Bernie Sanders Closing On Hillary In Iowa According To New Poll

A new poll shows Bernie Sanders gaining traction outside of New Hampshire for the first time.

Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders

In addition to showing Donald Trump and Ben Carson leading the Republican field in the Hawkeye State, the new Des Moines Register poll also shows something we have not seen yet in the Democratic race in Iowa, Bernie Sanders is closing in on Hillary:

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is rapidly closing the gap with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but she still maintains a solid lead in Iowa’s Democratic caucuses, according to a poll released Saturday.

Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner and establishment favorite, is drawing 37 percent of the vote. Sanders earns 30 percent of the vote. Vice President Joe Biden, who is still wavering on making a run, earns 14 percent. This is the first time Clinton has fallen short of a majority in the Iowa poll, conducted by pollster Ann Selzer for the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg, this year.

“This feels like 2008 all over again,” Selzer told the paper, referring to then-Sen. Barack Obama’s remarkable victory over Clinton in the caucuses then. In January, Clinton led Sanders by more than 50 percentage points and he drew just 5 percent of the vote.

Without Biden in the contest, Clinton’s support jumps to 43 percent and Sanders’ climbs to 35 percent. The three other Democrats running for the presidency — former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee — all fail to earn even five percent of the vote.

Clinton remains broadly popular with Democratic regulars in the state. Seventy-seven percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers have a favorable opinion of her, and only 19 percent have an unfavorable opinion. Those numbers peaked at 88 percent favorability and 10 percent unfavorable in June. Only 13 percent said they could never support her in the caucus. Sixty-one percent said controversies surrounding her use of a private e-mail server while working as Secretary of State were “not important.” And two-thirds are “mostly confident” Clinton would win a general election.

The approval numbers for Sanders are just as high as Clinton, which is a change from earlier in the yer when his approval numbers in Iowa were below 40 percent, but the difference is that he has much, much lower negative numbers than Clinton at the moment. To a large degree, of course, this is because he hasn’t had the same problems that Clinton has had over the past several months, and also because he hasn’t really been the target of any negative attacks or campaigning by his opponents other that suggestions by Clinton surrogates such as Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill that Sanders is too far to the left for the nation as a whole and would not be a good General Election candidate. Obviously, if Sanders continues his current high standing in the polls the relatively silence of his opponents is likely to change. What impact that might have on public opinion remains to be seen.

This polls is obviously raising a lot of eyebrows among the political observers. The fact that it came from the Des Moines Register, whose polling inside Iowa is generally very highly regarded, gives it a lot of weight right out of the box. It’s the fact that it’s showing Sanders surging outside of New Hampshire for the first time, though, is what’s really interesting. Before now, Sanders surge in the polls, which most recently put him ahead of Clinton in the Granite State, has been limited to a state that is both political peculiar at times and right next door to Sanders’ home state of Vermont, where he has served as Mayor of Burlington, Congressman, and Senator for more than thirty years now. Now, though, it looks like Sanders is having an impact outside of his home area, although it’s worth noting that he still has not made much of an impact in polling on the national level, or in South Carolina or Florida. If the Sanders thing is for real, though, then we should expect to see him rising in the polls elsewhere as time goes on.

Notwithstanding these numbers, it’s worth noting that Clinton still seems to be doing well in Iowa. Every poll taken prior to the one released last night has shown her leading by double digits and Sanders barely making an impact and she still has a 21.8 point lead in the polling average. It’s entirely possible that the Des Moines Register poll is an outlier and that Sanders’ strength is being exaggerated. We’ll have to wait for additional polling to see if that’s the case. At the same time, though, it’s hard to deny what the polling does show. While Clinton still seems to overwhelmingly likely to be the Democratic nominee, the ongoing reports about her use of a private email server, as well as the way she has handled questions about that issue to date, is having a real impact on her campaign. If it continues, that speculation about Joe Biden entering the race may turn out to be more than just musings by political pundits during the summer silly season.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Hillary Clinton, Politicians, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    It won’t be Bernie Sanders. He’s 73, has no organization, no money, very little experience, no gravitas, no super-D support, and he’s too far left. He’s Gene McCarthy and the question is whether Elizabeth Warren will pull a Bobby Kennedy. Sanders is all about Warren. If she backs Sanders he lives a while longer, but I don’t see her doing that. I see her squeezing Hillary, but not opposing the likely first female president.

