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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Is It A Trend Or a Blip?

For most of the last year, Hillary Clinton has been leading by large margins in head to head matchups against potential GOP contenders for the presidency.  That lead, however, has been diminishing with all of the flubs by Hillary with her book tour, her foundation taking huge amounts of cash from foreign countries and their agents, and the disclosure of her private email system, amount other things.  The Republicans are also getting a bit better known.  It is an ominous trend for Hillary and the Democrats.  The latest example of these polls came today with a series of Quinnipiac polls in three states that president Obama carried in 2012, namely, Iowa, Colorado and Virginia.  Hillary was matched against seven different potential GOP candidates.  She lost six of the 21 matchups, and she failed to get 50% of the vote in any of them.  That is a terrible result for a well known candidate on friendly territory.

These polls, however, are just a snapshot for the moment.  They are unreliable indicators of anything other than the trend as of now.  The real question is whether this decline in support for Hillary is an ongoing trend, a momentary blip, or nothing at all.  In other words, do these numbers (and the many other polls showing the same thing) indicate that all is not well in Clinton Land?

A good case can be made for the argument that Hillary is in trouble.  Remember, the nation already knows her well.  Her face has been on TV for over twenty years.  There is no mystery about her positions.  She has already run in three national campaigns (twice with Bill and once on her own in 2008).  It seems that her reappearance in the recent past has reminded Americans of all the things they don't like about Hillary.  On top of everything else, she's old news.  Americans currently see the country as being on the wrong track; they want change.  In fact, to borrow Obama's slogan, they want change they can believe in.  For most people, Hillary is not a change candidate; she's just more of the same.

Much will depend, of course, on which candidate the Republicans select.  If it's one who the Democrats and the media (basically the same thing) can vilify successfully, Hillary could get a major push.  On the other hand, if the GOP picks a candidate with a message of positive change and the ability to project competence and common sense, then Hillary could be in for a major problem.

Hillary will have her "first woman" mantra to help her.  On the other side, if the GOP puts Marco Rubio on the ticket, it will have the "first Hispanic" to offset that to some extent. 

Right now, my estimate is that Hillary has less than a 50% chance of winning.  That's not very good for a candidate whose main claim is that her victory is "inevitable".


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