Okay, so for the last few days I’ve been reading that it’s essentially over for Hillary Clinton. She might as well just give up now, they said. Clinton isn’t going anywhere, they said. I think you know where I’m going with this.
Matthew Yglesias on Vox says the obvious: Even though the media is reporting that Clinton’s campaign is flailing, what is actually going on is exactly the opposite. The latest poll from Quinnipiac shows that Clinton is in the lead with 45 percent of Democratic voters, and in second is Bernie Sanders at 22 percent. But of course media outlets on both the left and the right are somehow portraying this poll as if it’s curtains for Clinton.
Yes, I feel like being a vindictive jerk today. But it’s only because I’m seeing columns like this, where H.A. Goodman says that Bernie Sanders should be considered the Democratic frontrunner now. Just cause. Or columns like this, where the same author lists three ridiculous reasons that Clinton is somehow doomed. Goodman claims the FBI is now Clinton’s “running mate”, and that she will be investigated for storing classified emails on her private server and that “… there’s a great likelihood of more revelations pertaining to breaches in protocol.” Again, Goodman’s evidence that she “breach[ed] further protocol” does not appear in the column. Furthermore, Goodman claims that because Sanders has increased his name recognition (which is true), that somehow makes him competitive. I’d now like to list three reasons that Goodman and other Sanders’ supporters are getting ahead of themselves.
- They mistake interest in Sanders’ campaign for actual votes in a Democratic primary.
- Because Hillary isn’t liberal enough for them, she must be punished. Remember, Sanders’ supporters now speak collectively for the Democratic Party, which is particularly interesting because Sanders isn’t even a registered Democrat.
- People like Goodman don’t even want a debate. They just want to cast Hillary aside because of her stature of her last name. Well, guess what? There are still plenty of polls that show a vigorous interest in Clinton’s campaign. Deal with it.
Now, before I get carried away, yes I did see there is a second poll (this time from PPP, a left-leaning polling firm) that shows Bernie Sanders ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire. But all that tells us is that Sanders’ campaign is competitive in a state that’s right next to his home state of Vermont. As for every other geographical territory (Iowa, South Carolina, and while there as of now is no polling in Nevada, this poll showing her with a 58% favorability rating among Latino voters basically tells the story), he remains noncompetitive.
And yes, Hillary’s favorability ratings are not very high among all voters at the moment. And yes, there’s another Quinnipiac poll that shows that the most common word people associate with Hillary is “liar” (while Trump is “arrogant”). And yes, Hillary is not handling her “server-gate scandal” in a deft manner. But I think back to my last post, when “experts” (read: everyday people) were just so sure that the U.S. economy was tanking. I think back to 2012, when “experts” were just so sure that Romney was going to win and the election was going to be close.
I’m not even saying Bernie won’t win New Hampshire. He just may. Hell, he even may win the whole damn nomination. See, the difference between me and a guy like H.A. Goodman is that I KNOW that it’s months away from the first Democratic debate, let alone the first Democratic primary. I KNOW that a lot can happen between now and then, and I’m not going to speculate in a ridiculous fashion the way Goodman and other Sanders’ supporters so ostentatiously do on a daily basis. I KNOW that it’s not up to one faction of the Democratic Party as to who our party nominates. It’s up to all Democratic primary voters. So let’s all just report what’s going on in the moment and stop trying to be fortune-tellers, okay?