Voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, two key nominating states and general election battlegrounds, have had quite a lot of exposure to Hillary Clinton through campaign rallies, meet-and-greets, and millions of dollars in television advertising. Democrat-leaners in the two early states have't been impressed; self-described Socialist Bernie Sanders has inexorably gained on her on Iowa, and has led in every major New Hampshire survey since August. NBC News is out with fresh polling data from the Hawkeye and Granite States that may stir additional consternation in Democratic circles. Iowa:
She's down ten to Jeb, down seven to Trump, and trails Fiorina by 14 points in hypothetical match-ups. In New Hampshire, Hillary holds a modest three-point lead over Donald Trump, but has fallen behind Bush and Fiorina by seven and eight-point margins, respectively. Bernie Sanders outperforms her against all three potential GOP rivals -- leading Trump in both states, and Carly in New Hampshire. In fairness, head-to-head numbers tend to bounce around, so their utility in predicting voters' actions 13 months from now is spotty at best. The Clinton campaign should be more concerned about several enduring trends: First, President Obama's job approval rating is underwater in Iowa (38/55) and New Hampshire (43/51). Any Democratic nominee -- Clinton and Biden especially -- will be tied to the Obama legacy. Second, Mrs. Clinton's personal favorability remains quite weak in these critical states, in which she's spent so much time and money since launching (and re-launching) her campaign (Iowa, then New Hampshire):
Roughly six in ten registered voters hold unfavorable views of Hillary Clinton, with almost nobody undecided, thanks to her brand saturation. The only other candidate polled in these surveys whose numbers are this far upside-far down is...Donald Trump, sitting at (-23) in Iowa -- on par with Hillary -- and (-33) in New Hampshire, significantly worse than her. Whatever small bounce Hillary have have gained from her please like me performance on SNL this past weekend, she may well have erased it in an interview with NBC this morning. She abandoned all pretense of contrition over her email scandal, blithely asserting that she's been historically transparent and suggesting that the continued focus on the issue is "beyond the pale:"
This arrogant, dishonest career politician is attempting to disqualify questions pertaining to her improper email arrangement as illegitimate. Unfortunately for her, the FBI is investigating her server scheme, which violated federal rules and compromised reams of classified material -- and about which she's lied repeatedly. She's been shown to have withheld emails that she claimed under penalty of perjury to have already turned over, a process that only commenced under intense public pressure and court orders. Cease and desist with your impertinent questions, Her Majesty demands. And she wonders why people don't like or trust her.