News & Notes

I haven’t posted since last week. I’m sorry. I’ll tell you what: full refund!

Let’s see what’s happened since then…

Democratic Polling: How Hillary Got Her Groove Back

Since the debate, we’ve had four national Democratic polls (CNN/ORC, Monmouth, ABC/Washington Post, and NBC/Wall Street Journal). What has changed? Below are the candidates’ Real Clear Politics averages before the debate (logged in my debate preview post) and the average of the four polls after the debate.

Here comes Lessig!
Here comes Lessig!

As expected, Clinton was the greatest beneficiary, and Biden the biggest casualty, of last week’s debate. (To be fair, I also expect O’Malley to come up a few points, too, but I guess Democrats didn’t see what I saw.) Clinton is now looking stronger than she has in months. The three most recent of the polls show her at 54, 49, and 48 points. She hadn’t hit as high as any one of those numbers since August. To find three straight polls that strong for her, we have to go back even further to a late July into August stretch. Similarly, the same can be said for her lead over Bernie Sanders. The ABC and Monmouth polls had her at leads of 31 and 27 points. We have to go back to that same period to find the last time her lead was so large. There is no graphic I can show that better encapsulates her righting of the U.S.S. Clinton than this one from the Huffington Post. Every dot is a poll, and the line is the average of the latest polls.


It’s safe to say that Clinton’s course has been corrected. Her favorabilty rating among Democrats look great as well — she has favorables in the high 70s with unfavorables in the teens.

As for the other candidates, the debate did nothing for them. Even Webb’s disaster got some of the dying breed that is the conservative Democrat on board. Speaking of Webb and dying…

Jim Webb — Independent?: A Lesson in How to Be Creative about Your Irrelevance

He has a press conference today where some suspect he might drop out of the Democratic Primary race and run as an Independent. It’ll be tough to be less relevant than he was as a Democratic candidate, but here goes nothing. I suppose it’s worth a shot.  That debate showed he was the Rand Paul of the Democratic Party — sure, he might connect with the party really well on a few issues, but, by and large, his ideology is incompatible with the party’s electorate. He can’t win the Democratic nomination. A major reason he can’t is that the latest news says that his only avenue to do it — winning over the white working class man — is about to be blocked by this guy…

The Biden Watch: The Last, Best Hope for a Competitive Democratic Primary

Oh. he’s definitely in now, right? No? Oh, okay, we’ll keep waiting. I still think he was best off entering a week ago, before Hillary Clinton reasserted herself and gobbled up some undecideds. As we saw with the polls, Biden’s indecision has seemed to cost him a couple points.  Still, it’s not too late. Sources say he’ll be jumping in any day now, but they’ve been saying that for a while. Considering Clinton’s solidification of her massive lead, we really need him to keep this race interesting.

His best argument is probably that he’s sporting the best head-to-head general election match-ups against leading Republican contenders. Clinton struggles against Carson, Bush, and Fiorina; she even lost a poll to Trump by five points. Sanders is spotty against each. Biden, however, wins nearly every poll against all of them.

Speaking of all of them…

Republican Polls: Somehow This Got Boring

Since the IDB/Tipp poll that showed Ben Carson in the lead after the second debate, Donald Trump has been on top in five straight. Carson is then in second place in all of them. Then it’s Rubio, Bush, and Cruz in some order to round out the top five. In these five polls, Carly Fiorina has placed sixth. We then have a four-way melee for seventh through tenth between Huckabee, Paul, Kasich, and Christie.  Santorum and Jindal duke it out for 11th. Graham and Pataki fight for one-point scraps and 13th place. Jim Gilmore, in last, sometimes leaves his house.

Again, all of that holds true for the last five polls straight. Zzz… Luckily: CNBC debate next week!


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