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In most media coverage, it appears as though Hillary Clinton has the Democratic nomination locked up with no questions asked. However, an examination of polling date in December tells a different story. Clinton still leads in Iowa, though sometimes by less than ten points, and the lead in New Hampshire has changed hands several times with her closest challenger, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

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Report from Politico:

There’s little doubt that Clinton is outpacing the insurgent Vermont senator in Iowa: It’s been four months since Sanders led Clinton in a reliable poll of likely or potential Democratic caucus-goers here. But it’s also been nearly a month since the most recent poll was conducted — a result of pollsters staying out of the field as Iowa voters were focused more on the holidays than on politics.

And while the former secretary of state has led in the past 14 polls conducted by live telephone interviewers, there is another caveat that could give the Clinton campaign pause: In those 14 polls, the only two that show her with a lead of less than 10 points were from The Des Moines Register and legendary Iowa pollster J. Ann Selzer.

Selzer’s reputation for accuracy is well-earned: Her final polls in the 2014 Senate race, the 2012 general election and GOP caucuses, and the 2008 caucuses in both parties were famously predictive of the eventual results. An October survey from Selzer, which was commissioned by Bloomberg Politics and the Register, showed Clinton with a 7-point lead. In December, Clinton’s lead had inched up to 9 points, 48 percent to 39 percent — significant, but hardly dominant. [Emphasis added]

Iowa can be very uncertain until the day voting begins. Candidates trailing just days before have come up with surging victories. In this case, if Sanders hovers within 10 points according to many polls, he’s well within the Iowa striking distance if enough Democratic voters turn on Mrs. Clinton.

In New Hampshire, the polls show a very open race with Sanders leading in two out of the last three polls at the time of writing. There hasn’t been much reporting on this in major media outlets, but clearly it must be giving the Clinton campaign some reason for concern. I am very eager to see some new polls come out to understand how New Hampshire is starting to shape up on the Democratic side in the new year.

There has been no new polling in January but I expect there should be updated polling by the end of the week which may give us a better idea of where things stand after the holidays.

57 COMMENTS

  1. I guess it depends on how badly the parties want to win. The bases would love to see Bernie vs. The Donald. Even on here, people think “everyone” agrees with their candidate. But if they’re looking for November, they’ll want someone more agreeable to centrists.

    • disagree, as Hillary is the most polarizing candidate to many republicans and right leaning independents. I know many fiscal republicans who are fed up with the way large banks were bailed out and agree heavily with Bernies rhetoric. Meanwhile Hillary’s been the butt of republican jokes for over a decade, not to mention bengazi

      • I don’t think Benghazi has much traction outside of Republican circles, but Bernie is a stronger candidate because he brings in more independents and his supporters are more energized and likely to actually show up.

  2. If Bernie wins IA and NH — it’s bye-bye Hitlery (even if the FBI fails to arrest her ugliness).

    • I hope not. Neither of those states are remotely typical of the USA. It’s a shame that they have had such import in the past.

      But I think you’re wrong, anyway.

      Obama looked like he was walking away with it in 2008, and she didn’t give up, and had a strong second wind.

      If she loses IA and NH, she’ll just go on to NV (where she’s ahead 50-30). and I don’t think anyone expects Bernie to take SC (67-26).

      On Super Tuesday, I would expect her to take AL, AR, GA, OK, TN, TX, and probably VA. He might take CO, MA, MN, and VT.

      • “I hope not.” ??

        So you admit you want Hillary to win!

        Goethe finally displays his true colors….

        • Your perception is, as usual, superficial and erroneous. I have repeatedly said I don’t want Hillary. My main beef is the idea of any wife following any president into the White House. It’s unseemly, and possibly dangerous.

          You said Iowa and New Hampshire would decide the election. I hope that ain’t so. Neither of those states represent who we are as a country.

          • “Neither of those states represent who we are as a country.” Really, what makes you so sure? I lived several places in this country, to include Iowa, and I’d say Iowa is a good mix of typical liberal and conservative voters.

      • He’s pulling within 10 in California (one of the only ones that actually matters), and if he wins Iowa, he can win Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, maybe even Ohio. It’s momentum that matters, and if he takes both of the first two primary states, she’s probably toast, though he’ll still have trouble in the South. You Hillary supporters are mighty proud of the fact that states that will never consider voting for a dem in the general are rock solid Hillary supporters, but it might not be enough.

