percent of respondents said they were “not satisfied” with Clinton’s response to the 2012 terror attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead.

Afterwards, that number dropped to just 38 percent.

Additionally, 40 percent of respondents now consider the committee to be acting in an “unfair and too partisan” manner, compared to 36 percent before.

The change in attitude is slight, and results from just one poll do not confirm a broader trend.

Yet the general belief following Clinton’s 11-hour testimony to the Benghazi panel was that she emerged largely unscathed.

The new poll seems to indicate that the public, too, is turning in Clinton’s favor on the issue, following months of bruising criticism and questions about both her email setup and responsibility for the Benghazi attacks. Republicans have been under increasing pressure to defend themselves against charges that the panel is politically motivated, and the new polling will only add to that sense.

The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll was conducted from Oct. 25 to Oct. 29, and surveyed 1,000 adults. The margin of error is 3.1 percent.