More Good News For Sanders As Clinton Gets Desperate (& Dirty)

Clinton Support Iowa

This week Bernie Sanders has continued to improve in the polls, received the endorsement from MoveOn, and favorable comments from Joe Biden, while Hillary Clinton’s campaign has become increasingly dirty. Or perhaps the fact that Sanders is talking about the issues while Clinton is slinging mud is why Sanders is surging in the polls.

The week started with Sanders showing a jump in the polls, including taking a three point lead in Iowa, which I discussed here. Subsequently Public Policy Polling showed Clinton losing six percent of her support and Sanders gaining six percent, but still remaining behind Clinton. Better yet, Quinnipiac showed Sanders leading by five points in Iowa, compared to a Clinton lead of eleven points last month. As Philip Bump wrote, Hillary Clinton’s trend line in Iowa polling should scare her campaign

Sanders is also maintaining his lead in New Hampshire, with the strongest lead coming in a Monmouth University poll showing Sanders ahead by fourteen points, while other polls showed a closer race. Clinton’s support is also dropping in the national polls. As I mentioned in the earlier post, the IBD/TIPP Poll has Clinton’s lead over Sanders nationally at 4 points, down from an eighteen point lead. The New York Times/CBS News Poll shows Clinton’s lead having decreased from twenty points in early December to seven points now. If Sanders should win in Iowa and New Hampshire, most likely he will receive a large bounce in the national polls.

Sanders also picked up the endorsement of MoveOn.org, with the number one reason being, “Bernie’s lifelong commitment to standing up to corporate and 1% interests to fight for an economy where everyone has a fair shot.” Foreign policy was also a strong factor, or as MoveOn put it, “He’ll say no to permanent war.” Clinton’s claims of greater electability also did not fool the members of MoveOn, who backed Sanders with 78.6 percent of the vote. Another reason for the endorsement was, “Electability: This election will hinge on turnout, and Bernie is inspiring and mobilizing the communities it’ll take to win.”

Sanders previously received the endorsement of Democracy for America. The endorsements from these two groups show the strength of Sanders’ support among liberals and in the netroots. Opposition to the policies of George W. Bush previously energized such groups, and therefore it is hardly surprising that such groups would oppose Hillary Clinton, who share’s many of Bush’s views on foreign policy, restrictions on civil liberties, and excessive executive power. This might also be related to the generational divide in the party. While I do not have the age breakdown of these organizations, I suspect that their endorsement is also consistent with the New York Times/CBS News poll showing “primary voters under 45 favoring Mr. Sanders by a roughly 2-to-1 ratio.”

While it would be a surprise if Joe Biden made an endorsement, he has made his disdain for Hillary Clinton clear on several occasions, including when he announced his decision not to run. Biden took another opportunity to praise Sanders and question Clinton’s record earlier this week. From CNN:

Vice President Joe Biden offered effusive praise for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders Monday, lauding Hillary Clinton’s chief rival for doing a “heck of a job” on the campaign trail and praising Sanders for offering an authentic voice on income inequality.

And while Biden said Democrats had a slate of “great candidates” running for president, he suggested Clinton was a newcomer to issues like the growing gap between rich and poor.

Sanders might have also benefited from being in the Senate for Barack Obama’s final State of the Union Address. While flipping through the channels after the debate I saw extended interviews with him on  MSNBC and CNN, and it is possible he also received coverage elsewhere. Besides discussing his economic message, this gave him an opportunity to respond to a dishonest ad on gun control which Clinton released tonight.

As I cautioned in the previous post, the polls can still move quite a bit in each direction over the next few weeks. This does seriously hurt Clinton’s strategy of campaigning based upon inevitability. Instead her campaign has become increasingly desperate, including further distortions of Sanders’ views on guns and further attacks on Sanders’ health care plans from the right, also in a quite dishonest manner. I will discuss this in further detail in a follow-up post.

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    Katrina says:

    With Hillary's attack ads being lies and opposing his policies, she is aligning herself with all the Republican candidates. 

  2. 2
    Zed says:

    In our house we call $hillary "Republican Lite"

  3. 3
    JimZ says:

    Looking forward to raising our hands for Sanders at our state's caucuses in about 6 weeks –

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