        • Hillary supporter–HA! Where did you get that? I’ve been slamming her since 2008. My choice is still Rand, at this point.

          I repeat: IA and NH won’t decide it. I agree with you that what happens AFTERWARD matters. If she is shown not to be “inevitable,” she’ll drop like brick (or, this year, a Bush).

          As for her strength in the southern states, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about the raw number of convention delegates now.

          Anyway, if she loses several primaries, and looks vulnerable–as in 1968–I suspect the Vice President will enter the race, and probably win. He’s already saying he regrets “every day” that he said he wouldn’t run.

          • Rand is the only one of that clown car I would even consider voting for, and that only over Hillary (mostly for his non-interventionism). I do have a difficult time though understanding why an avowed Rand supporter would lean more towards Hillary than Sanders, Sanders is far more libertarian (small l) in terms of social policy, Hillary is just another in a long string of aristocratic autocrats who think the government has the right and responsibility to impose its will on the people.
            Gay marriage, the drug war, military interventionism…Hillary is about as far from Rand Paul (and the libertarianism I assume you find attractive about him) as you can get. Bernie has been on the right side of these issues forever, and was one of only 6 senators (along with RP) to vote against the NDAA based on excessive executive power.
            Unless you’re just trolling or playing devil’s advocate, I can’t see why a Paul supporter would prefer Hillary to Bernie. And Paul doesn’t stand a chance in today’s Republican party of getting the nod, his ideology isn’t vitriolic enough (what’s he at now, 3%)?

            • Geez, people. I was responding to the claim that losses in Iowa and New Hampshire would end Hillary’s campaign.

              The “I hope not” was NOT supporting Hillary, it was saying that two small, relatively weird states shouldn’t have the power to end ANY campaign.

              Beyond that, I meant don’t get overconfident if the Clintons lose one or two. They don’t give up, and they have creative resources.

              And finally, I am not an “avowed supporter” of anyone. Some are just less obnoxious than others. I have slammed Rand for flip-flopping, and for being a “politician,” very unlike his dad.

            • Fair enough, though I think you’re discounting the importance of the South. There are some quite large delegations coming from places like Georgia and Texas, and some of these will never vote for a “socialist” regardless of what the northern states do. That means Bernie has to win even larger in the states he is capable of taking, I in no way think that he’s got an easy road even if he takes the first two primaries, but he’s got to win in at least one of them to stand any kind of legit chance, so in a way yes these two rinky-dink states DO have an undeniable outsize influence on our political process.
              Then again I don’t think it is fundamentally any worse than the fact that a Senator from Wyoming has every bit as much power as one from California or New York, fundamentally undemocratic.

        • Spot on!

          Btw — Goethe’s posts are for entertainment purposes only….

          If you ever kicked as a kid a rag-ball, that’s basically Goethe’s role here….

          • Posts are only removed when there is profanity and/or unnecessary hostility toward another poster. Or when just to redundant.

            You have never been deleted for trashing me. I give other posters credit for intelligence to see your level of maturity.

            • “Posts are only removed when there is profanity and/or unnecessary hostility toward another poster. Or just too hate-filled or redundant.”

              Yep.

    • People who distort the names of political candidates they don’t like are among the most ignorant on the internet. When the teabaggers say “Obummer”, the very fact that they do that makes people roll their eyes. Everybody but the Bots rolls their eyes at Hitlery and $hillary, because it is simplistic, hyperbolic, disrespectful, and the sign of somebody who can’t make an argument of facts so they revert to kindergarten tactics.

      • I agree. Such kindergarten comments suggest immaturity in both attitude and reasoning. It only shows hatred, not thought.

        Although I have to admit that I have sometimes used epithets, in moments of weakness, and your use of “teabaggers” detracts from your argument.

          • No, teabaggers is a clear reference to a revolting pseudo-sexual act. While I don’t share much of their ideology, your original statement drips with hypocrisy.

        • There is a vast difference between referring to a group that way, and talking the name of an actual person and doing that. If you don’t know the difference, that might give a hint and whatever else is wrong with you.

