Clinton’s biggest obstacle is her inability to campaign
After breezing through 2015 with a commanding lead over her unexpected rival Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton has had a rough start to the 2016 Democratic Primary. After barely edging out Sanders in Iowa and conceding a huge defeat in New Hampshire last night, Mrs. Clinton now finds herself in a statistical tie nationally with Mr. Sanders.
It may be way too early to see history repeat itself as it did in 2008 when Hillary faced off against another candidate deemed to be more progressive than her, there is cause for her campaign to be concerned.
Depending whom you ask, her struggles may be due to her ties to Wall Street, it may be her characterization as just another establishment politician, it may even be the fact that she is a woman running in country where politics is still dominated by men. The opinions vary person to person.
One thing that leaves little doubt however, is the fact that Hillary Clinton is a terrible campaigner. Now before you decide to scroll to the bottom and leave me a piece of your mind in the comment section, bear in mind that Hillary has never, ever risen in the polls once a campaign has begun. That goes for her 2008 presidential campaign and her two Senate races which she still managed to win.
Clinton entered the 2000 New York Senate race against Republican Rick Lazio leading by a 56% to 23% margin. Clinton won the election on November 7 with 55% of the vote to Lazio’s 43%. She never increased her lead.
In 2006, her victory was so overwhelming over Republican John Spencer that there was little room for her to move up. Still, her campaign began with a huge advantage, in the mid 60% range, and she inevitably won within the margin of error at 67%.
During her 2008 bid to become the Democratic presidential nominee, Clinton peaked in October of 2007 just as the race got going with a 27% lead over Barack Obama. By campaign’s end, Obama had a 12 point lead.
Here we are again in February of 2016 and Hillary has lost a 30 point lead over Bernie Sanders in just two months. She has done so by campaigning the same way as she did against Barack Obama, as the play it safe moderate. Instead of campaigning to change the country, she’s campaigning to make sure it doesn’t get worse. It’s as if she’s running to protect Obama’s legacy rather than creating her own.
Needless to say, Clinton and her campaign staff have a hell of task in front of them if they wish to extinguish the Berning sensation that has crept up behind Hillary. If she’s to become President they need to do what they’ve never done before and increase her poll numbers, not just against Sanders, but against the Republican field, some of whom are currently ahead of her.