Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hillary Is Where She Was in October, 2007. The Bounce That Wasn't!

The experts have it wrong again. Hillary Clinton may be having "a good month" in their opinion but she hasn't significantly improved her shot at the Democratic nomination. In fact, she seems to be doing worse than in October 2007 when she ran against Obama.

Let's check out her actual prowess this month:
 1. This month the media acclaimed her the winner of the first Democratic debate. But, according to CNN polling, 81% of voters thought Sanders won.

2. Joe Biden dropped out, and he had been drawing voters from her. But seemingly-sweet Joe Biden doesn't like Hillary at all and virtually pledged to lie in wait for her and scald her for any disloyalty to Obama. When an Irishman says, "I will not be silent", BEWARE! The Irish make the best friends and the worst enemies. Keep an eye on Biden!

3. She got through the Benghazi hearings without throwing the water glasses, but a big-time movie is coming out just before the Iowa caucuses that blames Clinton for the Benghazi debacle. Keep in mind that more people watch movies than watch Congressional hearings.

Reality seems to say that the gifts of October for Hillary were all wrapping paper and empty boxes.  This is reflected in Hillary's not-so-great poll numbers. So far she's got only a slight bump out of all this supposedly good news, about 6 points. That's on the measly side after so much media flaunting of her triumphs.

Maybe that's the reason the commentators are so non-jubilant about her current numbers.  It's now almost two weeks since the Democratic debate. Where's the hooting and hollering? Only a couple of polls have been published, then quickly whisked from sight.

Her bump is also diminished by the fact that the post-debate commentary by "the experts" may itself have caused the bump. Its smallness suggests this. So does "538", the on-line zine of a true poll expert, Nate Silver, formerly of the NY Times. His cohort Harry Enten explained on October 22:

             "Clinton gained in five of the six national polls taken after the debate. This shouldn’t be too   surprising: Media spin is what matters most after a debate, and Clinton received very positive coverage. That’s in contrast to her media coverage before the debate, which was very negative. What’s a little bit uncertain is how much ground she picked up. The average has her up 6 percentage points, but CNN found her down 1 point, and the Emerson College poll* had her up 15 points."
Hillary Clinton Got The Biggest Post-Debate Polling Bounce  10/22/15, "538".
(* Emerson college is an excellent theater/film school but is new to polling.)

So what's the bottom line for Hillary?
Let's compare with October 2007 when Hillary was running against Obama. Like now, the media were proclaiming her nomination a sure thing. At that point they seemed to have some reason for their drum-beating: the RealClearPolitics average of all polls had Hillary 17 points ahead of Obama. Now she has about a 20 point lead over Sanders. Surprisingly that's only a 3 point improvement vis-a-vis 2007 even after her triple "triumphs" of this month. And this time, unlike 2007, she has no one draining away possible votes as were John Edwards, Joe Biden and a clutch of others back then. She thus should be much farther ahead of Bernie Sanders than she is.

It seems therefore like she's actually in a worse position than in 2007-8.

And we all know how that turned out for Hillary!

——Next time or soon thereafter (depending on the news):  "Does Hate for Obama Help Sanders Get the Democratic Nomination?"

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