Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sorry, Media - Hillary Clinton Isn't Losing Ground

Despite the on-going media drumbeat suggesting Hillary Clinton's support is sagging, let's see what the composite trend lines are for her against the Republican field (click on image to enlarge):

Courtesy Daily Kos Elections

As David Nir notes:
The chart above shows a combined average of every single national poll taken since March 1 of this year that pits Clinton against the 10 leading Republican candidates—197 matchups in all, courtesy of Huffington Post Pollster. The key takeaway, as you can see from the blue and red trendlines, is that the race has been remarkably static.
In fact, at the beginning of March, Clinton led the GOP field by an average of 50.3 to 42.6, or 7.7 percentage points. Now, in late August, she leads 48.7 to 41.2, or 7.5 percent. Clinton's "collapse," in other words, is 0.2 percent! No serious analyst would consider that anything more than a rounding error. (And we're not cherry-picking the start date, either: The picture is the same if you dial it back to Jan. 1.)
And about those Clinton "unfavorable" numbers the media likes to quote?
Now of course any politician wants her favorability numbers to be in positive territory. But it doesn't matter nearly as much as you might think, because if you're running for president in this 50-50 nation of ours, there's a very good chance your opponent is also under water. Clinton's favorables, according to HuffPo's average, stand at 42-50 today—not great, but Jeb Bush's are quite a bit worse, at 33-47. Yet we haven't seen panicked media reports about Jeb's lousy numbers. That ought to tell you something.
What it tells us is something we've known for a long time:  the media (in particular the Beltway pundits, New York Times and once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle) has an obsession with taking Hillary Clinton down, and in that regard it's willing to be the stenographer for any right-wing Republican operation that feeds them bogus "stories."  It's been frustrating and aggravating to watch them flog this narrative, but knowing that it hasn't had any significant effect so far is encouraging.

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