    Let’s go through the list again: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina. Iowa’s almost irrelevant. NH matters but after that comes Nevada and SC and Hillary will take both.

    Then, all in one day, March 1, come Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia.

    Can Bernie put together that kind of money and that kind of organization in six months? Nope. Give Bernie Vermont, conceivably Massachusetts. And that will be the end of the Bernie Boomlet.

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    @michael reynolds: Sanders has quite a lot of money and has only spent about a fifth of the fifteen million raised by the end of June. Clinton, on the other hand has spent over half of what her campaign has taken in while losing ground. If Sander’s fundraising from July-September beats the previous take (and I expect it will) then we haven’t seen the end of this by a longshot.

    As for Sander’s age I can’t see it being an issue between his campaign and Hillary’s; not when her recent health problems can be thrown back.

  3. Todd says:

    @michael reynolds: I don’t know if Sanders can really win. But on the whole, he is a much better candidate than Hillary Clinton. If the Democrats are going to lose, they should do so with a candidate who best represents their values, and defends those values in a coherent and forceful manner. Hillary Clinton will not be the next President. Hopefully it’s because she loses the primary, and not the general election.

  4. James says:

    We are entering an era where bad hair is no longer seen as a bar to electability.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @Todd:

    I disagree. I think she’s the most likely winner in the end. She’s lying low, it’s the silly season, she has money and organization, the electoral map likes her, she has the super-delegates, she has the issues, she has the constituencies, if Biden stays out she’s got Obama, and she’s got Bill.

  6. Todd says:

    @michael reynolds: This circling the wagons around Hillary Clinton is exactly what’s wrong with the Democratic party. Too often they make what they think is the “safe” bet, that really turns out to be the dumb bet. To me, it’s telling that Claire McCaskill is one of Hillary Clinton’s primary surrogates when it comes to attacking Bernie Sanders. By all rights, she should have lost last cycle too; along with all the other Democrats who in trying to appeal to “moderate” voters who were NEVER going to vote for them anyway (because of the D after their name), managed to suppress any excitement or enthusiasm in their own natural voting base.

    Hillary Clinton is the opposite of the type of candidate that you’d want if you think the election is going to be primarily about “oh shit, we can’t let a Republican appoint all those Supreme Court Justices”. Conservatives have a visceral hate for her … they will be VERY motivated to vote against her. There are many people like me, and quite a few of my (nominally Democratic leaning) friends who might, maybe, very, very reluctantly vote for her just because the other guy is worse … but we won’t do anything else, and if given even the slightest excuse might even stay home. The same thing applies to the very liberal portion of the Democratic electorate … most of them will probably support Clinton if she’s the nominee in the end, but they won’t be excited about it. Yes, Democratic women will be excited about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton Presidency. But even most of them, if really pressed, could probably name another women that they might prefer more.

    If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, Democrats stand a good chance of losing (yes, even, or maybe especially, to Donald Trump), and they’d deserve it.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    It’s Summer 2015, the current support for Sanders indicates that a significant number of Democrats do not want a coronation 9 months in advance of the convention.

    I will vote for Hillary, Lassie, Mister Ed or any other Democrat, over any Republican for one reason alone – nominations to the Supreme Court.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @Todd:

    The very liberal portion of the Democratic Party generally fwcks things up. Does the name Ralph Nader ring a bell? And for what? Nader was never going to be anything. How about Abbie Hoffman and his brilliant moves in 1968? How about George McGovern and 1972? We did nothing but lose thanks to the left wing until Bill Clinton.

