Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pre-Democratic Debate Polls: Clinton Leads Field, But Looks Vulnerable in General

Hillary Clinton is below her 60 percent super leads in July, but with about two-fifths of the vote in RealClearPolitics polling average, she is still the solid frontrunner.

She has a modest lead in Iowa (6 points) and continues to lag behind Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire (9 points). But beyond the first two states, there is no sense her support among rank and file or minority Democrats has collapsed. Sanders draws his biggest crowds on the coasts and the campuses.

But, Clinton has problems and they are highlighted by the Joe Biden boomlet. His moving around on the sidelines is a sign senior Democrats believe Clinton could be so wounded by the email scandal that she can’t credibly lead the party next November. That crisis, if it comes, may not happen until 2016, making a Biden entrance now very contentious since neither Clinton nor Sanders are likely to move aside.

The numbers that scare Democrats the most are from a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll that shows her losing or tied with everyone except Donald Trump. That is the second recent poll that has undermined one of her main arguments for her frontrunner status – that she can win the presidency and help Democrats win back the Senate.

Whether or not Michael Bennet goes back to the senate rests to a large extent on the President’s approval rating next year and the quality of the party’s presidential nominee and campaign.

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