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Former Clinton Whitehouse Pollster; Hillary may not be the nominee

Photo by Tracey C. O'Neill

Photo by Tracey C. O’Neill

Servers, email and Blackberry woes are the least of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s worries, as a former advisor to the Clinton Whitehouse questioned the likelihood of her remaining the Democratic nominee.

Former political adviser and pollster for President Bill Clinton, Douglas E. Schoen, in a Wall Street Journalcolumn on Tuesday, broke down the current temperature of the Clinton campaign and the country’s tepid reception to the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidency. Schoen’s predictions come after a Clinton declaration earlier in the month where she anointed herself the Democratic nominee.

 “There is now more than a theoretical chance that Hillary Clinton may not be the Democratic nominee for president.” – Douglas E. Schoen,

“The inevitability behind Mrs. Clinton’s nomination will be in large measure eviscerated if she loses the June 7 California primary to Bernie Sanders. That could well happen,” Schoen said. According to Schoen, the popularity of Clinton opponent, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and the outcome of the impending California Primary on June 7 bode ill for Clinton as the primary season winds down.

Schoen referred to a May PPIC poll that showed Sanders and Clinton in a statistical tie in the Golden State with Clinton up only 2 percent (46) over Sanders (44), well within the study’s margin of error. He also pointed to recent polling that showed Clinton holding only narrow margins and single-digit leads over Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump, while Sanders beat Trump in a general election by wide, double-digit margins. “California is clearly trending to Mr. Sanders, and the experience in recent open primaries has been that the Vermont senator tends to underperform in pre-election surveys and over-perform on primary and caucus days, thanks to the participation of new registrants and young voters,” the Democratic pollster wrote.

California voter surge, unfavorability, trustworthiness all key factors

A more than 200 percent bump in newly registered voters in California portended a boon in Sanders voters, as 2016 election trends and age demographics showed Sanders bringing millions of new and Independent voters to the process. Clinton’s lack of favorability, trustworthiness polling, FBI investigation, and the recent Inspector General’s (IG) report all foreshadowed a fading nominee.

MSNBC’s Morning Joe last week, vetted the IG report against Clinton statements regarding her establishment of a private email server and use of private email. The panel concluded that Hillary Clinton was lying. Senior Whitehouse correspondent, Andrea Mitchell addressing contradictions between the report and Clinton’s recollections, said, “it completely undercuts the argument she’s been making for more than a year, just as she’s trying to persuade voters that she’s not untrustworthy.”

Schoen went on to float the possibility of the party crowning Vice President Joe Biden as the saving glory in Clinton’s stead. “Mr. Biden would be cast as the white knight rescuing the party, and the nation, from a possible Trump presidency,” Schoen said. “To win over Sanders supporters, he would likely choose as his running mate someone like Sen. Elizabeth Warren who is respected by the party’s left wing.”

Although a Biden-Warren ticket appeared to be a viable solution for pundits seeking a quick fix, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has said, “Hell, no” to the idea of Warren riding shotgun. Warren, a hypothetical, Progressive, union-backed running mate for Sanders, Biden or Clinton, holds a prime Democratic U.S. Senate seat for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Reid’s balk lies with the choice of Warren’s predecessor who would be determined by Republican Governor Charlie Baker. Reid was adamant that no vice presidential candidate would be considered in any state where Republicans would have the ability to handily increase GOP stronghold on the Senate. Another strong contender was U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown from Ohio whose seat would be subject to the whims of Gov. John Kasich. Brown said in April that he was not interested in being Clinton’s running mate.

Schoen was not the first Clinton insider to openly question the likelihood of the former First Lady’s staying power absent the party’s Super delegate system. Former Labor Secretary to Bill Clinton and political insider, Robert Reich backed Sanders for president, actively working on behalf of the liberal senator from Vermont.
Reich, who told U.S.Uncut that he has known Sec. Clinton since she was 19 years-old, has repeatedly said that she is the right candidate for President if American citizens want to maintain the status quo. Reich supports Sanders because the status quo isn’t cutting it for the middle class and majority electorate.

Professor of Public Policy at the University of Berkely’s Goldman School, Reich said in January, “Bernie Sanders is the most qualified candidate to create the political system we should have, because he’s leading a political movement for change.”

As primary season marched on, with Sanders winning state after state, caucus after primary, Reich expressed concern with the premature assumption that Clinton would be nominee; and in following that Bernie Sanders supporters would adopt Democratic loyalties and fall in line for Hillary. That thought processes was seen as more gamble than rational.

“I expect most Sanders backers will still support Hillary Clinton if she’s the nominee…but anyone who assumes a wholesale transfer of loyalty from Sanders’s supporters to Clinton, or from Trump’s to another Republican standard-bearer, may be in for a surprise,” Reich told Salon.

This article first appeared on on June 1, 2016.


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