    And Barack Obama, despite the ex post facto mythology, was never part of the left wing. We don’t win with the left of the Democratic Party, we win with JFK, LBJ, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, all of them centrist Dems. Show me the time we won with the left of the Democratic Party. Show me one time. Ever.

    Yes, Democratic women will be excited about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

    They are the Democratic Party. It almost sounds as if you’re dismissing them, like they’re some minor constituency. It’s women who elect Democrats. Women are 53% of the total electorate and 55% of them voted for Obama. This is their party, not yours, not mine, not the left’s.

    It is as dumb and self-defeating for us to fall for the mythology of the True Democrat as it is for the other side with their fantasies of the True Conservative. This urge to throw off Hillary in favor of an old, white male who strokes our lefty erogenous zones is fatally dumb. It’s 1968 dumb. It’s 1972 dumb. It’s Nader dumb. If the GOP manages to pull its head out of its ass and nominate a Kasich he will obliterate Sanders, give them the Supreme Court for the rest of our lifetimes.

    Democrats need to sober up. Warren? Maybe. Bernie Sanders? Ain’t gonna happen. College kids don’t vote. Black church ladies vote. Pink collar working women vote. Latinos will vote. Union members vote. Old people vote. Hillary has the constituencies, Bernie has college kids, and the GOP has done a very good job of obstructing college votes.

  9. michael reynolds says:

    There’s a lot of mythologizing of students and activism and electoral results. So, just to remind people of the facts as opposed to the bullshit:

    Let us concentrate now on the development of student opinion on the Vietnam war. Massive demonstrations began at Berkeley, Ann Arbor and Madison in 1965. However, surveys showed that the majority of students supported the war until 1968. Not until June of that year did a Gallup Poll indicate that the proportion of students who thought America had made a mistake in becoming involved in Vietnam had reached 50 percent. At that time the same view was taken by 48 percent of the general public but by only 38 percent of the entire youth group from 21 to 30 years of age. This difference within the younger population was to continue in succeeding years.

    And this:

    Thus a Gallup survey of college students taken in May 1969 reported that when asked: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Nixon is handling his job as President?” 57 percent approved, 27 percent disapproved and 16 percent had no opinion. A second Gallup national student poll taken in the fall of 1969 found that students were seemingly losing interest in the protest, though they remained heavily against the war. In reporting on this survey in December 1969, Newsweek concluded that “the mood of the American campus is apparently undergoing a striking change: militancy and violence are in good measure giving way to passivity and personal introspection, and the revolutionary impulse seems- for a while, at least-to have largely spent itself.”

    I was just 14 in 1968, but I was politicized, in part because my father was a soldier in Vietnam. You want to know what the “Left” accomplished then? They prolonged the war. And as soon as the draft ended they stopped giving a sh*t one way or the other.

    The college left is feckless, disorganized, given to sudden flights of enthusiasm that wanes as soon as a new trending topic comes up on Twitter. See: Occupy. See: Black Lives Matter. “militancy and violence are in good measure giving way to passivity and personal introspection.” That’s the college left.

    Give me a pink collar worker who wants a raise in the minimum wage so she can buy shoes for her kids over a college kid any day of the week.

  10. Castanea says:

    Yeah, if youthful enthusiasm and internet activity could carry a candidate RON PAUL would have been the nominee and RAND PAUL would not be down at Christie levels right now.

    Plus, Sanders apparently thinks he can compete in the general election while nobly eschewing Super PAC money. Uh huh. Uh huhuhuhuhuhuh.

    Sanders is a great man and a great democrat and him pushing Clinton towards the left and bringing out her combative side is good (both Sanders and Clinton refuse to go negative on one another).

    Clinton is a decent person and a flawed democrat. If you aren’t ready to fight for nominee Clinton like a madman to, at the very least, prevent more Alitos, more wars, more militarized police, more judges assaulting voting rights and more wars on abortion access, you’re not a democrat at all. Just a sad little naive hipster looking for belonging.

