The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Why Hillary Clinton probably isn’t sweating this e-mail stuff, in three charts

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Another day, another new poll, another look at a messy, weird Republican primary.

This time, it's Quinnipiac University, which just published its fourth poll on the 2016 primaries since January 2014. By far the most interesting/amusing part of the poll is that 76 percent of respondents say that they absolutely or probably wouldn't vote for Donald Trump for president, which is the biggest boost to this reporter's patriotism since the time he shook hands with Lee Greenwood.

Tracking the results of Quinnipiac's polling over the last 15 months offers some insight into what's happening in the race, even if only indirectly. Here's how the Republicans have tracked over that time period.

You can see the big upswing for Walker since the November poll, the only really big movement besides Romney dropping off the chart entirely. (Romney didn't actually get 0 percent of support; Quinnipiac didn't even ask about him, which is understandable, since, you know, he's not running.) Jeb Bush is cruising along underneath; Rand Paul has slipped into the quicksand that is the broader pool of candidates.

But notice which response is consistently tracking well: "I don't know." While this response varies by pollster (since it depends on methodology), for Quinnipiac, it's consistently pretty high. More people don't know what they're going to do in next year's primaries than support any candidate consistently. Which is why the candidates stuck in the quicksand need not worry too much, yet.

Anyway, since we're here, let's look at the Democratic side. Spoiler alert: You had this chart spoiled a long time ago.

Notice two things. First, that Hillary Clinton could drop 20 points in the polls and still have a massive lead. Second, that Democrats are not much less likely to say they "don't know" than Republicans, but Clinton's sky-high lead dwarfs the undecided contingent.

In fact, that's perhaps the most important point here. You may have noticed that the vertical scales of the two charts we've shown have been different. If we put the Republicans on the same 0-to-80-percent scale that was used for the Democrats, it looks like this.

Is it too early to say that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee? Technically. In the same sense that it's too early to say that the New York Knicks won't make the playoffs.

Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail address that she used while secretary of state reinforces everything people don’t like about her, argues The Post’s Chris Cillizza, and is very dangerous to her presidential ambitions. (Video: The Washington Post)
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