When California’s own Speaker-to-be Kevin McCarthy let slip on Tuesday that the Republicans in Congress put together a Benghazi special committee in order to damage Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness, he merely said aloud what everyone but the suckers and rubes already knew.
How is it then, that mainstream media pundits have been so duped by the noxious fusion of GOP spin and Beltway bubble gas arising from the faux scandal over Clinton’s emails that they even misinterpret their own polling about the Democratic presidential front-runner?
Exhibit A: the Peacock Network political team blathering about a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll finding that Clinton’s favorability rating had dropped from 56-25% positive when she left her job as Secretary of State to 39-47% negative now. The horror, the horror.
Well, stop the presses: Hillary’s popularity among Republicans and independents has eroded. Wonder how that happened?
And guess what? According to Gallup, her favorability among Democrats is better than ever – 73-20% positive. Which is what matters right now, since the Republicans don’t have a likely candidate who is getting hammered like the right-wing, the GOP Congress and MSM factions are pounding Clinton.
Even if Vice President Joe Biden gets in the race (which we doubt he will because he won’t want to be the man who prevented the first woman president)– Clinton leads in key states, among women and minorities and the Obama coalition. And that’s before the bloom comes off Joe’s rose, which would begin to happen as soon as he announced his candidacy.
Leave it too our old friend Joe Trippi to ask the essential question: “Has the political punditry class lost its collective mind?”
Was the private server a mistake? Yes. Have questions about Clinton’s emails hurt her? Of course. Has her campaign been clumsy and mishandled the situation? No doubt about it. But there should also be no doubt that Clinton remains a formidable front-runner who will be tough to beat even if Biden enters the race. And she’ll be formidable in the general election too…
Pundits can focus on her weaknesses, her mistakes and her negatives while overlooking her strengths — for them, there are no real consequences — but her opponents do so at their own peril.
Golden State matters: Over at the Public Policy Institute of California, we see nothing to suggest that the Republican Party’s war on immigration and women’s rights has much of a prayer in California.
“Asked about undocumented immigrants living in the US, 75% of Californians say they should be allowed to live and work here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements. Large majorities of Democrats (83%) and independents (70%) and a majority of Republicans (53%) express this view,” PPIC reports.
Likewise abortion access. “Most Californians (69%) say the government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion, a view shared by solid majorities of Democrats (80%), independents (74%), and Republicans (62%).”
All of which kinda supports a finding in that NBC/WSJ poll mentioned above – that “Planned Parenthood over the last two months might have received more negative press of any organization in American politics and … it’s the most popular political entity in our NBC/WSJ poll.”
Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s not forget that while Sir Donald of Trump continues to insist that Latinos love him, polling says otherwise. An oversample of Latinos for Telemundo in the NBC/WSJ poll showed Clinton with a 53-23% favorable and the Democratic Party with a 48-19% favorable, compared to a 24-43% negative for the Republican Party and an astonishing 11-72% negative for Trump. (See immigration, above.)
Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics: Here’s the thing about all the polling swirling around out there: None of the national numbers about candidates mean much in a presidential contest this far out – what will matter are the state races. And while Iowa and New Hampshire get most of the attention, they have never been dispositive except to winnow the field which, in the post Citizens United Super Pac era, might or might not happen.
Also, what Republicans think about Hillary Clinton (or Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders) doesn’t matter much. Nor what Democrats think about Trump or Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. What Latinos say matters to Democrats but not much to Republicans (except to show how out of touch the GOP is).
Bottom line: it’s all partisan right now. What you want to know is what Republicans in early states think about the field of Republicans and what Democrats in those big early states think about their candidates. If Gallup tells us that Hillary’s favorability among Democrats is +53% (positive over negative) in late September compared to +46% in early September, that means something.
Specifically, that the GOP’s Benghazi and email baloney may have done what they were supposed to – cause Republicans and independents to distrust Clinton – but they’ve caused Democrats to rally to her.
We wish the pundits on TV and in the MSM would take a breath and stop acting like the fate of Western Civilization turns on every new data point. Sadly, we have little hope that will happen.