  11. Todd says:

    @michael reynolds:

    They are the Democratic Party. It almost sounds as if you’re dismissing them, like they’re some minor constituency.

    I am not a Democrat. My mom is a very enthusiastic Democrat in Florida. Rest assured, she has a different take on Hillary Clinton than I do. However, even in the case of her and her friends, they almost seem more resigned to supporting Hillary Clinton than excited about it.

    It’s fine, perhaps Hillary Clinton is the Democrat with the best chance of winning. But to me that says something (and not a good thing) about the state of Democratic party. Yes, no doubt the Republicans are much worse. But if Hillary Clinton is the best that the supposed “good guys” can come up with, is it any wonder that so many people in this country are disenchanted with politics altogether?

  12. Ben Wolf says:

    @Castanea:

    Yeah, if youthful enthusiasm and internet activity could carry a candidate RON PAUL would have been the nominee and RAND PAUL would not be down at Christie levels right now.

    They got nowhere near the quantity of dollars or numbers of donors. Not even close to being close.

    If you aren’t ready to fight for nominee Clinton like a madman to, at the very least, prevent more Alitos, more wars, more militarized police, more judges assaulting voting rights and more wars on abortion access, you’re not a democrat at all. Just a sad little naive hipster looking for belonging.

    Inimitable logic. I’m whelmed.

  13. Todd says:

    BTW, I wouldn’t call myself an “enthusiastic” supporter of Bernie Sanders either. There are a few things I don’t agree with him on. And I really don’t know much about how he’d deal with foreign policy (which tends to be my #1 issue). But I do know that to me character matters, and I would feel much better marking the box next to Sander’s name than I would about taking the same action for Clinton.

  14. michael reynolds says:

    The country wants a Democrat. The country agrees with Democrats on most issues. But Democrats have to tick a few boxes to win a general (thanks to the Left of the Democratic Party.)

    1) Will you blow the sh!t out of our enemies, yes or no?

    2) Will you treat taxpayers like an Amex Black Card, yes or no?

    3) Do you love this country, despite its faults, yes or no?

    The answers are yes, no, and yes. Anything else and we lose. Bernie fails on 1 and 2.

  15. Gromitt Gunn says:

    In a different direction than the comments have gone so far, one really has to /boggle at Chaffee, Webb, and the other one (I seriously can’t remember, and I’m too lazy to scroll up). If you add up the total support for all three, they poll at a lower percentage than Biden *who isn’t even running.*

    Bland white dudes, seriously, what are you thinking?

  16. Todd says:

    @michael reynolds: I generally agree with you about the left of the Democratic party. Those who stayed home in the 2010 and 2014 mid-terms because they were disenchanted that President Obama hadn’t achieved “enough” of their priorities are idiots. That being said, the reflexive defending of Hillary Clinton by more “mainstream” Democrats has been a real turnoff to me too. Most of what the Republicans have thrown against the wall against Hillary Clinton has been bullshit. But when something does “stick” (and whether you think the email issue is “unfair” or not, objectively, there can be little doubt that it’s sticking), and there’s still plenty of time to jump on a different horse, it just seems really boneheaded not to.

  17. An Interested Party says:

    For all of those disenchanted with Hillary, who is their dream candidate? Defending her is not so much circling the wagons around her, but rather, looking at politics as the art of the possible…and while we all would like to support the candidate with impeccable character, there’s something to be said for perfect being the enemy of the good and all of that…oh, and as for the idea that conservatives hate Hillary, the reality is that they will strongly oppose the Democratic candidate/president, no matter who he/she is…

  18. An Interested Party says:

    For all of those disenchanted with Hillary, who is their dream candidate? Defending her is not so much circling the wagons around her, but rather, looking at politics as the art of the possible…and while we all would like to support the candidate with impeccable character, there’s something to be said for perfect being the enemy of the good and all of that…oh, and as for the idea that conservatives hate Hillary, the reality is that they will strongly oppose the Democratic candidate/president, no matter who he/she is…

