The Corner

Culture

Hillary at 33 Percent Support in Bloomberg/Selzer Poll

When we are finally able to focus in on something other than Donald Trump, we may discover that it is the Democratic primary that is the more interesting of the two. Per Bloomberg:

One quarter of Americans who are registered Democrats or lean that way say Vice President Joe Biden is now their top choice for president. The findings of a national Bloomberg Politics poll released Wednesday represent a notable achievement for an as-yet undeclared candidate, suggest concerns about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, and raise the prospect of a competitive three-way race for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Clinton, once the prohibitive front-runner, is now the top choice of 33 percent of registered Democrats and those who lean Democrat, the poll shows. Biden places second with 25 percent and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is at 24 percent. The other three Democratic candidates combined are the top choice for less than 4 percent of that base.

Put another way, then: It’s Hillary 33; Not Hillary: 52.

Despite her precarious position, I am still of the view that Hillary has the best chance at going the distance. But she is certainly not “inevitable” — in either practice or in perception. If she were, we would not be seeing stories such as this one:

Two major unions have decided to delay endorsements in the presidential race — a move labor insiders attribute in part to the uncertainty Vice President Joe Biden’s potential run has inserted into the Democratic primary.

The decisions are a setback for Hillary Clinton, who has been courting the labor giants in the hopes of an early lock down of two powerhouse unions that can organize millions of members and resources on the ground. And they come against the backdrop of a Clinton campaign show of force — in terms of establishment donors, delegates and endorsements — as Biden weighs his options. Adding the support of two of the most muscular unions now would have sent a powerful message there is little room in the race for the vice president.

If, as seems possible, Clinton loses both New Hampshire and Iowa, things might well get nasty. And when things get nasty, Hillary tends to panic. When perfectly scripted, she is just about passable as a human being; when required to navigate the internal cleavages of a party that comprises a disparate coalition of often-incompatible interest groups, she tends to melt down. How amusing it would be to see her blow it again. Pass the popcorn, chaps.

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