Hillary Clinton finished 3rd in the 2008 Iowa Caucus, even though an October 6, 2007 article in CNN stated the New York Senator had a commanding lead over her competition. Titled Giuliani and Clinton lead latest poll, Hillary Clinton's lead in the polls over Barack Obama seemed insurmountable:
On the Democratic side, Clinton pulled away from her closest rival for the nomination, Senator Barack Obama, D-Illinois, by more than 20 points. The poll showed her with 46 percent support, compared to Obama's 25 percent.
The remainder of the Democratic field was in single digits.
Sound familiar? History will repeat itself in 2016 because Democrats in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and every other state have more in common with my recent YouTube segment than a static poll number. I explain why I'm only voting for Bernie Sanders in this segment, and why Sanders is more honest than Clinton in another YouTube segment. Also, the polling trajectory that I highlighted in an earlier piece is tied to why Hillary Clinton is unelectable (I explain here) due to negative favorability ratings, in addition to why swing states find Clinton "not honest and trustworthy."
Human beings, not summaries of landline telephone calls to four hundred people, decide the fate of elections.
In addition, the public relations spin pertaining to schizophrenic polling data attempts to rewrite history at every turn. Remember, Yahoo wrote shortly after the Democratic debate that although one poll showed Clinton won, "the same poll found Clinton's lead on Sanders had actually decreased following the debate."
As for Clinton's lead nationally over Sanders, a Huffington Post article in late September titled Bernie Sanders Pulls Closer To Hillary Clinton In New Presidential Poll highlights that Sanders can easily overtake Clinton:
In the poll, conducted among Democratic primary voters Sept. 20-24, Clinton led Sanders 42 percent to 35 percent. While the new poll isn't necessarily an indicator of who will win the contest, the 7-point difference shows a big change from just two months ago. In July, Clinton led Sanders by 34 percentage points, with 59 percent to his 25 percent.
So, at one point several weeks ago, Clinton was only 7 points ahead of Sanders nationally. As for how Sanders got so close to a candidate once deemed inevitable, let's take a closer look at polling trajectory.
On November 23, 2014 Hillary Clinton remained at an imposing 62.1 percent support within the Democratic Party while Bernie Sanders was just at 3 percent. Yes, Bernie Sanders was once mired at 3 percent or lower in the polls.
Of course, any mention at that point of Bernie Sanders offering Clinton a real test for the Democratic nomination would have been seen as not only hyperbole, but nonsense. Any reference to Clinton losing the nomination in 2016 like she did in 2008 would most likely have been viewed as irrational banter from voters eager to find a real progressive candidate. Interestingly, the same pundits lauding Clinton's lead currently in the polls are the same pundits who praised Clinton's lead in 2014 and 2007.
Using the logic of certain political wonks and message board pundits, time should have stopped in late 2014. After all, it's impossible according to many observers to overtake a 60 point lead.
Unfortunately for the Clinton campaign, time never stopped. Within one year, people changed their minds about the former Secretary of State's inevitability.
Then, something strange took place from April to October and by the 5th of this month, Hillary Clinton dropped to 45.7 percent and Bernie Sanders surged to 24.8 percent.
So what happened?
If you're a Clinton supporter or snarky political analyst who views any mention of Bernie Sanders winning the presidency as hyperbole, do you care to elaborate as to why the April 2, 2015 poll numbers changed? Or is this simply too positive of an outlook for your pragmatic sensibilities?
How did Bernie go from less than 3 percent to now over 30 percent in one poll, without a super-PAC?
More importantly, why would all the imaginary Joe Biden voters automatically go to Hillary Clinton?
If you have any answers to these questions, I'm sure people would love to hear your thoughts.
As for fundraising, another factor tied to evaluating a campaign's viability, David is succeeding against Goliath. One candidate has a campaign referred to by POLITICO as a "fundraising juggernaut" and is expected to raise about $2 billion. In addition to billions of dollars, Hillary Clinton has almost universal name recognition and constant media attention.
Bernie Sanders has gone from 0.8 percent support to now 31 percent support according to one NBC News poll, without any of Hillary Clinton's advantages in fundraising, name recognition, or ties to the Democratic establishment. A Washington Post article titled Bernie Sanders's $26 million cash haul is a major problem for Hillary Clinton explains how the Sanders campaign is competing with the "fundraising juggernaut":
Clinton held 58 fundraising events to raise her total; Sanders held seven. As of the end of September, Sanders had brought in 1.3 million total donations from 650,000 individuals since he began running. Clinton's campaign did not release how many total donors she has. And Sanders ended September with $25 million in the bank; Clinton did not release how much money her campaign had on hand.
With all of Clinton's fundraising advantages, Sanders is directly competing with her, simply with small donations from ordinary Americans throughout the country.
In terms of why polling trajectory, energy and momentum are the only reasons to look at polls in 2016, Bernie Sanders proves this by the amount of money he's raised, without a super-PAC and with hardly any major media attention.
When political wonks and message board pundits read an article titled Hillary Clinton demolishes Bernie Sanders in a new Iowa poll, there's never any outcry of hyperbole, or any reasoned critique of why an ongoing FBI investigation might hurt Democrats on Election Day. Theoretical Biden supporters are simply added to Clinton's lead, without any thought as to why a Biden supporter would choose Clinton over Sanders. Clinton's lead is always viewed as insurmountable, even though Bernie Sanders has gone from less than 1 percent support in late 2014 to now 31 percent according to one NBC News poll.
But you're ignoring Joe Biden leaving the Democratic race!
Well, the only reason Biden was ever injected into the race is because the Democratic establishment reads the writing on the wall. Nobody wins on Election Day with FBI director James Comey "personally following closely" the FBI's investigation of Clinton's server and emails. Yes, this controversy is tied to decision-making, especially since the FBI isn't part of the GOP.
Furthermore, the notion that all of Biden's theoretical votes would go to Clinton is bizarre. The New York Times explained recently that Biden voters place great emphasis on "honesty, empathy and experience." Since 57 percent of Americans according to Yahoo do not trust Hillary Clinton and Quinnipiac University reports that swing states find Clinton "not honest and trustworthy," it's doubtful that trustworthiness is a reason Biden voters would automatically vote for Clinton.
In addition, according to Rasmussen Reports, 45 percent of Democrats "think Clinton is likely to have been influenced by donors." Also according to Rasmussen, only "64 percent of voters in her own party trust the former first lady." These numbers aren't encouraging in terms of trustworthiness, even within the Democratic Party. As for empathy, the Onion has a piece titled Campaign Staffers Making Progress Conditioning Hillary Clinton To Replicate Emotions.
Polls, fundraising and basic logic pertaining to recent Clinton scandals show Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic nomination. Nobody goes from less than 1 percent nationally to over 30 percent without serious momentum and unprecedented energy among grass roots supporters; the basis of any winning ground game. If you disagree, simply explain why Sanders won't be able to overtake Clinton, even though he continues to surge in the polls while Clinton relies on Congressional hearings and theoretical Biden voters to prop up her poll numbers.