          • You should have stuck with your previous argument:

            “The grassroots movement didn’t always consider “tea bagger” a slur: Early Tea Partiers innocently embraced the term until they discovered its vulgar connotations.”

            http://theweek.com/articles/494697/evolution-word-tea-bagger

            For those who don’t know, the “vulgar connotations” relate to the comparison of a tea bag to testicles. One would think they would like the “ballsy” reference, except for the verb form:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH2WPPGC9V0

            • Republicans will never agree to work with Democrats on ANY thing. It is their way or the highway, and I can’t understand even back when Clinton was the US President they were and are still against raising the minimum wage, yet they constantly battle to give cutbacks, tax breaks for the Corporations, especially the ones who donate generously to their party annually.
              So much for representing the WORKING and MIDDLE class. When people work for these corporations who got tax cuts and then they do massive lay offs, how can these politicians and these voters/laid off workers nod in agreement to these low wages?

              Highway tolls, bus, train fares go up constantly and your salary should be locked at the rate paid back in the mid 90s?

            • So untrue (Republicans will never agree to work with Democrats on ANY thing”). Our President set the tone that HE wasn’t going to work with anyone who disagreed with him at Camp David. Bill Clinton was a uniter, Barack Obama doesn’t know how to schmooze, mend fences: or he doesn’t want to. He missed ‘leadership’ when they taught that in leadership 101.

              Let’s face it, we need a uniter a leader, more than we need a policy wonk like Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Cruz, Marco Rubio.

              This country needs an outside the beltway, outsider and I think Carly Fiorina is the answer.

            • It’s a matter of style. Obama’s whole method is “leading from behind,” that is, giving direction, but wanting others to take initiative.

              His problem is that the House and Senate are stacked against him, and will never even consider his “direction.”

              At this moment in history, he would have done better if he were like
              –LBJ, who could lean on people of both parties;
              –Reagan, who knew how to go over the heads of Congress, directly to the people; or
              –Bill Clinton, who co-opted the GOP agenda and claimed it was his idea.

              Fiorina is not the answer. She’s strident and shrill and obnoxious. She would
              –have no influence on politicians of either party;
              –only appeals to two percent of the people; and
              –certainly wouldn’t accept anyone else’s ideas.

            • I don’t understand why you say she only appeals to 2 % of the people and why you say she wouldn’t accept anyone else’s ideas?. Please explain. WHY?

            • Just going by the polls. She tops out at 4% of Republicans, and they are only half the population. If she had any future, her numbers would be going up, not dropping like a rock.

              As for accepting anyone else’s ideas, haven’t you watched the debates? And her business record says that, too.

            • Our President set the tone that HE wasn’t going to work with anyone who disagreed with him at Camp David.

              Nope.

              You’ve been played for a sucker by the Republicans, and it worked. Back on the night of January 20th, 2009, when most Americans were out celebrating the end of the Bush years and Barack and Michelle were dancing at the inaugural balls, a group of powerful Republicans was planting the seeds of Obama’s destruction.

              At the Caucus Room restaurant in Washington,DC, Republican leaders drew up a plan to sabotage President Obama at every point possible and deny him any sort of legacy. Over steaks and cocktails in a private room in the back of the restaurant, the Republican bigwigs promised each other that they would filibuster and obstruct any and all legislation supported by President Obama.

              Congressman Pete Sessions, who was at the 4-hour long dinner, even promised to use “Taliban-like” tactics to achieve those goals.

              Kevin McCarthy said that they’d obstruct every single piece of legislation. That includes things the Republicans used to support. We’ve witnessed this numerous times.

              The Caucus Room Conspiracy had three major objectives:

              1) Obstruction – knowing the corporate media would call it “gridlock” as if the Democrats were responsible, too – to prevent President Obama from having any legislative success.

              2) Sabotage any legislative victories that the president did manage to win – like Obamacare (which was one of their ideas they turned their backs on) – and convince the American people that they were actually failures.

              3) Blame all the economic damage caused by Republicans on BOTH parties and then come out in a critical election like 2014 and say that Republicans are the party that will make things right in Washington as if the state of the economy was the Democrats’ fault.

              The Caucus Room Conspiracy was largely a success. But here’s the thing. Democrats could have pointed out the relentless obstruction by Republicans.

