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Donald Trump Attacks on Clinton’s Health Backfiring, New Poll Says

HIllary Clinton has been barraged for weeks with baseless rumor and innuendo about her health. But a new poll shows it's having no effect on the race and may even be backfiring on Donald Trump. (Photo: Getty)

HIllary Clinton has been barraged for weeks with baseless rumor and innuendo about her health. But a new poll shows it’s having no effect on the race and may even be backfiring on Donald Trump. (Photo: Getty)

Donald Trump and a Greek chorus of right-wing rumor mongers have relentlessly attacked Hillary Clinton over her mostly imagined health problems, but the strategy appears to be backfiring and Republican advisors are now telling him to back off, according to a new poll and media reports.

Trump’s own health has come under increasing scrutiny as well because of his failure to keep his promise to provide a “full review” of his physical condition.

In a surprise move to deflect the growing heat, Trump told ABC News he now will release his full medical records. The move is an abrupt about face from his previous position, insisting that Clinton release her records as well.

President Obama’s former doctor David Scheiner raised red flags in an Aug. 30 CNN interview about Trump’s health and destroyed his flaky doctor Harold Bornstein for claiming the candidate’s health is “astonishingly excellent.”

Trump, he said, is overweight, which can indicated a series of health problems, from heart disease and high-blood pressure to diabetes.

Clinton’s long-time doctor Lisa Bardack issued a detailed two-page letter listing the candidate’s health history and pronounced her fit enough to serve as president. Scheiner called the far-more-detailed letter “well-written” and “professional.”

Even so, right-wing rumor mongers have repeatedly floated misleading, or inaccurate, claims trying to drum up evidence of ill health.

In the latest claim this week, the right-wing chorus asserted that Clinton wore an ear piece so she could be coached during her interview at the Commander-in-Chief Forum.

But the only evidence came down to a single photo. Numerous other photos of the same ear, taken at the same time, showed nothing. For the record, the Clinton campaign denies she used an ear-piece.

While the attacks keep coming, they are falling short of their goal.

A new battleground poll by George Washington University found that voters consider Trump and Clinton to be in about the same health.

In fact slightly more people think Clinton is “healthy enough to be effective” (43 percent) as president, compared to Trump (41 percent), according to the poll.

Not surprisingly, the margin matches the same spread — 42 percent to 40 percent –among voters when asked who they are supporting. Another 9 percent who are uncommitted said they were equally healthy.

The findings have been cited as evidence that the right wing attacks aren’t convincing anyone outside their own base, and may even be backfiring.

This week, Trump came under fire from his own party stalwarts for constantly remarking that Clinton lacks “strength” and “stamina” to be president. He’s also taking heat for saying she doesn’t “look presidential.”

Critics said Trump is playing off sexist stereotypes and false health rumors to damage her image. The strategy is driving away women voters, who find his remarks offensive, according to Republican strategists.

The attacks are one of the dirty tactics identified by IM in a report published Sept. 6. Trump has used the ploy and others throughout his business career.

During the primary,Trump smeared opponents Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in a similar way, using taunts that questioned their masculinity.

“This attack on Hillary Clinton’s stamina, her energy, her health, is a way of attacking her virility or vigor without coming at it directly,” Jackson Katz, author of the book “Man Enough? Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and the Politics of Presidential Masculinity,” told The Washington Post.

“Donald Trump is playing on the anxieties of a lot of men and women who are uncomfortable with the notion of a woman as a president,” he added.

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