Christine highlighted one element of the NBC/Marist polls that came out over the holiday weekend: Namely, that Bernie Sanders continues to gain on Hillary Clinton in Iowa, and has opened up a significant lead over the Democratic frontrunner in New Hampshire. Panic button time? The gray lines are NBC's findings from July. The blue bars are where these primary races stand today:
Bernie Sanders has jumped out to a nine-point lead over front-runner Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and he's gained ground on her among Iowa voters in the Democratic presidential race, according to a pair of brand-new NBC News/Marist polls. In New Hampshire, the Vermont senator gets the support of 41 percent of Democratic voters, Clinton gets 32 percent and Vice President Joe Biden gets 16 percent. Back in July's NBC/Marist poll, Clinton was ahead of Sanders in the Granite State by 10 points, 42 percent to 32 percent, with Biden at 12 percent. Without Biden in the race, Sanders' lead over Clinton in the current survey increases to 11 points, 49 percent to 38 percent. In Iowa, Clinton maintains her previous advantage over Sanders — but her lead has declined from 24 points in July (49 percent to 25 percent) to 11 points (38 percent to 27 percent); Biden sits at 20 percent.
As you let these results marinate a bit, please recall that Team Clinton raced seven-figure ad buys in these states to the air last month. The gauzy bio spots were originally scheduled to run later in the fall, but the campaign decided that Hillary needed to bolster her standing with Sanders nipping at her heels. Those hefty expenditures appear to have done absolutely nothing to stanch the bleeding, a worrisome sign for her. She's going to drop another $4 million in Iowa and New Hampshire throughout September and October, the campaign has announced. Those two states are also general election battlegrounds, and Hillary is sucking wind on that front, too. In Iowa, she trails Jeb Bush by 11 points (50/39) in a hypothetical matchup and is losing to Donald Trump by five points (48/43). Bush leads Clinton by five (48/43) in the Granite State, where she is virtually tied (46/45) with Trump. Vice President Joe Biden performs better than she does against Republicans in both states, drawing nearly even with Jeb and beating Trump. Just before the long weekend, Hillary granted a rare national interview to NBC's Andrea Mitchell, who pressed Clinton on her still-unfolding email scandal. Hillary refused to apologize for her actions, instead expressing regret that the episode has been so "confusing" to the simpletons who populate the country she wants to lead. She also confessed that she "was not thinking a lot" when she paid a staffer to set up the private, unsecure server on which she conducted all of her business -- including improperly trafficking in classified material:
The "I just wasn't thinking" excuse doesn't pass the laugh test. The path of least resistance would have entailed going alone with established guidelines: Using the State Department's existing and secure system, and using State-issued phones and tablets. Instead, she went through the hassle and expense of establishing her own separate system, supposedly because she sought the "convenience" of using a single wireless device -- which was, of course, a lie. Nothing about her private email scheme reflects casual thoughtlessness or convenience; it reflects self-interested calculation, even at the expense of national security. As she weaves her tales and updates her faltering excuses, it's not just the people of Iowa and New Hampshire who are giving Hillary a big thumbs-down. Gallup's national numbers:
She's at a 23-year nadir on favorability. As Allahpundit correctly notes, this data trajectory will improve if and when she becomes the nominee, as currently-unenthused Democrats will "come home" and circle the wagons. Nonetheless, this isn't a pretty picture for an allegedly dominant presumptive nominee. What do you say, Joe? I'll leave you with this flatly untrue claim:
Hillary: Everything I did w/ my email was allowed, the scandal is a distraction, I don't know any technical details: http://t.co/AZhWTJIgmZ— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 7, 2015
You know who doesn't see this as a distraction, in addition to the American people? The FBI.