Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hillary Clinton Should Definitely Be Worried About Bernie Sanders.

As of the writing of this article, the race for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination couldn't be any closer. The first primary of the season, the Iowa Caucus, is scheduled for February 1, 2016. Current polling data averages (from Real Clear Politics) show that Clinton has approximately a 12.5 point lead on Bernie Sanders. This takes into account the paltry 6 points being drawn by probable loser Martin O'Malley. Sanders' polling numbers have been trending upwards in Iowa, with Hillary's heading down. When accounting for the margin of error present in all polling, and the fact that O'Malley may finally drop out of the race after the Iowa Caucus and birth his supporters to Sanders, Hillary should be worried about ultimately winning the nomination. Real worried.

Settle down Hillary. You've got a real problem on your hands.

Even if Clinton does manage to win in Iowa, a strong turn-out for Bernie is still a win-win for the independent candidate from Vermont. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain with increased nationwide media exposure, something his campaign all but deserves in spite of being ignored by most news outlets for months. Hillary's undeniable influence over the Democratic National Committee in choosing to limit the number of televised debates to a measly six certainly hasn't helped Sanders' exposure, either. Considering Sanders is thoroughly leading polling by 6 points in New Hampshire, where the nation's second primary takes place, a burst of momentum from Iowa is all he needs to squash Hillary Clinton's chances of becoming the first female President.

Clearly, this is Hillary's election to lose and Sanders' to win. Increasing Sanders' exposure via the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries can only add to his chances of success. Since July, he's gained more than 20 points on Hillary in New Hampshire and a whopping 40 points in Iowa. Can you say upward momentum?

Hillary has every reason to be worried.

Sanders speaks to a stadium filled with supporters at a rally in North Carolina.

Yet, let's consider the probable outcome pundits, pollsters and statisticians have been telling us for months on end -- Clinton will be the Democratic nominee and face off against whomever the Republicans put forth. Polling currently shows that Donald Trump is leading the GOP field. Let's say it is Trump versus Clinton in 2016. Hillary has a huge problem, and it all relates to the progressive left and their stalwart support for Bernie Sanders.

Many of Sanders' supporters simply will not vote for Hillary Clinton.

Polling data reflects a battle between Trump and Clinton as incredibly close. Even worse, polls questioning a fight against either Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz prove to be even more dire for Clinton. Yet, this polling data fails to take into consideration one valuable point. Clinton has had a terrible time earning the support of the progressive left within her own party. She's seen as a hawk, bought and paid for by Wall Street and Super PACs. Progressives have endorsed Sanders almost exclusively, leaving Clinton to run purely on name recognition and a massive influx of cash from big banks, Super PACs and special interest groups. In an election between Trump/Rubio/Cruz and Clinton, there's a very good chance she could deliver the White House to the Republican candidate.

I've talked to many Sanders supporters and read a plethora of articles about his voting base. They like that he's operating on small, personal contributions from individuals and not accepting money from corporations, banks or Super PACs. He's seen as the most progressive candidate in the entire field, one that can be trusted to lead. Though, if faced with being forced to vote for Hillary Clinton, many progressives simply won't vote for her... or may abstain from voting altogether. This leaves Clinton with a real dilemma.

Alternatively, if Trump were to face off against Sanders in 2016, the latest Quinnipiac poll has Sanders winning by an astounding 13 points.

I'm not saying Sanders is a shoe-in to win the Democratic nomination in an upset victory. He's got a lot of work ahead of him to gain nationwide exposure and pull even more of Clinton's base. What I am saying is that Clinton faces a very difficult path to the Presidency... if she survives the primary season first.

No comments:

Post a Comment