Collapse: Hillary's Favorability Now Lower Than At Any Point in Failed 2008 Campaign

Posted: Sep 16, 2015 11:00 AM

Hillary Clinton is hemorrhaging Democratic women, trailing Bernie Sanders in Iowa and New Hampshire, and inspiring deep distrust among general election voters. The New York Times examines her favorability freefall and notes that her standing is now worse than at any point during her unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid:

The Times' Nate Cohn reviews that scatterplot chart comparing her 2008 cycle numbers with her current performance; whereas she held steady in single-digit, net-positive territory in the two-plus years leading up to the '08 Iowa caucuses (where she famously lost to Obama), she dipped underwater on that measure earlier this year and has remained submerged ever since.  Cohn writes that her net-favorability rating is now "a dismal minus-10, or perhaps worse," which is a full 15 points lower than at this time last cycle.  He goes on to wonder if political scientists and journalists have "underestimated the significance of the email affair:"

The email controversy is unusual. There has been no indictment or even allegations of criminality. But whether it’s a true scandal or not, by now it has all of the trappings of one: generating an F.B.I. investigation, congressional hearings, an aide’s pleading of the Fifth Amendment, lawyerly explanations about the deletion of documents. It has dragged on for months and fits into a longstanding narrative of the Clintons’ trouble with honesty. The faster decline in Mrs. Clinton’s standing began in mid-July, when the F.B.I. began an investigation into the release of classified information in her email account. It was also about the time when Mr. Biden began investigating entering the race. Most data journalists and political scientists had argued that the email revelations were just another muddled, politicized dispute that would quickly split the electorate along partisan lines. But recent surveys — like an ABC/Washington Post survey from this week — show that a significant minority of Democrats (29 percent to 33 percent, depending on the question) disapprove of her handling of questions about her email account, think she broke government regulations or think she tried to cover up the facts.

There hasn't been an indictment yet -- but allegations of deliberate impropriety and potential criminality have been swirling for months.  National security experts believe Mrs. Clinton's exclusive, improper use of a private, unsecure email server almost certainly resulted in serious data breaches.  Two Inspectors General determined that she'd transmitted classified material, including top secret information, through the under-protected system -- an unambiguous no-no.  Those findings have been confirmed by the CIA.  The FBI didn't launch an investigation because they were bored; the feds conduct serious probes in pursuit of alleged misconduct and unlawful conduct.  And then there's the separate issue of honesty and credibility.  Hillary's sundry excuses and explanations have fallen apart piece by piece, with one provable lie giving way to the next.  These slippery, shifting standards -- coupled with her bizarre relationship with the concept of a contrite and thorough apology -- do not speak well of her character.  Voters have not been impressed.  This a woman seeking the presidency who broke "clear-cut" rules in order to evade accountability, who very likely compromised national security in doing so, and who's been habitually dishonest about it after getting caught.  Clinton entered the race with no clear vision or message, has failed to connect with many voters, has been forced to relaunch and rebrand herself several times, and has repeated some of her worst mistakes from eight years ago.  Even without

the dark clouds of the email investigation and the Clinton Foundation's ethics mess looming overhead, she'd be a flawed candidate.  Combine these factors, and a picture emerges of the flailing, wounded frontrunner she's become.  I'll leave you with an indication of Clintonworld's jitters.  After months of mostly ignoring Bernie Sanders (whose big government agenda is stunningly intrusive and recklessly unaffordable) as a harmless sideshow, the long knives are getting unsheathed:

A super PAC backing Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is going negative, circulating an email that yokes her chief rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to some of the more controversial remarks made by Jeremy Corbyn, the United Kingdom's new Labour Party leader, including his praise for the late Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader who provided discounted fuel to Vermont in a deal supported by Sanders. Clinton's camp has long said it has no plans to attack Sanders. But the super PAC, called Correct the Record, departed from its defense of Clinton's record as a former secretary of state in an email Monday that compares Sanders with Corbyn. Correct the Record, led by Clinton ally David Brock, also has sent trackers after Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.The Democratic candidates have refrained from criticizing each other directly...Monday's Correct the Record email strays from that pattern.

Incidentally, if you're not familiar with Mr. Corbyn, do yourself a favor and read up on the radical leftist who now leads the UK's recently-routed Labour Party. Extraordinary.

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