Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign took a hard hit when news of the John Huang campaign finance scandal broke in October 1996. President Clinton managed to run out the clock and win the election, but, as John Fund writes in National Review, Hillary Clinton’s ability to stonewall her way past scandal in 2016 may be undermined by the ubiquity of the Internet and the power of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.
From National Review:
Clinton must also remember what happened exactly 20 years ago during her husband’s campaign for reelection… Bill Clinton had to run out the clock on a growing campaign-finance scandal that in the last month of the campaign changed the dynamics of what had been a complete cakewalk of a race. Clinton ended up winning by eight points over Bob Dole (49 percent to 41 percent, with Ross Perot taking 9 percent of the vote). But that loss was not nearly as bad as Republicans had feared. Six final pre-election polls had Clinton winning by anywhere from eleven to 16 points. The New York Times/CBS poll was the most off-base, showing Clinton beating Dole 53 to 35 percent. CNN’s final tracking poll had Clinton ahead by 16 points. The respected Pew Research Center issued a final poll showing Clinton ahead 52 percent to 38 percent, a 14-point lead almost double the actual results on Election Day.