  19. Todd says:

    @An Interested Party: I don’t know if “dream” is the right word, but I would actually prefer Biden over Clinton. Foreign policy is the area of the Presidency where the office holder has by far the most autonomy. Therefore, to me it’s by far the most important issue. But since it’s also an area where many of the facts that go into decision making will be opaque to the general public, it’s important to trust the character, temperament and decision making ability of the candidate. This is why I’ve generally supported President Obama, even on areas where I might not totally agree … I trust him. I do not trust Hillary Clinton. And it’s not just character, it’s her judgment too. The turning point for me totally opposing her was that week of press conferences with the “jokes”. Her judgment on how to handle that was so bad (IMO) that I now just don’t trust her when it comes to making no shit life and death decisions about our country’s foreign relations. In my estimation Joe Biden would be similar to Obama; someone whose judgement I would trust on issues where he and he alone is making life and death calls under pressure. Ironically (perhaps) it’s Hillary Clinton who I’d be scared to have answer that 3am phone call from her ad in the last 2008 primary cycle.

  20. edmondo says:

    For all of those disenchanted with Hillary, who is their dream candidate?

    Anyone else.

  21. Tyrell says:

    There was an article today, apparently Sanders got worried about his record on guns and tried to explain: in effect backtracking !
    This is not the time in the game to start waffling and weaving, flipping and flopping, twisting and turning ! Bernie needs to be bold – let the chips fall where they may.
    “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead !” (Admiral Farragut, Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864)

  22. edmondo says:

    He’s 73, has no organization, no money, very little experience, no gravitas, no super-D support, and he’s too far left.

    And he’s virtually tied with the other candidate who has universal name recognition, has raised a half billion dollars, been in the public eye for a quarter century and is supported by every DNC crony who thinks the world revolves around Washington DC. That should scare the shit out of you.

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @Todd:

    The Democrat’s bench: Warren, Biden, Gore. Warren says no, Biden would be a weak candidate, and Gore shows no interest. Some others, Diane Feinstein is too old, Patty Murray doesn’t have the gravitas, Boxer’s done. Claire McCaskill? Maybe. There is not some long line of potential replacements, it’s Hillary or we’re in trouble.

  24. Todd says:

    @michael reynolds:

    it’s Hillary or we’re in trouble.

    Then trouble it is.

    She will not be the next President.

    That’s not a wish, it’s a fairly confident prediction.

  25. Tyrell says:

    @michael reynolds: I remember the McGovern fiasco. Senator McGovern was an honorable leader, but the radical elements had taken over the Democratic party in 1972. But probably no Democrats at that time could have beaten Nixon.
    If Humphrey had one more week in 1968 presidential campaign, he would have won. And things might have turned out a lot different.
    After President Kennedy was killed, things went downhill completely for a long time.

  26. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: It is interesting to me that you mention the anti-war fervor in 1965. My older brother turned 18 that year and joined the army straight out of high school because he felt a need to stand against the radical leftist element that he saw at the time as pro-Communist. (My family has been and stayed very conservative.) As he explained it to me, “I need to put my money where my mouth is.” He served in the Airborne and did 3, IIRC tours in Vietnam–by the time of his second tour, he had decided to do one more and avoid reserve duty.

    The thing that he has said most often about his service, other than “I don’t want to talk about that” is “I wish I could say that I’m proud of what we did.”

  27. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Todd: Are you “not a Democrat” in the same way that Doug is “not a Republican,” or are you serious about it?

  28. Todd says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:

    Are you “not a Democrat” in the same way that Doug is “not a Republican,” or are you serious about it?

