Two things. First, going forward, I will remove Biden as an option from the poll results should the polling results be delayed in reflecting that changed reality. Second, I am no longer including any candidate in poll results that does not get over 1%. So in the polls below, you won’t see Chafee or O’Malley or Gilmore or Pataki or Graham, etc.
IOWA–Quinnipiac: Carson 28, Trump 20, Rubio 13, Cruz 10, Paul 6, Fiorina 5, Bush 5, Jindal 3, Kasich 3, Huckabee 2, Christie 1, Santorum 1
If Trump loses Iowa, he will come crashing down right quick. In order for Trump to win the nomination, he must win every primary and caucus. One loss will end him.
NEW HAMPSHIRE–PPP: Clinton 47, Trump 41; Clinton 45, Bush 41; Clinton 48, Carson 42; Clinton 48, Rubio 42; Clinton 46, Fiorina 42; Clinton 50, Cruz 37; Sanders 49, Trump 40; Sanders 47, Carson 39; Sanders 45, Rubio 41
For all her struggles with poll numbers and the email investigation this year, Hillary Rodham Clinton has done one thing really well: dissuade mainstream opponents by dominating the invisible primary, the behind-the-scenes competition for elite support that often decides the nomination.
Today, her dominance in the invisible primary yielded another victory. Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to stay out of the presidential race leaves Mrs. Clinton as the only viable mainstream candidate in the race. It gives her an opportunity to unite the coalition of moderate, nonwhite and older voters who traditionally have an edge over the white progressives who now support Bernie Sanders. [...]
Mr. Sanders can still claim the support of one of the party’s largest and most influential wings: the party’s predominantly Northern, white progressive base. That will be enough to compete in the key early contests of New Hampshire and Iowa and in some other states, but not in more diverse or conservative states like South Carolina. A recent CNN poll there showed Mrs. Clinton leading by a 70-to-20 margin if Mr. Biden stayed out of the race.
Kurt Eichenwald on today’s farce on Capitol Hill:
The historical significance of this moment can hardly be overstated, and it seems many Republicans, Democrats and members of the media don’t fully understand the magnitude of what is taking place. The awesome power of government—one that allows officials to pore through almost anything they demand and compel anyone to talk or suffer the shame of taking the Fifth Amendment—has been unleashed for purely political purposes. It is impossible to review what the Benghazi committee has done as anything other than taxpayer-funded political research of the opposing party’s leading candidate for president. Comparisons from America’s past are rare. Richard Nixon’s attempts to use the IRS to investigate his perceived enemies come to mind. So does Senator Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting during the 1950s, with reckless accusations of treason leveled at members of the State Department, military generals and even the secretary of the Army. But the modern McCarthys of the Benghazi committee cannot perform this political theater on their own—they depend on reporters to aid in the attempts to use government for the purpose of destroying others with bogus “scoops” ladled out by members of Congress and their staffs. These journalists will almost certainly join the legions of shamed reporters of the McCarthy era as it becomes increasingly clear they are enablers of an obscene attempt to undermine the electoral process.
Prepare yourself for a nauseating display of shameless grandstanding by the GOP’s most hypocritical Hillary-Haters, otherwise known as the Benghazi hearings, which begin today.
Paul Waldman explains why the whole project may make backfire in a big way on the Republicans. “In hearings like this one, the members of Congress often think that the fantastically clever line of questioning they’ve prepared is really going to trap the witness and reveal her for what she is; it’ll be like Perry Mason breaking a witness down until she shouts, “Yes, I did kill him, and I’d do it again!” But that’s not how it usually turns out. More often, the witness looks like the one in command, someone being pelted with unfair and hostile questions from a bunch of partisan clowns who barely know what they’re talking about…A respectful and informative hearing that does no damage to Clinton will be a terrible disappointment.”
A WaPo/ABC News poll conducted 10/15-18 indicates that 53 percent of respondents believe that Republicans are “mainly trying to damage Clinton politically.” Only 35 percent agreed that they are “raising legitimate concerns.”
