Ever since the beginning of the race, I’ve assumed that Hillary would have a cakewalk to the Democratic nomination. Hillary has most of the big endorsements from powerful liberal interest groups,she has the support of 760 CEOs and chief executives, she has tons more money that anyone else could dream about, she has connections to virtually ever Washington insider in existence, and she has name recognition. Those are the things that generally predict who will get the nomination. Even though Hillary has massive weaknesses–total lack of charisma, nonstop lying and sleaze, bad case of foot-in-mouth disease–I assumed her support from Wall Street and the establishment would carry her through.
Bernie Sanders entered the campaign polling in the single digits, and why wouldn’t he? He hadn’t even really been a Democrat for his whole Senate career. In summer his numbers climbed slowly to about 30% and seemed to get stuck there, giving Hillary a comfortable margin despite all the bad news that had hit her campaign. And it stayed that way through the fall.
And then Boom!
Hillary Clinton’s support among Democrats nationally has taken a serious tumble, falling eight points to 43%, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll. Support for her chief rival, Bernie Sanders, climbed six points to 39%. As a result, Clinton’s lead over Sanders, which had been 18 points, is now just 4 points. Other polls have shown the race tightening in Iowa, which holds its caucuses on Feb. 1, and New Hampshire, which has its primary eight days later. Two recent New Hampshire surveys have Sanders in the lead, and the latest NBC poll in Iowa has Sanders just three points behind Clinton.
Regionally, Clinton saw her support drop most in the Northeast (where it fell to 36% from 50%) and the West (37% down from 49%). Sanders now holds the lead in both places. Clinton support also tumbled among suburban voters, dropping to 39% from last a month’s 50%. And she has lost backing among moderate Democrats, falling to 44% from 58%. Sanders picked up 10 points among moderates, to 37%.
This poll could be a fluke, but if other polls show something similar then there may be a Democratic race after all.