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a registered Independent, and I don’t intend to change in the future. I will freely admit that given the choice recently I will normally vote Democrat. That being said, if I had to describe my reasoning, it’s not that I’m “anti-Republican” but more “anti-Conservative”. For instance, my favorite President during my adult lifetime was the first (George H.W.) President Bush. But unfortunately, that type of pragmatic northeastern Republican is all but extinct these days.

    Although my ideology without a doubt more closely aligns with today’s Democratic party, my temperament is more (small c) conservative. I’m not at all a partisan. That’s probably the reason I am having such a hard time understanding people reflexively defending Hillary Clinton with the email thing. I think I’m pretty fair about calling bullshit when it’s really bullshit (Benghazi). But this one is a character issue that’s going to have stickiness right through the general election. And since I’m not a partisan Democrat, I’m going to call it like I see it.

  29. Todd says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: p.s. I obviously can’t speak for Doug, but following him both here and on Facebook, I think it’s entirely accurate to say he’s not a Republican. From my interactions with him, he seems to be a consistent Libertarian (unlike many of the Conservatives who have taken to fashionably calling themselves Libertarian lately).

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker:
    My father was a career soldier. By the time he came back from his second tour and I was coming eligible he was offering to drive me to Canada.

  31. Grumpy Realist says:

    I’m making a stink Bernie-wise not because I want him to win but because I want him to pull Hillary leftward.

    Hillary at present comes across as a big bowl of meh. I’ll still vote for her, but she’s certainly not someone I’m enthusiastic about.

  32. JohnMcC says:

    @michael reynolds: I got out of active service (and into what Tom Lehrer called the ‘radioactive reserve’) in ’68. My half-serious career plan was to go to Toronto and open a half-way house for American kids headed for the frozen north. Thought there was probably a market for counselling regarding getting into Canadian universities, what jobs they could fill, some transient housing for guys who’d taken off on short notice. Everybody I talked to about thought it was a joke but with a little serious help…. Who knows?

  33. stonetools says:

    One question of the anti Clintonites: Why is it that conservatives are focusing most of their fire against Hillary Clinton, and little or none vs other candidate? Is it because conservatives don’t understand how the judge who will be their biggest threat in the general?

    Remember 1972?

    The favorite for the Democratic nomination then became Ed Muskie,[5] the 1968 vice-presidential nominee.[6] Muskie’s momentum collapsed just prior to the New Hampshire primary, when the so-called “Canuck letter” was published in the Manchester Union-Leader. The letter, actually a forgery from Nixon’s “dirty tricks” unit, claimed that Muskie had made disparaging remarks about French-Canadians – a remark likely to injure Muskie’s support among the French-American population in northern New England. Subsequently, the paper published an attack on the character of Muskie’s wife Jane, reporting that she drank and used off-color language during the campaign. Muskie made an emotional defense of his wife in a speech outside the newspaper’s offices during a snowstorm. Though Muskie later stated that what had appeared to the press as tears were actually melted snowflakes, the press reported that Muskie broke down and cried, shattering the candidate’s image as calm and reasoned.[7]

    Now, is there evidence that the Republicans are carrying pout similar “dirty tricks” against the Democratic front runner? Why yes there is.

    .

    But one of the group’s biggest projects in 2014 will be to create a Hillary Clinton video archive. Rising staffers are building a dedicated team to find every second of Clinton footage –- from YouTube, the C-SPAN library, social media, local news stations, university libraries, business websites, local public TV websites, and on and on -– organize it, archive it, and have it quickly accessible in a giant database.

    “That’s what we want to be cocky about,” Miller said. “We’re going to have all that old video so if Hillary goes out there [as a presidential candidate in 2015 and 2016], she’s in a completely different universe than she was when she first ran for office, on the progressive side. The progressive base is emboldened and they’re going to want a progressive champion. And Hillary has said a lot of things in the past that is not going to jive with them.”

    America Rising’s Hillary project, which is headed up by Raj Shah, a former deputy research director at the Republican National Committee, has its counterpart in a division within American Bridge called Correct the Record. Bridge has said Correct the Record is devoted to providing rapid response to hit back at negative stories about all Democratic candidates. But the fact that the outfit, which has 20 employees, is stocked with Hillary insiders says everything.

