WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2015 – The Guardian has reported that, based upon a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday, 41 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in Iowa said they would vote for Bernie Sanders, while 40 percent would vote for Hillary Clinton.
Right about now the Clinton camp has to be chorusing, “Say it ain’t so.”
Just as Obama took the lead from Clinton and marched all the way to the White House in 2008, Bernie Sanders appears to be positioned to do exactly the same.
The Quinnipiac poll had another finding that will not sit well with Clinton strategists. According to the poll, Sanders and Biden have a higher net favorability rating than Clinton and score higher ratings for honesty and empathy.
Although the Thursday poll is basically a statistical dead heat and within the margin of error, the erosion of Clinton’s earlier lead, which was in the double digits in Iowa in July, has tumbled.
While the GOP race has been occupied with the summer of Trump, it appears that the Democrats have their version with the summer of Sanders.
The pathway to the White House was all but paved for the former New York senator and secretary of state.
When Sanders announced earlier in the year, many political pundits regarded the independent Vermont senator (who caucuses with the Democrats) as little more than a gadfly.
Yet, something about the socialist senator appeared to catch fire in the hearts of Democrats. and the thousands of supporters that packed his speeches indicated that he was actually legitimate.
For Clinton, her private server and nagging questions concerning her lack of truthfulness over possible receipt of top secret emails ate away at her lead in the polls.
A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows that voters regard Clinton to be disreputable. In that poll, released Aug. 27, voters were asked to name the first word that described Hillary Clinton. The top response was liar, followed by dishonest and untrustworthy.
These, unfortunately, are not the descriptions that Clinton would like primary voters to have in their minds when they cast their votes next year.
As Clinton was sinking over the summer, Sanders was surging in polls. This unsettling news had to be sending alarm bells throughout the Clinton presidential campaign.
In a recent NBC News/Marist poll released on Sunday Sanders had surged ahead of Clinton by 9 percent in New Hampshire.
With an upcoming presidential debate just around the corner for Hillary and other Democratic contenders, will Clinton’s slide in the early voting states’ polls give Vice President Joe Biden the boost he needs to jump into the race? Democrats have to be wondering as well about Biden. After all, Obama’s right hand man has been Biden, and he can be just as fiery on the campaign stump as the president.
Even if Biden does not jump in early, the memory of Obama still lingers. It was in Iowa that Obama shocked the Clinton camp by beating her in the caucuses and that she came in third behind John Edwards.
It also was the state that revealed Clinton’s vulnerability.
Her campaign was built on little more than a claim of entitlement, which Iowa voters rejected.
In 2008, Clinton was reserved and aloof while her Obama energized the voters with a political campaign that dared the voters to dream bigger and aspire to hope and change.
The rhetoric was electric and his energetic ground game did the rest.
Sanders, who just turned 74 years old on Sept. 8, is creating a similar type of energized political buzz, which is out of the mainstream of Washington and Wall Street political kingmakers and money handlers.
His financial stream and political machine are built upon a mountain of tens of thousands of supporters.
Like Obama of 2008, Sanders’ voice is filled with, passion, energy, vigor and transformative hope, albeit 21st century socialist-style hope and change.
With the traditional Labor Day political kickoff, which signals the time when the majority of Americans begin to turn their attention to the presidential battles, Clinton’s team have to be betting that their not-so-secret southern strategy will hold against Sanders.
So far nothing seems to be stopping him.