Senator Bernie Sanders. (photo: Getty)
Charles Pierce | Esquire | Reader Supported News | January 15, 2016
It’s time for Hillary Clinton to check the rearview mirror.
K, shit’s starting to get real on the Democratic side of things.
As the countdown to the caucuses continues, 40 percent of Democrats say they could be persuaded to change their minds about their first choice candidate. Sanders is running strong with young voters and with those who say they plan to attend their first caucus on February 1—the same type of coalition that helped Barack Obama surge to victory over Clinton in Iowa in 2008. Among those younger than 45, Sanders bests Clinton 59 percent to 27 percent. And among those who say they plan to attend their first caucus, he leads 52 percent to 34 percent. Clinton wins with older Democrats (56 percent to 26 percent) and women (49 percent to 32 percent). Both candidates remain popular with Democrats in the state. Eighty-nine percent said they view Sanders favorably, while 86 percent said the same of the former secretary of state.
Now, as far as I’m concerned, polling numbers as they relate to the screwy Iowa caucus system are completely meaningless, since so much depends on your campaign’s ability to get enough white people to the local middle school. But the race has tightened in New Hampshire as well, and that leaves us to ponder what the week of free media is going to be like if Hillary Rodham Clinton, the consensus frontrunner, comes out of the beginning of the actual process at 0-2.
(I think cable news would be rendered a nightmare and/or a bloodbath. But I also think she’s the only candidate alive who could survive those early losses. What she would have to do to survive them—raise even more big money, get physical with the TV ads, move toward a more Bill-type—likely would alienate further the party’s activist base.)