January 22, 2016

The Clinton Campaign Is Really Worried About Iowa

The Iowa caucuses are only 10 days away, and Secretary Hillary Clinton trails Sen. Bernie Sanders by 8 points, according to a CNN/ORC poll released yesterday.

Publicly, however the Clinton campaign has been saying they aren’t worried about Iowa. Clinton’s Chief Strategist Joel Benenson was asked on “Meet The Press Daily” if he believed they were behind in Iowa. Benenson responded, “well no.”

However, the mood behind the scenes in Brooklyn is very different. Today, the Associated Press reported…

Though the tightening nature of the race, particularly in Iowa, hasn’t sparked widespread panic among her supporters quite yet, it’s worrying some donors, as well as Bill Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, who shared her concerns at a meeting with supporters in New York this week, according to people close to the campaign, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss private conversations.

 Democratic donors, strategists and pollsters, including some aligned with Clinton, expressed their concerns in nearly two dozen interviews with The Associated Press.

Adding fuel to the fire, this morning Politico reported:

Nonetheless, in interviews, nearly a dozen individuals close to the top levels of Clinton’s fundraising effort said donors are increasingly expressing worries about Sanders in the weeks ahead of voting. 

On calls and in individual meetings, top Clinton officials from the political and fundraising teams have been patiently walking a handful of unnerved fundraisers through the candidate’s plan for the coming months when the supporters bring up concerns ranging from her standing in Iowa to her ability to navigate the Nevada caucus system, according to people familiar with the conversations. The Clinton team has told shaken supporters that it has a long-term delegate strategy that can reach into June, if necessary, and that Sanders is lucky that Iowa and New Hampshire — two states that suit him politically — come first.

 Politico is also reporting, “President Bill Clinton’s Hillary for America fundraising swing to Silicon Valley and San Francisco next week is off; with polls showing Iowa’s too close for comfort, he’ll be staying there instead to help Hillary Clinton fend off the Bernie Sanders challenge.”

Despite the brave face Team Clinton is putting on for the public, the campaign behind the scenes remains gripped in turmoil.