I doubt Team Hillary needed this heads-up after watching Hillary Clinton’s massive polling leads evaporate in both New Hampshire and Iowa. They’ve been “feeling the Bern” for weeks, if not months, and now the burn may be a road rash as Sanders runs over her in the two key primary states. Quinnipiac describes their new Iowa results as a “come-from-behind rally,” but it’s probably more accurate to call it a collapse:
In a come-from-behind rally, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the choice of 41 percent of Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, with 40 percent picking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 12 percent backing Vice President Joseph Biden, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.
This compares to results of a July 2 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe- ack) University showing Clinton at 52 percent, with 33 percent for Sanders and 7 percent for Biden.
Today, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gets 3 percent of Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, with 3 percent undecided.
There is a wide gender gap among Democrats today as Sanders leads Clinton 49 – 28 percent among men, with 16 percent for Biden, while Clinton leads Sanders 49 – 35 percent among women, with 9 percent for Biden.
The big key for Sanders in Iowa are the demos in age and income. He blows Hillary out of the water among 18-34-year-olds, 66/19, and has an edge on the 35-49YOs too at 43/40. This particular demographic provided most of the energy for Barack Obama’s two presidential runs, and the lack of interest in Hillary should be a huge red flag for Democrats. Similarly, Sanders dominates in the under-$30K income demo, 51/32, and ties Hillary among the $30-50K range at 38/38. The only income demo Hillary wins is the $100K+ group, 50/36.
In other words, her base is older, wealthier voters … who normally skew Republican in general elections. That’s certainly not the second coming of the Obama coalition, at the very least.
Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty followed up on Ed Henry’s pictures of Hillary’s Columbus event with one of her own:
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) September 10, 2015
That’s enough to hit the panic button, writes Chris Cillizza:
Memo to Clintonworld: Now might be the time to start panicking.
I know it’s September 10. I know there won’t be a vote of any sort until mid January — at the earliest. I know that Clinton remains solidly ahead in national polling. I know that Bernie Sanders is not Barack Obama. I know that the Q poll has missed before — most notably in the Iowa Senate race in 2014 when it had the race tied and Joni Ernst won by nine. I know that Clinton has yet to begin spending heavily on TV in either of the first two states. And, I know that Sanders has yet to demonstrate any ability to appeal to non-white Democratic primary voters.
But, I also know that there is now a realistic — if not strong — chance that Sanders wins both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. And, that Vice President Joe Biden enters the race and circles the South Carolina primary as his place to take down Clinton (and Sanders). Add those things up and there’s plenty of reason for some stomach-churning in Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters. …
But, the monthly release of e-mails she sent at the State Department will continue through the rest of this year, keeping the issue swirling in the news. And, momentum, once lost, is a very hard thing to get back. All of the momentum is with Democratic candidates not named “Hillary Clinton” at the moment. It’s a nervy time around Clinton HQ.
Would it do any good for Team Hillary to panic? Er, probably not. The e-mail issue will continue to dominate the news for at least the next few months, so not much can be done about that. Hillary Clinton will still be the kind of candidate for whom a campaign has to plan “spontaneity” and manufacture “authenticity,” and that’s not working either. The plain truth is that Hillary is a terrible candidate with a ton of self-inflicted damage, and panicking won’t change that. Neither will not panicking, and you save a lot of energy with the former.
That’s not true of the Democratic Party, however, and they may already be panicking. The New York Times offers a rehash of Plan B options for Democrats, almost all of whom are retreads and almost all of whom look like the cast of a remake of Cocoon:
If Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new apology for her private email server fails to reassure jittery supporters, it could amplify the chatter among some Democrats who have been casting about for a potential white knight to rescue the party from a beleaguered Clinton candidacy.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Al Gore: Each has been discussed among party officials in recent weeks as an alternative to Mrs. Clinton if she does not regain her once-dominant standing in the 2016 presidential field and instead remains mired in the long-running email controversy, with its attendant investigations. …
It is not just Mrs. Clinton’s weakness in the polls that has generated talk of other alternatives, but also the strength of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is routinely drawing huge crowds at campaign events. That has been disconcerting to Democratic officials who believe that Mr. Sanders, a socialist, is so liberal that his presence at the top of the party’s ticket in 2016 would be disastrous.
“If party leaders see a scenario next winter where Bernie Sanders has a real chance at the Democratic nomination, I think there’s no question that leaders will reach out to Vice President Biden or Secretary of State Kerry or even Gore about entering the primaries,” said Garnet F. Coleman, a Texas state lawmaker and Democratic national committeeman.
Those options can be described as the Occupy Retreads movement. It’s a reflection of the destruction done to the Democratic bench in the era of Barack Obama, and a measure of how poorly Democrats will compete at the presidential level for the next couple of cycles. If they can’t hold the White House in 2016, they may not have anyone with enough gravitas — or Geritol — to make a credible run until 2024 at the earliest.
It’s time to panic, all right, and not just for Team Hillary.