According to the latest opinion poll from the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are falling behind in three potential battleground states. Before Bernie Sanders supporters start dancing a jig, however, they should understand that the opponents Clinton is trailing are Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker.
Progressives understand that under a Hillary Clinton Administration, the nation would, at worst, continue with the status quo. At best, a few things could change for the better (or at least be stopped from getting worse). On the other hand, an Administration under Bush III or Walker would be an unmitigated disaster – particularly if the GOP retains control of Congress.
It could spell the end of the first experiment with representative democracy in 2300 years, and have grave – if not deadly – consequences for the rest of the world.
This said, there is no reason to lose sleep – at least not yet. The Quinnipiac Polls are conducted by university students, who are basically interns learning their craft. That doesn’t mean the polls are questionable or even wrong, though they missed the mark during the last two presidential elections.
Another thing to remember is that the 2016 election is still in its preliminary stages. Primaries have yet to be held, and a lot can happen in the next fifteen months. It should also be noted that no Republican presidential candidate has been able to win without the Latino vote. While Rubio might appeal to that electorate, other GOP candidates have either not actively reached out to Hispanic voters, or – like Trump – have alienated them altogether.
The good news for Sanders supporters is that while Clinton’s poll numbers are falling, Bernie’s are consistently rising. Last month, The Hill reported that Sanders was in “a statistical tie” with Clinton in New Hampshire when allowing for the margin of error. While the mainstream corporate media continues to favor Hillary Clinton, they cannot ignore the fact that Sanders’ message and public stand on the issues are drawing a growing audience across the board. Meanwhile, Progressives and independents acknowledge that Clinton has “strong leadership qualities,” but are finding it difficult to place their trust in her or believe what she says. This should come as no surprise, given her record. Clinton has refused to take a public position on the highly unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership, though historically she has favored “free trade” deals. As Senator, Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the Iraq War Resolution in 2002, although she recently admitted that she “got it wrong.”
In short, it’s worth taking note of the recent Quinnipiac polls – but in the grand scheme of the impending election, at this point, polls mean little to the outcome. They do mean that we should not be sitting around, waiting to see what will happen.
To quote a British poster of the Second World War: “Keep Calm – and Carry On.”