Hillary Clinton has had worse days, I suppose — perhaps during the Lewinsky scandal — but today will surely rank near the top of her terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.
First, the news from the Suffolk University/USA Today poll: She still leads nationally, but her support among Democrats is down to 41 percent. Moreover, “A majority of voters from all parties had concerns about the former secretary of state’s handling of her email and Benghazi. But 22 percent of Democratic voters said that her handling of the Benghazi situation bothered them and 44 percent said that it will hurt her in the general election. Thirty-three percent of Democrats said the email issue bothers them, and 60 percent say they believe it will hurt her in the general election.” In July, her support was 59 percent. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders is up to 23 percent and non-candidate Vice President Joe Biden has 20 percent.
Voter don’t like her, they really don’t. “Clinton’s favorability was upside-down among voters from all parties: 39 percent favorable versus 51 percent unfavorable. Sanders was slightly positive overall with a 37 percent favorable and 33 percent unfavorable rating. Meanwhile, Biden, who has not declared a candidacy, was the most popular among all voters polled, with a 51 percent favorable rating and a 35 percent unfavorable rating.” The most common descriptor of her is “liar/dishonest.” Yeah, it’s that bad.
Turning to the money issue, she raised $28 million in the third quarter, but many observers think she spent a lot as well and will have an unimpressive amount of cash on hand. Sanders, meanwhile, hauled in nearly as much ($26 million) without huge, expensive fundraisers. If she was going to bury Sanders with money for ads, organization, etc., it is not happening.
And then there is the world. Our Russia policy — which she has continued to claim is a success — is in shambles. The Post reports, “Russian officials vehemently defended the country’s airstrikes in Syria on Thursday as blows to Islamic State militants even as evidence mounted suggesting that U.S.-backed rebels and others were facing the brunt of Moscow’s attacks. And while Russian officials and diplomats rallied behind President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin’s stance appeared further clouded by acknowledgments that the missions have already extended beyond solely the Islamic State.” I am sure Secretary of State John Kerry will be shocked, just shocked, to hear Russia is lying again when it calls reports it is targeting CIA-backed rebels “rubbish.” (Both Syria’s ambassador to Russia and the independent Observatory for Human Rights say the strikes have targeted non-jihadi rebels.) Understand how entirely unreliable we must appear to disheartened allies as we fail to come to the aid of “our side” while Iran and Russia back Syrian ally Bashar al-Assad to the hilt. Which country is a more reliable friend and more feared adversary — Russia or the U.S.? It’s not even close.
As for Clinton’s fate, it is certainly possible Biden decides not to run, or that if he does, Clinton destroys him with the negative, nasty campaign we know she is capable of running. It is equally possible that the Clinton attack machine shreds Sanders and she emerges as the party’s nominee. In that case, however, the Democrats will be saddled with an unlikable, untrustworthy candidate whose big “success” was a policy that has now blown up in our faces, so to speak. The Republicans are entirely capable of blowing such an election, but it’s beginning to look like they’d have to nominate an obviously unacceptable figure in order to lose to her.