By now, most of the United States has heard something — via a news report, a Facebook post or an opining father-in-law — about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email scandal. And half of them think her decision to use a private account and server while secretary of state was illegal, according to a poll released Wednesday.
Morning Consult, a media and technology company based in Washington, found that half of the respondents interviewed over the past week thought Clinton broke the law when she sent and received emails from email@example.com despite the State Department's then-policy that "normal day-to-day operations" should be conducted on a government account. Another 22 percent said it was legal.
Clinton herself would agree with the latter contingent. Despite concerns over the security of her server and issues with public record keeping, the candidate has said she "thought it was allowed." Clinton has also insisted she used a private email account only out of convenience and didn't see or send classified emails at the time. When her email was revealed as part of the investigation into the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of emails to the government. She'd already deleted 32,000 personal emails.
The candidate told ABC News last week what she did was a mistake. "As I’ve said many times, if I could go back, I would do it differently," Clinton said. "I know people have concerns about this.”
The Morning Consult poll found that 48 percent of voters thought the continuing email controversy was "a major problem." About a fifth said it was "no problem." As expected, Democrats were the most forgiving.
Clinton's rivals haven't been so charitable, especially presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. The real estate mogul, who likes to call Clinton "Crooked Hillary," said in March he would indict her if elected president. He told CNN last year the email conduct was "terrible" and "very foolish."
Clinton has 2,312 of the 2,383 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination.
The poll included responses from 2,001 registered voters surveyed between Friday and Monday. The margin of error was plus or minus 2 percent.