Clinton, Sanders, Fiorina and Trump

Aug 13, 2015

As former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton turns over her personal email server to the FBI amid allegations that she sent or received classified information through personal email accounts, it's too early to tell whether the story will hurt her presidential aspirations.  That's according to Dianne Bystrom, Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and Kelly Winfrey, a Lecturer in Leadership and Communication Studies at the Catt Center. 

"Most people have made up their mind about Hillary Clinton," says Bystrom. "She's been in the public spotlight for a number of years. People either really like her, or they dislike her."

Bystrom says unless the investigation turns up new information or illegal activity, the story is fodder for those who don't like her, but it's unlikely to change voters' minds.

Clinton has released details of a $350 billion New College Compact aimed at reducing the cost of higher education and student debt.  Winfrey says it's also an effort to energize younger voters around the Clinton campaign. 

"It's something that I think a lot of people can relate to, because research has shown people are delaying starting families, buying houses and other things that really do help the economy because they have so much student loan debt."

Neither of the analysts put much stock in a new poll showing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leading Clinton in New Hampshire, saying it's too early and Sanders' lead falls within the poll's margin of error. But both say his candidacy is forcing Clinton to talk about issues that may appeal more to liberals in the Democratic party.

Carly Fiorina has seen a bump in the polls after her performance in the so-called "happy hour" debate. Bystrom says someone was going to emerge from that event, which occurred before the nationally televised event in Ohio.

"She's a very disciplined speaker," says Bystrom.

Winfrey says Fiorina "clearly presented ideas and answered questions, which you don't see a lot of in these debates sometimes."

Whether her performance was enough to get on the bigger stage for the next debate is questionable with polling still around seven percent.  But, Bystrom and Winfrey say Fiorina has been able to use some of Donald Trump's comments about women to talk directly to women, while no other candidate has taken advantage of that opportunity.

Host Ben Kieffer also talks with Winfrey and Bystrom about the continuing appeal of billionaire and GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump, as well as other issues.