All the GOP has to do is ring the bell persistently enough and the usual voting blocs start drooling:
Hillary Clinton's favorability rating dropped significantly in a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday, as the months-long investigation into the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, have begun to drag on the former secretary of State.The poll numbers are here.
According to the survey, 52 percent said they have a favorable view of Clinton, against 40 unfavorable. That’s down from her all-time high of 61 percent favorable and 34 unfavorable in February of this year....
"The drop in favorability is substantial among men, Republicans and independent voters. One reason for her drop may be that 48 percent of voters blame her either a little or a lot for the death of the American ambassador in Benghazi." ...
So a story that even the scandal-hungry national media thinks is a nothingburger is working on independents, and on men in general, not merely on Republicans. Yes, Clinton is still in positive territory, and the poll says she'd still beat Rand Paul or Jeb Bush handily. But this is happening when the Republican noise machine isn't completely focused on turning Clinton (or whoever is the 2016 front-runner) into the Antichrist. That focus will come.
Meanwhile, yesterday's numbers from Quinnipiac show that Republicans have pulled even on the congressional generic-ballot question: "If the election for the U.S. House of Representatives were being held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate, or for the Democratic candidate in your district?" It's now 38%-38%. Two months ago, Democrats led by 8. (It's been estimated that, because of gerrymandering, Democrats would have to win the popular vote by 7 points to retake the House.)
Two months ago, the parties were tied among independents; now Republicans lead by 13. Two months ago, Republicans led among men by 2; now it's 12.
Yes, there are a lot of scandals right now, but none of them concern Democrats in Congress. So this shift isn't really logical. But it's how politics works. Electoral success was the purpose of all this scandal-mongering, not good government.
The notion that Republicans howl in outrage at every possible opportunity because demonization of Democrats is all they've got to offer has never caught on among centrist and heartland white males. Those groups still think Republicans act in good faith, just as Joe Scarborough and David Gregory endlessly insist. So they're always ready to fall for this sort of thing.