It's obvious that Michigan voters valued honesty on Tuesday, especially since Governor Rick Snyder might have known about Flint's water crisis back in 2014. Because most Americans trust him, Bernie Sanders is now only 7 points behind Clinton nationally, and his stunning upset victory in Michigan will lessen the gap in future polls. In terms of why Sanders has been able to cut into what was once a 50-point lead, the underlying polling data associated with honesty and trustworthiness is a fundamental reason. In an election year where establishment candidates are shunned by voters, trustworthiness is a key attribute needed to win.
According to a recent YouGov poll, "Bernie Sanders is the most widely trusted presidential candidate of either party."
In this YouGov poll, 56% of voters find Hillary Clinton "not honest and trustworthy."
Surprisingly, 52% of voters find Donald Trump "not honest and trustworthy." Yes, more Americans in this poll find the xenophobic and polarizing Republican to be more trustworthy than the former Secretary of State.
Moving on to a recent Quinnipiac poll, 68% of voters found Bernie Sanders "honest and trustworthy."
Again, in this poll, Trump ranks higher than Clinton, with 59% of voters finding Trump "not honest and trustworthy."
Even on the economy, voters place more trust in Trump than Clinton; an ominous sign for Democrats if Clinton becomes the nominee. According to Rasmussen in December, "A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that Likely U.S. Voters by a 50% to 38% margin trust Trump more than Clinton to handle the economy and job creation."
Even Donald Trump is viewed as more trustworthy than Clinton, which is one reason Michigan chose Bernie Sanders, despite Clinton's 99% chance of winning according to Nate Silver.
In terms of Bernie and Hillary, only one Democrat is seen as trustworthy by American voters. UC Berkeley Professor Jerome Karabel explains the enormous difference in perception between both candidates in a Huffington Post piece titled Is Hillary Clinton More Electable Than Bernie Sanders?:
Beneath Secretary Clinton's problematic favorability ratings lies a deep reservoir of public mistrust. When prospective voters are asked whether or not she is "honest and trustworthy," their response is sobering; her rating on this dimension is a net negative 24 points, with 60 percent answering no and 36 percent answering yes. The contrast with Senator Sanders is striking in that it is precisely the opposite: anet positive of 24 percent, with 55 percent responding yes and 24 percent no...
Just 32 percent of Independents polled by Quinnipiac last month have favorable views of her, compared to 59 percent who have unfavorable views (net negative of 27); interestingly, Independents view Sanders much more positively, with 39 percent favorable and 29 percent unfavorable (net positive of 10).
Generally, swing states have a higher number of independent voters, and Bernie Sanders has a great advantage over Clinton in terms of trustworthiness; among independents and American voters in aggregate.
So why do Americans distrust Hillary Clinton?
One answer is that Clinton can't even say she's been honest in the past. A CBS News interview with Scott Pelley speaks volumes, in terms of how Clinton views her own ability to remain honest with voters:
PELLEY: You know, in '76, Jimmy Carter famously said, "I will not lie to you."
CLINTON: Well, I have to tell you I have tried in every way I know how literally from my years as a young lawyer all the way through my time as secretary of state to level with the American people.
PELLEY: You talk about leveling with the American people. Have you always told the truth?
CLINTON: I've always tried to. Always. Always.
PELLEY: Some people are gonna call that wiggle room that you just gave yourself.
CLINTON: Well, no, I've always tried -
PELLEY:I mean, Jimmy Carter said, "I will never lie to you."
CLINTON:Well, but, you know, you're asking me to say, "Have I ever?" I don't believe I ever have. I don't believe I ever have. I don't believe I ever will. I'm gonna do the best I can to level with the American people.
In a version of semantic jujitsu, Clinton answers a simple question about honesty with "I've always tried to" tell the truth.
Another reason people distrust Clinton, among many, can be linked to a POLITICO article titled Go to Hell... Hillary Clinton had something to say to the media about her email. It wasn't too subtle:
No, Clinton said, she did not violate the law or rules when, for reasons of "convenience," she used a private email account in her years as the nation's top diplomat.
No, she said, this matter does not need to be turned over to some outsider who can examine the Clinton family's private email server and independently assess her assertion that she has already given to the State Department any correspondence that might conceivably be of public interest.
Go to hell is not typically a sentiment expressed by politicians on the brink of a presidential campaign...
It was against this context that Hillary Clinton on Tuesday sought both to project nondefensiveness-- Sure, I'm happy to answer some questions--and draw some unmistakable lines-- I don't give a damn if you don't like my answers.
While Clinton has stated she only used a private server for convenience, I ask if anyone knows why she needed the server in the following YouTube segment. The FBI is currently investigating the motive behind using a private server, and most likely, Bryan Pagliano has a unique understanding of the entire situation.
Since we know it wasn't convenience, I offer a challenge to Hillary supporters in this YouTube segment, especially the numerous writers out there who dislike my political viewpoints in 2016.
Do you know why Clinton was the only Secretary of State never to use a State.gov email address and the only Secretary of State to use a private server exclusively?
Again, I ask a simple question in this YouTube segment.
Finally, with Flint's water supply leading to 87 cases of severe health issues, including 10 fatalities (as well as children suffering health effects) Hillary Clinton's ties to fracking is another reason Bernie won Michigan. A Greenpeace report titled Hillary Clinton's Connection to the Oil and Gas Industry highlights the disconnect between Clinton's words and actions:
Fracking company and gas industry trade association lobbyists have also contributed to Clinton's campaign...
Another donor is Elizabeth Gore, a lobbyist for WPX energy (fracking). A lobbyist for FTI Consulting, creator of an industry front group called Energy In Depth, also contributed to Clinton's campaign.
Although Clinton has said she would require FERC to consider climate change before granting any new gas pipeline permits, she recently told activists she would not ban fracking as president, and has a pro-fracking track record which has been well-documented by numerous groups, including pro-Clinton Super PAC Correct the Record.
While Secretary of State, Clinton pushed fracking in countries around the world, through the department's Global Shale Gas Initiative.
Bernie Sanders has never taken money from oil and gas corporations. Clinton's various ties to fracking undermined her promises to help Flint's water crisis.
Thus, we have one candidate who's a human contradiction. Bill and Hillary Clinton have earned $153 million in Wall Street speaking fees since 2001, yet President Hillary Clinton will be tough on Wall Street. Clinton accepted money from prison lobbyists, yet promises to end mass incarceration. Clinton is viewed as a progressive by some, yet one leading historian in The New York Times says she'll have a "neocon" foreign policy. If all this doesn't add up, that's because it's counterintuitive to trust a Democrat who takes money from Wall Street, espouses a hawkish foreign policy, and accepts prison lobbyist donations.
Bernie Sanders won Michigan, and will win the presidency, because he's the only honest candidate in 2016. The FBI and James Comey vote in May, and their findings will likely give Bernie Sanders the Democratic nomination. Since Sanders defeats Trump by a much wider margin than Clinton, Bernie Sanders will have no problems defeating the Republican nominee. All he needs to do is defeat the Republican within his own party linked to an ongoing FBI investigation, and Bernie Sanders will "destroy" Trump in a general election.