The public and the media’s focus right now is the Clinton Foundation controversy, but Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are still better than Donald Trump’s.
Trump is calling for an immediate investigation for possible conflict of interest, and he is gaining more of the Republican vote at the same time.
With ten weeks to go until the election, there is still time for Trump to catch up. Among Republicans, he has gone from 75% to 84% in the last poll by YouGov and the Economist.
Clinton, however, still has an undeniably strong lead. The latest Reuters poll has Clinton ahead by 7 points, 42% to 35%.
In the all-important swing states, Clinton is still ahead.
- Clinton has a single-digit lead in two states which are crucial for Trump: Florida and Ohio.
- She also has a small lead in North Carolina, an important state which has 15 electoral votes.
- If we look at the battleground states, there are six which clearly will go to Clinton: Democratic-leaning New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as Republican-leaning Virginia and Colorado.
- The fact that she is holding onto a strong lead in the midst of so much contention over whether or not her family’s affiliation with the Clinton Foundation is a conflict of interest is surprising.
What’s the truth behind the Clinton Foundation?
- Apparently, foreign individuals and governments made donations to the Clinton Foundation while they were working with Hillary’s State Department. A recent AP article reported that “more than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money—either personally or through companies or groups—to the Clinton Foundation.”
- CNN analysis says together Bill and Hillary received $153M in speaking fees from 2001 until the beginning of her campaign this year. $7.7M was for speeches at big banks, like Goldman Sachs and UBS. The most morally questionable though is former President Bill Clinton taking money in speaking fees from Clinton Foundation donors. According to the Washington Post, he received $26M in speaking fees from organizations that also donated to the foundation.
- The Clinton family didn’t take salaries from the foundation. According to the Clinton Foundation’s website, “President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, who serve on the Board of Directors, do not take a salary from the Clinton Foundation and receive no funding from it. Secretary Clinton did not take a salary when she served on the Board of Directors.” But, President Clinton gets a taxpayer funded office, staff, and lifetime pension since he is a former president. The National Taxpayers Union Foundation says he’s received $9.8M in the past 9 years.
Donald Trump, not one who should be casting stones about ethics, says that Hillary Clinton used the Clinton Foundation to turn her State Department into a “pay for play” operation.
He thinks the foundation should be shut down, an idea that The Huffington Post agrees with since they just ran a story about the foundation titled “Just Shut It Down” on their homepage over the weekend.
On Monday, he called for a special prosecutor to do an expedited investigation into the dealings of the foundation since the FBI and DOJ “cannot be trusted to quickly or impartially investigate Hillary Clinton’s crimes.”
Bill’s Damage Control Efforts
On Monday, Bill Clinton penned an open letter on the Clinton Foundation’s website to dispel any concern the public has, but it might be too little too late.
- The letter says that if Hillary is elected, he will stop raising money for the foundation personally and will resign from the Board of Directors.
- The foundation then will only accept donations from US citizens, permanent residents, and US-based independent foundations.
- It does not mention US corporations or their foundations as being allowed, so they won’t be beholden to corporate interests either.