Hillary Clinton's national poll numbers have been falling for months, and pundits are quick to blame her ongoing email scandal. So are Republican politicians. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy lost his chance to become majority leader by connecting the email scandal and the Benghazi committee to Clinton's dropping numbers, fueling even more talk that emails are a major cause of Clinton's decline.
But the evidence points to a different culprit: The rise of Bernie Sanders.
Events at the first Democratic presidential primary debate on Tuesday highlighted just how unimportant the email scandal is for Democrats.
"The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails," Sanders said to raucous applause from the Democratic audience. "Enough of the emails. Let's talk about the real issues facing America." That comment earned more noisy applause from the audience.
Most Democrats don't care about Clinton's emails. Fewer than 30 percent of Democrats said the email matter will be very or somewhat important in deciding their vote, according to a CBS poll conducted last week.