The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

50 percent think Clinton failed on Benghazi. But many of them still like her.

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Half of Americans disapprove of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's handling of the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, according to a new poll.

But however they feel about her actions, it doesn't seem to have much -- if any -- real impact on their views of her as a presidential candidate.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 50 percent disapprove of Clinton's actions regarding Benghazi, while 37 percent approve. Not good, right?

Despite this, two-thirds of Americans say Clinton is a strong leader, a majority say she's honest and trustworthy, and six in 10 say she has new ideas for the country's future.

The combination of the data shows that about one in five Americans disapprove of Clinton's actions on Benghazi but still think she's a strong leader anyway.

Indeed, Clinton's numbers are not only solid; they're as good or better than when she ran for president the last time.

In a similar WaPo-ABC poll conducted in May 2006 -- a few months before the 2008 campaign began in earnest -- 68 percent said she was a good leader and 52 percent said she was honest and trustworthy.

If Clinton were paying a significant price for Benghazi, leadership and honesty would like be the first characteristics affected. Instead, they're among her strongest attributes.

That doesn't mean Benghazi is a good thing for Clinton -- and things could, of course, change -- but it just suggests that it's not really coloring her legacy at the State Department in the minds of most Americans.