Reuters Thinks Hillary's Key Vulnerability Is That She's Just Too Awesome
After taking a substantial lead in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, Reuters is now apparently worried that Clinton’s only remaining vulnerability, if any, might just be that she’s a bit too awesome. As Reuters notes, if Trump continues to tank in the polls then Clinton supporters might just fail to show up on election day leaving Clinton without the “political capital she would need to drive through her agenda.” Or, in a worst case scenario, Reuters figures Clinton could still lose the race if Republican voter turnout is substantial.
While voter turnout might be a problem for Hillary in November (more on this later) we suspect this has more to do with her criminal investigation by the FBI, pay-for-play scandals surrounding the Clinton Foundation and/or the latest email leaks from WikiLeaks, all of which are leading to massive distrust of the Democratic nominee, and not so much because of her extreme awesomeness. That said, it was a really nice try at impartial reporting…Reuters definitely scores great style points for the unique approach.
We would also point out that media cycles tend to be very short in modern politics. As an example, Hillary’s “medical episode” on 9/11 only impacted her polling numbers for about 10 days (see chart below). Now, while there could certainly be more Trump bombshells in the coming weeks, it’s probably a bit presumptuous of Reuters to think that this election is over, 30 days before election day, because of a single “hit piece” from the Clinton camp.
The poll that seems to be causing some angst for the “journalists” at Reuters is the following NBC/WSJ poll that showed Clinton with a 9-point lead over Trump. As Reuters notes, much of Hillary’s “support” simply comes from the “Never Trump” camp of voters who are much less likely to show up on election day if things look bleak for Trump in the polls.
Opinion polls show that many voters are backing Clinton primarily to stop Trump, the Republican nominee, from getting into the White House. If they believe he has no hope of winning, then what would their motivation be to turn up at the polls?
In a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll about half of all Clinton supporters said they were backing her to keep Trump from winning. By contrast, just 36.5 percent said it was because of Clinton’s policies and just 12.6 percent said it was because they like her personally.
“This election cannot be just a referendum on Donald Trump,” said Arun Chaudhury, creative director of Revolution Messaging, a left-leaning consulting firm that oversaw the online media operation of former Clinton rival, Senator Bernie Sanders.
Clinton’s central message, he said, has been that “everyone has to step up and stop Donald Trump from being president, not step up and make Hillary Clinton president.”
— CNBC (@CNBC) October 11, 2016
Of course, as we pointed out earlier today, there were a lot of “issues” with the above poll which calls into question it’s credibility (see “First Post-Debate Poll Gives Hillary A Significant Lead… And A Familiar Problem Emerges“). Recall that in the last NBC/WSJ poll conducted over the weekend, the representation of those polled was notably skewed, leaning significantly to the left, with 43% Democrat and Democrat leaners, 36% Republican and Republican leaners, and 12% strictly Independents.
Well, a quick look at the just released NBC poll reveals precisely the same issue:
In yet another poll the distribution of the of those questioned leans substantially to the left, as follows:
- Democrat and Democrat leaners 44%
- Republican and Republican leaners 37%
- Independents 12%
(polling details and methodology here)
But the skewed sample wasn’t the only issue as we also pointed out that the poll was conducted by Geoffrey Garin who works for a Hillary Super PAC.
But wait, it gets better.
If you take a quick look at the recent financial connection between, Geoff Garin, Hart Research Associates and Hillary Clinton’s Priorities USA Super-PAC you’ll find that $220,500, in the month of September alone, was paid by Hillary Clinton’s Priorities USA Super-PAC to Hart Research Associates (FEC filings -HERE-).
Of course, voter turnout should also be a huge concern for the Hillary team but not for the reasons that Reuters points out.
Unprecedented black voter turnout was a huge component of Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012. Per the chart below from the New York Times, after running in the low-to-mid 50% range for decades, black voter participation surged to over 60% for Obama in 2008 and 2012, the highest ever recorded.
Meanwhile, black voter turnout in the midterm elections remained fairly constant through 2012 indicating that people were really just showing up to vote for Obama and not necessarily because of a new level of political engagement overall.
So, the question is, should Hillary expect the same level of unprecedented black voter turnout that Obama was able to garner? Apparently, her campaign is not convinced and that’s why, according to Leslie Wimes, President of the Democratic African-American Women Caucus, they’re in “full panic mode.”
According to the numbers, Hillary has every reason for concern. Per Politico, in 2008 and 2012, Obama received 95% of the 1.7mm votes cast by black voters in Florida. Unfortunately for Hillary, a recent poll from Florida Atlantic University found that she is only polling at 68% among black voters while Trump is polling at 20%. Now, if you assume that black voter turnout drops just 5% in 2016 and that Hillary’s support drops from 95% to 70% that could cost her over 500,000 votes in a state that Obama only won by roughly 75,000. When factoring in the higher support for Trump this could swing the overall Florida race by 7 points…not a good sign when Obama narrowly won the state by less than 1%.
In conclusion, for all the worried Reuters journalists, while their might be legitimate reasons to be concerned for your chosen candidate, we’re fairly certain that you can take, “she’s just too awesome,” off your list of concerns.
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