Hillary Clinton has really had a bad campaign. If she continues her downward plunge, the question becomes whether she started far enough ahead to hold on to the lead and claim the Democratic nomination.
This past week has been especially bad, to the point that we were able to run new stories chronicling Hillary’s problems every day. To recap: on Monday, David Freddoso’s Briefing explored how Hillary’s woes are encouraging talk of a Biden and/or a Gore run.
On Tuesday, we reported that journalist Bob Woodward compared Hillary’s email server scandal to the Nixon tapes. On Wednesday, there was the story that a State Department report claimed her emails contained “potential secret information.” Thursday, it was revealed that the IT firm in charge of her server is based in a Denver-loft. And today, we reported that a federal judge said that Hillary violated federal rules.
There is more. According to a Quinnipiac University poll released this week, Hillary is being beaten in terms of trustworthiness in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania by her top Republican opponents – by even Trump, who fares the worst on the GOP side, with Bush and Rubio trading the top spot. Hillary’s trustworthiness numbers are also dropping – 10-15% in the last 4-5 months.
32% consider her trustworthy in Florida, 32% in Pennsylvania and 34% in Ohio. It’s extraordinary that the supposed Democratic frontrunner is only trusted by one-third of the voters in three large swing states.
Her favorability is falling too. According to a CNN poll, 44 percent of Americans had a favorable view of her and 53 percent unfavorable, which is her worst showing since March 2001. Additionally, 56 percent of poll respondents said Clinton did something wrong, up from 51 percent in March.
Conservatives shouldn’t get too excited this early. Sean Trende – RealClear Politics election analyst – still puts Hillary’s chances at 80-90%. However, he admits that the first two prongs of a Hillary defeat are in place: tanking favorability and tying or falling behind Republicans. (Marco Rubio is currently her strongest opponent.)
There is a third element, in Trende’s opinion. Hillary doesn’t have a strong natural constituency outside of the comparatively small white suburban liberal women’s vote. Obama pealed of enough of her support to take the nomination in 2008.
But, Trende writes,
“There isn’t an Obama-like candidate out there this cycle. Instead, to defeat Clinton, a variety of candidates would have to break off different constituencies. So Bernie Sanders breaks off liberal voters, Joe Biden breaks off white working-class voters, then someone like Deval Patrick breaks off African-American voters. That could prevent her from winning the nomination.”
A Biden candidacy, paired with Sanders pulling enough votes from Clinton might be a way to escape a Hillary nomination. (A Deval Patrick run would just be speculation at this point and without it, who knows if Biden and Sanders are enough.) There have been increasing murmurings of a potential Biden run. Just this week, an Obama staffer joined the Draft Biden effort.
Bad news for Hillary from Biden could also be bad news for Republicans, or at least for current frontrunner Donald Trump. Biden polls better versus Trump than Clinton does. If that held, a Clinton candidacy might be a better bet for the GOP.
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. For now, let’s just enjoy the Clinton campaign’s misfortunes.