January 13, 2016

The State Of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign: It’s Starting To Look A Lot Like 2008

Last night, President Obama delivered his final State of the Union and attention now turns to the race to replace him. At this point last year, Hillary Clinton was a shoo in to be the Democratic nominee for President. Today’s political landscape tells a different story.

Here’s what we know:

– A Monmouth University poll, released yesterday, shows Clinton trailing Sanders by 14 points in New Hampshire.

– A Quinnipiac University poll, also released yesterday, shows Clinton trailing Sanders by 5 points in Iowa.

Politico’s Ben White breaks down what this means from a “plugged in Dem”:

HRC IN TROUBLE IN IOWA — Via a plugged in Dem: “I’m not privy to the private internal polls that ClintonWorld has in the field, but some who are seem to be in pre-panic mode. Apparently they see the bottom falling out in Iowa w/ dismal trend lines leading to the Caucus. The unspoken (but whispered) fear is a double-digit loss to The Bern in Iowa, and all that would mean going forward. Senior staff is struggling to present a confident face while also signaling that they need every vote. Biden & Kerry paying close attention despite obvious roadblocks. Hillary hasn’t forgotten that she came in 3rd in Iowa in 2008, behind Obama & John Edwards”

CNN’s Jake Tapper notes that Sanders’ rise is “similar in a lot of ways” to Obama’s in 2008:

So with internal and public polls showing Sanders on the rise and “the bottom falling out” for Clinton, she and her team have reverted to attack mode, even enlisting daughter Chelsea to go after the well-respected Vermont Senator:

The Washington Post: With the first two states in danger, Clinton goes on the attack against Sanders

CNN: Clinton attacks as polls show Sanders winning in Iowa, New Hampshire

Bloomberg: Family Business: Chelsea Clinton Joins the Attack as Bernie Sanders Rises

The New York Times: Hillary Clinton Attacks Bernie Sanders Over Gun Control

Despite all the desperate attacks, enlisting B-level celebrities and family members (including a former president) to attack Sanders, and phoning in last minute to MSNBC shows (twice in a week), nothing is working for Team Clinton.

The reason nothing is working? NBC’s Chuck Todd noted in the video above that there is a real passion gap among supporters of Clinton and Sanders with the enthusiasm on the Sanders side:

Chuck Todd: “Look I think that’s the issue. I think there’s some passion gap here that’s missing for Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders has it in spades particularly with younger voters and everything the Clinton campaign has tried hasn’t quite fired up a group of voters that I think a lot of us thought would be fired up. We thought there would be a lot of women rallying to her side. You haven’t had that moment yet. Maybe it will come but it hasn’t happened.”

Al Hunt said of the Clinton campaign, “they hear footsteps.” And Joe Scarborough added, “The Clintons have been here. They have seen this before. It happened in 2008.”

This morning, during an unprecedented media blitz by Hillary Clinton. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Clinton if her recent attacks against Sanders were a sign that she was starting to get nervous. Clinton simply laughed:

https://vine.co/v/iMFta3UPTrM

With only 19 days until the Iowa caucuses, it seems certain that the Clinton campaign doesn’t think this is funny and is having flashbacks to 2008.