It seems that Bernie Sanders misuses the term “socialist” in describing himself just as much as the Republicans do in describing Obama. Josh Barro explains that Bernie Sanders is really more of a capitalist reformist than Democratic socialist: “After all, Mr. Sanders does not want to nationalize the steel mills or the auto companies or even the banks. Like Mrs. Clinton, he believes in a mixed economy, where capitalist institutions are mediated through taxes and regulation. He just wants more taxes and more regulation than Mrs. Clinton does. He certainly seems like a regular Democrat, only more so.”
It is things like this that make me believe Donald Trump has no chance, no chance at all of winning: “Donald Trump is the only Republican presidential candidate who hasn’t purchased a database of voter information, which political campaigns use to target supporters and mobilize them on election day.
“Modern campaigns also rely on voter files to plan everything from advertising to events, and accurate information is particularly key in the early state of Iowa, where voters will select a candidate in January through a complicated caucus process that gathers individuals in a room to make a group decision. Meticulous organization is seen as the key to victory. But Trump’s campaign hadn’t purchased any voter information as of the end of September, according to financial disclosures analyzed by Quartz, and his campaign confirms that he is not using the national Republican party’s voter file.”
Bernie Sanders was right in the debate: Americans are tired of hearing about Hillary’s damn emails. A new Monmouth poll finds that 52% of the American public feels that Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account during her time as Secretary of State was mainly a matter of convenience compared to 33% who say this behavior suggests she has something to hide. 59% of the public are tired of hearing about this issue while just 32% say the media should continue to cover it.
More pieces on the Invisible Primary being important, and how when Biden decided not to win it (the Invisible Primary) long ago, he effectively made his decision then, not yesterday.
Perry Bacon: “Vice President Joe Biden officially decided not to run for president. But in many ways, it wasn’t his choice: the power brokers in the Democratic Party unified around former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, not the sitting vice president, leaving Biden the options of either not running or facing a campaign with long odds of victory.”
Harry Enten: “Few presidential primary candidates have entered the race as late as Biden would have. It’s possible that Biden, as vice president, might have been able to overcome the pitfalls of past late entries. On the other hand, everything we do know suggests Biden would have had a short, hard road. Biden made the right move.”
Politico: “The directive to do nothing publicly to challenge Biden, multiple sources said, came directly from the top — Hillary Clinton herself was described as ‘aggressive’ and ‘demanding’ that donors and outside surrogates refrain from launching attacks against Biden, or even commenting publicly about his support or his chances.”
“The campaign was so sensitive about the appearance of going after Biden that even talking points for surrogates on how to discuss Biden, usually delivered by email, were only delivered by private phone calls… Part of that stance was out of respect, sources close to the campaign said, and part was an effort not to give Biden any reason to feel he should get in the race.”
A new study suggests that without the stimulus — and, more crucially, without bank bailouts and the Federal Reserve’s intervention — the Great Recession would have truly been a Great Depression.
Princeton economist Alan Blinder and Moody’s Analytics’ Mark Zandi estimate, in a paper for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, that without these policies:
The recession would have lasted twice as long.
The economy would have shrunk by nearly 14 percent, not 4 percent.
Unemployment would have peaked at nearly 16 percent, not 10 percent.
More than 17 million jobs would have been lost, around twice the actual number.
In 2015, there would still be 3.6 million fewer jobs and 7.6 percent unemployment.
First Read finds “three immediate impacts” from Joe Biden’s decision to forgo a presidential bid:
The Democratic race all but becomes a two-person contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Hillary Clinton likely will see a bump in the polls: In our NBC/WSJ poll, Hillary’s lead over Sanders is 20 points with Biden in the race (49%-29%); 25 points without him (58%-33%).
It frees up President Obama (and other on-the-fence Democrats) to possibly endorse Hillary Clinton before the Iowa and New Hampshire contests.
“While this has been an incredibly unpredictable campaign season so far, those developments will give Hillary Clinton clear command of the Democratic presidential race.”