By Dave Andrusko
As we close out the week (although please don’t forget to read our “best of NRL News Today” which comes out on Saturday), here are some additional comments on what appear to be pro-abortion Hillary Clinton’s flagging polling numbers. (Hint: we’ll also look at a counter-argument at the end of this post.)
Before we talk about a new Fox News poll showing even worse news for the former Secretary of State, remember that some of the grimmest news came from the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling company. PPP found Mrs. Clinton trailing in matchups against four separate Republican opponents in Iowa.
Why? Easy. Only 3 in 7 Iowans (38%) had a favorable impression of Clinton, compared to 52% who held an unfavorable impression. Other non-partisan polls of national public opinion found overwhelmingly (57% to 37%)voters do not consider Clinton honest or trustworthy.
Thus when Fox News, reporting on a poll that finds her numbers sinking in six key states, the fact that the poll was conducted for the Republican leaning American Crossroads is irrelevant. The results of interviews with 1,908 registered voters in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, and Virginia who were surveyed by telephone are striking:
In a poll of voters in the six make-or-break swing states, Hillary Clinton now trails a generic Republican opponent by 13 points – a jump from last month’s 8-point deficit.
The poll hastens to state the obvious. As compared to an unnamed (generic) candidate, the Republican nominee, who will be pro-life, will bring along his or her own weakness but also their own strengths.
The poll results go on to document the precipitous drop in public confidence:
Distrust of Clinton, which clocked in at 56 percent last month has climbed all the way to 60 percent. It’s bad enough to be 23 points underwater on trustworthiness in general but maybe worst of all is that 47 percent this month said they “completely distrust” Clinton.
That is an incredible number.
One additional note. These sorts of numbers, which continue to roll in, undermine the chief (some would argue only rationale) for her candidacy: that she is the inevitable nominee of the Democratic Party.
Writing for the New York Times, the respected Nate Cohn argues (I am putting this bluntly) that these falling numbers are much ado about nothing, whether the issue is Mrs. Clinton winning the Democratic nomination or prevailing against the eventual Republican standard bearer.
There are ins and outs to his argument but in the final analysis, she prevails in her own party because her two chief rivals have limited capacity to draw in more support than they currently have.
As for a matchup against the Republican nominee, in light of her high unfavorables, well, all’s well that ends well. The core constituencies will come home no matter how unhappy they may be with Mrs. Clinton.
Cohn puts forward what he concedes may sound like an “uncomfortably deterministic theory about American presidential politics.” Many political scientists believe
Whether people have a favorable opinion of presidential candidates is as much about rationalizing a latent partisan preference — shaped by the underlying political and economic fundamentals — as it is about the candidates themselves. From this perspective, much of the damage to Mrs. Clinton among Republican-leaning independents was inevitable, while the damage to Democrats can be overcome by partisan loyalty.
So Democrats will shake off their disappointment and vote for Mrs. Clinton. This begs two obvious questions.
First, with an under-abundance of party enthusiasm, what will the Democratic turnout be for Clinton? If implicit in Cohn (and other analyses) is that women who wouldn’t ordinarily vote for Clinton will because she is female, my strong suspicion is this is will not prove to be even be marginally the case. She is simply too polarizing.
Second, as we’ve discussed before, the country is primed and ready for a change.
In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, a whopping 60% thought “things are on the wrong track,” to only 32% who feel the nation is “generally headed in the right direction.”
Not surprisingly, “More Americans are clamoring for change in the upcoming 2016 presidential election than they were in the ‘Hope and Change’ year of 2008, ” wrote NBC News’ Mark Murray. 59 percent of all voters believe “This is a time when it is important to look for a person who will bring greater changes to the current policies even if he or she is less experienced and tested.”
Clinton will be seen not as a new face, a break from the past, but as the third term of Barack Obama.
No matter how you spin it, these are not good time for pro-abortion Democrats in general, Mrs. Clinton in particular.