Hillary Clinton's 11 hours of Benghazi testimony may have earned her points in the polls, according to survey results released Tuesday by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. About 72 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said they now felt satisfied with the answers former Secretary of State Clinton, the front-runner in the race, provided about the 2012 attack at a U.S. consulate in Libya that killed four Americans. This was up from 58 percent before the Oct. 22 hearing, but she still had some way to go with swing voters.
Members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi spent an entire day grilling Clinton last month about her role in and handling of the Benghazi terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2012, which occurred when a group of extremists attacked two different United States compounds there. President Barack Obama's administration -- and Clinton specifically -- were accused afterward of not doing enough to prevent the Americans' deaths and of later attempting to cover them up. The committee's investigation into the incident exposed Clinton's use of a private email server -- a scandal in its own right.
But the committee, led by Republicans and denounced by Democrats as a "partisan charade," failed to fluster Clinton. USA Today noted that during the 11-hour hearing, there was "no smoking-gun moment." Several of Clinton's reactions and responses went viral afterward. “I would imagine I’ve thought more about what happened than all of you put together. I’ve lost more sleep than all of you put together,” Clinton said at one point. “I have been racking my brain about what more could have been done or should have been done.”
The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which included views from 1,000 people between Oct. 25 and Thursday, found that nearly 80 percent of respondents said they were familiar with the hearing. The number of voters who said they were dissatisfied with Clinton's responses to Benghazi questions fell from 44 to 38 percent.
Republicans remained stubborn, with only 7 percent saying they were OK with Clinton's testimony. But satisfaction among swing voters increased from 6 to 23 percent, according to poll results. More respondents still viewed her negatively than positively.
Regardless, Clinton continued beating out her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. She had the support of 62 percent of Democrats, and he had 31.