    I could go on, but suffice it to say, tat the reactions of Todd and Ben Wolf track precisely how Republican oppo groups hope liberals and independents will react towards Clinton. Doubtlessly, of course, they think they are exercising “independent judgment”.Liberal naivete is a constant assist to GOP political campaigns.

  34. michael reynolds says:

    @JohnMcC:

    That would have been a mitzvah and I would certainly have appreciated it. But of course at the time I was 19 and therefore immortal, so I doubt I’d have gone over, despite my Dad. And then, my luck held and they ended the draft.

    How anyone can look back on their life and not acknowledge the importance of sheer, dumb luck I will never understand.

  35. Tillman says:

    @stonetools: You realize pointing out people are echoing Republican attacks in their criticism of Clinton doesn’t make them reconsider their viewpoint, right? Clinton tried this same schtick back in ’08 in the primary with Obama. Labeling your critics’ thinking as Republican-lite is circling the wagons instead of thoughtful engagement, and the only thoughtful engagement I’ve received that’s pro-Clinton is an expressed, undying need to not screw up. Somehow Clinton represents not screwing up.

    No one’s put forth an argument that Clinton represents not screwing up that isn’t based on the thinking that led to Obama defeating her. I’m seeing a disturbing lack of lessons learned in her campaigning thus far. My gut hasn’t hit the point of believing she’ll lose the election, but that’s only because the Republican field remains weak. It won’t stay that way.

  36. stonetools says:

    @Tillman:

    Oh, I’m quite willing to argue that Clinton is solid on policy and will be solid on Supreme Court appointments. I’ll do so the first time anyone at OTB posts on the Clinton’s policy positions, rather than whether Clinton gives people a warm feeling inside, what her poll numbers look like this week, or whether her having a private email server isn’t the greatest scandal in history of Presidential politics or merely the second greatest.

  37. Tyrell says:

    @Castanea: No, no. Hillary knows better than that. Any move to the left will cost her states. She is determined to stay in the middle. Sanders has some good ideas, but has showed weakness on some occasions. He can’t afford to be backtracking and flip-flopping.
    Candidates need to prove that they can go toe to toe with Putin, ISIS, North Korea, and Iran. If some these candidates get any further out in left field, they are going to be in the bleacher seats behind the foul pole !
    The candidates can not ignore or write off any states.
    “Militarized police” : have you watched the news lately ? Seems like some of the police may not be “militarized ” enough. (See Houston, Texas police shooting)

  38. Todd says:

    @stonetools:

    I could go on, but suffice it to say, tat the reactions of Todd and Ben Wolf track precisely how Republican oppo groups hope liberals and independents will react towards Clinton.

    Wow, talk about some condescending bullshit.

    So my reaction to Hillary Clinton has nothing at all to do with her and the decisions she’s made … I’m simply falling into the trap set by those wily old Republicans ???

    Got it, silly me.

    Thank you so much for pointing out the error of my ways. No seriously. 😉

    As for this:

    I’ll do so the first time anyone at OTB posts on the Clinton’s policy positions,

    Sure, her policy positions are perfectly acceptable; as are the positions of pretty much any of the other candidates who might get the Democratic nomination. In primaries, there is generally not a lot of significant daylight between candidates when it comes to policy. So we are left to evaluate based on character and judgement; which unfortunately for her, do not appear to be Clinton’s strong suits.

  39. Tillman says:

    @stonetools: She had, and continues to have, very good policy. Hey, she had great policy in the ’08 primary too! Remember the individual mandate? That was her idea! She was the first to bring it up in debates and stick with it.

    However, we’re debating this after two terms of Obama so there must be something beyond the policy that turned off voters. It appears to me that dismissing everything else but policy about her campaign as superficial ignores how everything else but policy doomed her campaign last time around.