While Republicans gear up for a long, intense primary season filled with numerous debates and excellent candidates, Democrats — who thought they could just sit back and enjoy the show while Hillary Clinton locks up her party’s nomination — now find themselves wondering if she can even survive and make it to the General Election.
The Clinton campaign will tell you this is a natural summer slump and ultimately once voters start paying attention, she will rebound.
That may very well be the case; however, recent trends in multiple polls seem to indicate the problems voters have with Hillary are more than any Clinton PR person or political consultant wants to admit (at least publicly).
The latest Quinnipiac University poll in several swing states released in late July shows Clinton trailing Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker in each one.
In Colorado, Clinton trails Rubio 38 percent to 46 percent; Bush 36 percent to 41 percent, and Walker 38 percent to 47 percent.
In Iowa, she trails Rubio 36 percent to 44 percent, Bush 36 percent to 42 percent, and Walker 37 percent to 45 percent.
And in Virginia, she closes the gap (likely due to the large federal employee base in Northern Virginia) but still trails Rubio 41 percent to 43 percent, Bush 39 percent to 42 percent, and Walker 40 percent to 43 percent.
Nationally she continues to slide as well: In May she led both Bush and Walker by 10 and 8 points respectively; now she trails Bush 42-41 and only leads Walker 44-43.
Ironically, she does her best against Republican front-runner Donald Trump, leading by double digits.
But what should be most concerning is the fact that voters simply say they don’t trust her.
In Colorado, only 34 percent of voters said they see Clinton as honest and trustworthy while 62 percent said they don’t.
In Iowa, the numbers were 33 percent to 59 percent — dropping from 45 percent to 47 percent in April.
And again in Virginia, she does best, but still doesn’t top 40 percent with 39 percent saying they trust her to 55 percent saying they don’t.
Clinton also recorded her worst national favorability score ever in the Quinnipiac survey. Countrywide just 40 percent of voters view her favorably, compared with 51 percent who do not. By a 20 point margin (57-37) responders said Clinton was not honest and trustworthy, and 52 percent said she didn’t care about their needs or problems.
If these numbers persist into the fall, she and the Democrats will have no choice but to re-evaluate. These numbers have nothing to do with her position on issues — simply her character and, after four decades in the public eye, most voters formed their opinion of her long ago.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the vice president is now slowly testing the waters and has decided to wait until at least September to make a decision.
The same poll that shows Clinton at her lowest point ever has Biden at his highest favorability rating (49 percent) in seven years, with 58 percent saying he was honest and trustworthy and 57 percent saying he cared about them.
He and his team are smart to hold off and see if those numbers have been inflated due to the outpouring of sympathy and support after the recent passing of his son to brain cancer — and whether or not Clinton starts an upward tick.
Mainstream Democrats’ worst fear is that the momentum Bernie Sanders has created can’t be stopped by Hillary. While she trounces him nationally, growing concerns persist that Mrs. Clinton could lose in Iowa and New Hampshire, where — according to the WMUR Granite State poll released on Aug. 4 — Sanders is now in a “statistical tie” after trailing by double digits in the spring.
His populist message continues to draw large crowds and his favorability rating in the state has now surpassed Clinton’s (59-54).
So as long as this trend continues, Democrats will continue to seek alternatives, including ways to prevent Sanders, who is a registered Independent, from actually qualifying to run as a Democrat.
The other announced candidates, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Mally and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb, have not gained any traction or been able to capitalize on Clinton’s slide despite solid resumes.
As a result, some party leaders have reached out to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz encouraging him to challenge Clinton.
As of now, Clinton remains the overwhelming favorite to win the nomination despite all the scandals and poor polling numbers.
But if we look at the archives, pundits, talking heads, bloggers and columnists all said the same thing in 2007. And we know how that turned out. …