Who has the greater tolerance for electoral humiliation, Hillary or Jeb? Until recently I would have said Jeb. Sure, Hillary’s now struggled against upstart challengers in two different primaries where she was heavily favored, but she battled Obama the whole way in 2008 and still leads Bernie Sanders comfortably in most states this year. She’s not being humiliated by the opposition the way Jeb is.
Upon further review, though, she is in fact being humiliated by the opposition the way Jeb is.
This is bananas:
He is viewed favorably by 91 percent of likely Democratic primary voters and unfavorably by 7 percent. His support is strong among both men and women, among all age groups and in all geographic areas of the state…
Clinton was chosen by 55 percent as the candidate best able to handle ISIS, while Sanders was named by 26 percent. But, Sanders was picked by 57 percent as best able to handle the economy, while 33 percent chose Clinton.
Also, Sanders was named by 58 percent as the candidates with “the personal characteristics and qualities that a president should have.” Clinton was named by 33 percent. In December, Clinton was favored in that category, 38 percent to 27 percent…
Sanders appears to be attracting large numbers of voters who have not voted in past primaries. The poll showed him leading 76 percent to 22 percent among voters who did not vote in the 2008 or 2012 presidential primary.
Last May, just eight months ago, Hillary led Sanders 51/13. Today it’s 60/33 for Bernie. There’s been a 65-point swing. In February 2015, Hillary had a net favorability of around +75 while Sanders, a relatively well-known poll from neighboring Vermont, hovered at around +35. Since then:
But that’s not the craziest trend. This is:
That’s a measure of perceived electability, supposedly Hillary’s trump card. The 74-year-old avowed socialist is running her off the field. Among women, one of Hillary’s core constituencies, he leads by 14 points. That’s not all that surprising either: A USA Today poll a few days ago found Sanders leading Hillary among Democratic and independent women between the ages of 18 and 34 by 19 points. Granted, no one else has found him ahead by a margin like 27 points in New Hampshire, but the outlier in this case is merely one of degree: Various other polls have put him ahead by double digits. There’s every reason to believe right now that she’s not only going to lose New Hampshire, she’s going to get blown out. And but for one outlier in Iowa this month showing Hillary up 21 points, she and Sanders would either be tied or he’d be slightly ahead there too in the RCP poll average. There’s a serious argument to be made that Sanders, even more so than Trump, is the political phenomenon of the 2015-16 campaign. Who knows? Before long, we may even start seeing a thinkpiece or two about how Berniemania shows that Democrats have veered wildly to the left, the way we always do about Republicans whenever some conservative insurgent gets elected somewhere.
The only thing preventing total panic right now among Democratic leaders is the blind hope that Sanders will hit a wall in South Carolina when black voters there break for Hillary. Sanders is working on that problem, though. We’ll see what happens if he runs the table in the first two states. Here he is at a rally last night in Alabama crowing that the inevitable suddenly doesn’t seem so inevitable anymore. Exit question: How is Sanders winning when he has Republican operatives trying to help him? Usually that’s the kiss of death in a campaign against a top Democrat.