Obama Base Turns On Hillary

By Dick Morris on October 8, 2015

A recent poll by McLaughlin and Associates reveals that Hillary Clinton cannot count on the Obama base in her Democratic Primary contest with Senator Bernie Sanders and, possibly, with Vice President Joe Biden.

There is no safety net under Hillary.

As Obama’s job approval sank into the low 40s in 2014, he could count on strong support from four key democratic groupings: African-Americans, Latinos, single white women, and young voters.

But as Hillary’s ratings have tanked, the McLaughlin Poll reveals that she cannot count on these groups to bolster her candidacy. Neither blacks nor Latinos nor single women nor young voters manifest any particular support for Hillary beyond that of the general population.

There is no safety net under Hillary.

Together, blacks, Hispanics, young voters and single women account for 51% of the Democratic primary vote and 40% of the general election turnout. (These data count each voter only once even if their categories overlap)

The McLaughlin poll suggests that this base is not particularly strong for Hillary and that crucial elements might be prone to defect from her as the campaign unfolds.

Only 44% of voters in the black- Hispanic-under 30-single white women group back Hillary while 17% supported Biden in the McLaughlin poll and 14% were for Sanders, about the same as other Democratic Primary. Among those outside these groups, Hillary gets 44%, Biden 17%, and Sanders wins 16%.

Blacks, who are 25% of the Democratic Primary electorate are no more likely to vote for Hillary than are white Democrats. Against Biden and Sanders, Hillary draws only 50% of the African-American vote while Biden gets 25%, even though he is not a declared or even a decided candidate. Sanders comes in third among blacks with only 4%.

Hispanics are even less committed to Hillary. In a Democratic Primary, she draws 45% of the vote while Biden gets 8% and Sanders wins 17%.

Over half of Single White Women do not vote for Mrs. Clinton. She gets 49% of their votes compared with 15% for Biden and 11% for Sanders.

The biggest defections occur among voters under 30, only 30% of whom back Hillary while Sanders draws 30% as well. Biden gets 12% of their support.

Biden’s unexpectedly strong showing among African-Americans may stem from their loyalty to President Obama or could flow from media reports that Obama is pushing a Biden candidacy.

Mrs. Clinton cannot count on the base of the Democratic Party to sustain her in the primary.

(The McLaughlin and Associates survey was conducted on September 17-22, 2015 by telephone and Internet and sampled 1003 likely general election voters)

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