Sorry Democrats, but it seems like men do matter for 2016. For a party that’s touted the war on women, proudly displayed their extremism on abortion, and sat confident that their voter advantage with women–who aren’t a monolithic voting bloc–would secure them sweet, sweet victory next year seems to have hit a snag–and her name is Hillary Rodham Clinton. For starters, women think she isn’t being truthful about her private email system, which has plagued her campaign throughout the summer. This has led to a precipitous drop with Democratic-voting women since July. Yet, Clinton’s real problems rest with male voters, who really, really don’t like her at all (via National Journal):
The swing-state polling is a mirror image of her national numbers. Last week, Quinnipiac found Clinton’s negative ratings with white men at a stunning 72 percent—significantly worse than the Democratic Party’s already-serious struggles with that demographic group. Meanwhile, she’s not performing at nearly a strong-enough level with women to counteract the problem. Only 49 percent of women viewed her favorably in the poll, with 47 percent holding negative views. For all the self-inflicted problems that Republicans have in reaching out to a diversifying country, Hillary Clinton’s favorability with white men is worse than Jeb Bush’s with Hispanics, Ben Carson’s with African-Americans, and Carly Fiorina’s with women in the same survey.
If Clinton is looking to narrow the gaping gender-gap, she isn’t showing it. Instead, her campaign looks to be doing the opposite—rallying her liberal base and trying to lock down supporters that once seemed squarely in her camp. She sat down for an interview last week with Girls creator Lena Dunham, where she underscored her feminist bona fides. She’s appeared on television shows with a sizable female audience, including Ellen, in hopes of making her look more relatable. Her call for robust gun control in the wake of the Oregon school shooting isn’t going to make her any friends with Democratic gun owners, who are disproportionately male. The early diagnosis from the campaign is that she’s underachieving with women—her natural base—and that’s the most crucial short-term fix, not the dismal showing with men.
The Journal’s Josh Kraushaar also added that this decline has sparked Biden’s interest in tossing his hat in the ring, though it seems like he’s still wondering if Hillary’s sinking numbers is actually happening, or the symptom of the Iowan and New Hampshire Democratic voters breaking heavy for Sanders; white progressives are a core group of Sanders’ coalition, and both states are whiter than Wonder Bread. That’s why he pushed back any announcement of his 2016 ambitions. Nevertheless, he noted the irony of “looking at the 72-year-old Biden as a more-credible candidate capable of stopping the party’s problems with men.” Hillary was supposed to be inevitable, but is now relegated to being the most fragile of frontrunners. Yet, as Kraushaar noted, the fact remains; Sanders and Biden do better in head-to-head matchups because they don’t irritate half of the population.
Hillary has got a problem with bros. In fact, her party has had a problem with white men, especially those over 40, for decades, but it comes to show you that every demographic shouldn’t be abandoned or taken for granted, nor are they (for the most part) automatic slam dunks for any particular party come Election Day. It also alludes to the notion that the Democratic Party’s problems with white voters aren’t relegated to the South. It’s everywhere. This is just another check mark on the long list of things that would have sunk any other candidate if their last name wasn’t Clinton. Let’s refresh.
Off the bat, Hillary is an awful campaigner. As foreign policy becomes more of a salient issue, her smart power diplomacy she executed as Secretary of State has proven to be a total disaster. For starters, in 2011, she said on CBS’ Face the Nation that she believed that members of both parties had come to the realization that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a “reformer.” That’s not true at all. No one faults her and Bill for making some serious cash for speeches and other events, though it comes off a bit fake to say that you understand middle class hardship when you make more in one speech than what most Americans make in a year, or in some cases, an entire lifetime. Her known ties to Wall Street don't have the far left of the base impressed with her either.
Bill established a shell company, which was designed to “pass-through” payments to the former president, of which we have no clue the total amount of cash was directed towards that entity. To add more opaqueness to the mix on disclosure, we have the Clinton Foundation, which botched tax forms, failed to disclose donors, and has been alleged to be nothing but a slush fund. Moreover, there’s the allegation that billions of dollars worth of military equipment went to nations that gave to the Foundation. I’m sure this will be rehashed when we get to this chapter of the Clintons as the 2016 season continues, but for now we’re still dealing with her blatant disregard for government regulations and transparency laws concerning her email server.
All of this has culminated in horrific favorability numbers, a drop in women’s support, a 31-point drop in black Democratic support, aforementioned dismal performance with male voters, and Sanders and Biden making moderate strides in the polls–and buzz–concerning the election in general. There are many, many areas that Hillary needs to answer for and work on if she becomes the nominee, for which she’s still favored to win.
I would say that Republicans should rejoice at this news. It proves that Hillary is human and beatable.
Sadly, we can’t pop open any champagne given the fiasco that’s occurring on Capitol Hill regarding the House Speakership race. It’s a nightmare.