              They could have highlighted the constant filibusters by Republicans in Congress with regular political theater by doing stunts in front of the Capitol building every time the Republicans filibustered or refused to consider a bill.

              Democrats could have called out what was going on for what it was, sabotage, and they could have made the Caucus Room Conspiracy a household phrase.

              Instead, Democrats played right into Republicans’ hands, so the Caucus Room Conspiracy was successful.

              Democrats didn’t point out the Republican obstruction. Democrats didn’t point out the real cause of all the so-called “gridlock.” And Democrats didn’t point out what Republican voter suppression and obstruction efforts were really all about.

              And, to make matters even worse, as the New York Times pointed out, Americans had absolutely no idea what either party stood for in the 2014 election.

              Neither party really ran on the issues affecting Americans.

              As the New York Times Editorial Board wrote, “Even the voters who supported Republican candidates would have a hard time explaining what their choices are going to do.”

              Instead, Republicans near universally ran on the President Obama’s inability to overcome the Caucus Room Conspiracy, and it worked like a charm.

              Meanwhile, Democrats failed to show Americans how they were different from Republicans. Democrats failed to run on their platform, and to publicize the issues that Americans really care about.

              And the idea of turning America over to Fiorina? Ask Hewlett-Packard how good an administrator she was. That’s not even getting into her preference for dishonesty. Her visceral, aggressive hatred for anything resembling truth disqualifies her from holding any public office.

            • Swastika Boy:

              By defending the criminal in Office called Obama (with his anti-constitutional nonstop efforts to destroy the US Constitution and, thus, our Free Republic… from NADA to his pernicious Executive Orders) shows you up for the brainwashed liberal tool that you are.

              Please, post some more of your idiotic tripe — so, all can see of what vile propaganda a brain-dead liberal is capable….

            • I doubt that your tripe has caused anyone to think you’re a liberal.

              Brain dead? Undoubtedly.

              Liberal? Not so much.

      • Please allow me to paraphrase your post. “Those who distort my chosen candidate’s name are childish and ignorant, but when I do it to a whole group it’s acceptable because I think they’re a bunch of stupid heads”

        Arrogant and ignorant all in one!

        • Not really. First, as she said, people used to show up at gatherings with tea bags taped to their hats. They embraced the term, and as the National Review says, maybe the right should embrace it now:

          http://www.nationalreview.com/article/357138/rise-epithet-jay-nordlinger

          Second, no, I don’t think distorting a group is as bad as an individual. While saying “Democrap” is just immature, “Hitlery” is infantile and heinous.

          Likewise, “Repugnantcan” is immature. I haven’t heard a smear of a GOP candidate’s name that’s that bad.

          Also, if it’s said once, that’s a joke. If it’s in every post, it reflects worse on the poster than the candidate.

  3. Bernie 2016!!!! Bernie won’t take corporate money and be their puppet! He is working for YOU! He wants to change America back to the way it was when EVERYONE was experiencing good times during our economic upstanding! FEEL THE BERN!!!!!!

  4. Actually, Nate, out of the 3 most recent polls in NH, PPP, ARG, and CBS/Yougov (which is an internet poll), Hillary is ahead by 3 points in both the PPP and the ARG poll. You can verify this on Real Clear Politics. I am not sure how you get a 2/3 win for Sanders from a 1/3 but I think that calls in to question the rest of your article because that is something so easy to fact check, the fact you didn’t, isn’t good.

    • Thanks for catching that. As of the moment I wrote the article, it was 2 out of 3. You’re correct, a new poll is out and the RCP page has changed. I’ve updated the article to note that it was 2 out of 3 at the time of writing. Right now, at the moment on the RCP page, it’s split with 2 polls show Hillary leading and 2 showing Sanders of the four polls they’re averaging.

  5. Just glancing through the comments, I am surprised that you permit so many trolls to dump their dumb, wrong and often offensive and insulting entries on this page. I thought it was meant to discuss US politics in an intelligent way. Instead the interested reader wastes his time on non intelligent, easy to refute and invalidate “arguments”. Don’t refer to the first amendment. That was not meant to give room for exhibitionists, who love to see their nonsense in public (under a pseudonym of course).
    Andreas Lang (Germany)

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