Election Day 2020 is officially less than a year away (by just a couple days, but still).
Things are changing fast (or not, the election’s nearly a year away).
But usually by this time, there’s at least a real front-runner from the party that’s not in the White House. Today, not so much.
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, once the inevitable nominee, is running one of the worst campaigns in the history of campaigning. He’s been overtaken by Sen. Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren in a slew of prominent polls, including those in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to cast ballots in the primary season. Sen. Bernard Sanders, despite a heart attack and the fact he’ll be 103 when he moves into the White House if elected, is not far behind.
Then there’s the elephant in the room, the one in the muumuu.
A new poll released Monday by the conservative cable channel Fox News shows 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton running ahead of President Trump.
Conducted Oct. 27-30, the survey found Mrs. Clinton up 43% to 41% in a hypothetical race against Mr. Trump, who also runs behind Mr. Biden by 51-39, Ms. Warren 46-41 and Mr. Sanders 49-41.
The two-time loser has most definitely been keeping the door open for a 2020 race. With Mr. Biden plunging and Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders having hit a ceiling, a late Clinton entrance is all the more conceivable. Were she to jump into the race — even at this late date — Mrs. Clinton would likely pull in $100 million within weeks and quickly be competitive. Plus, having run in 2016, she could likely build a national campaign in short order (she doesn’t have the same name-recognition problem as that mayor from South Bend, Indiana what’s his name).
But there was more bad news for Mr. Trump in all the polls.
A survey conducted by The New York Times and Siena College, also released Monday, showed Mr. Biden beating Mr. Trump in four of the six battleground states that the president won in 2016. Mr. Biden has a 5-point lead on Mr. Trump in Arizona, is up 3 points in Pennsylvania, and leads by two in Wisconsin and Florida. The pair are dead even in Michigan, while Mr. Trump leads in North Carolina by 2 points.
Mr. Trump versus the other two top-tier candidates show the president in better shape. While Mr. Sanders leads Mr. Trump by 3 points in Michigan, the Vermont socialist trails by 1 to 4 points in Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina. The two were even in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Ms. Warren trailed Mr. Trump by 2 to 4 points in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, and North Carolina and the pair are even in Arizona.
In another poll, this one by Harvard-Harris, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Biden are virtually tied for the Democratic presidential nomination — if, that is, the former secretary of state runs. In the poll, Mrs. Clinton would get 18% of the vote if she enters and Mr. Biden would get 19%. Without her in the race, Mr. Biden draws 33% of support from registered Democrats.
Mrs. Clinton never really went away and has been dropping hints. “It truly is remarkable how obsessed he remains with me,” the obsessing Mrs. Clinton said of Mr. Trump last month on PBS’ “NewsHour.”
Then she said, “Maybe there does need to be a rematch.”
“Obviously, I can beat him again. But, just seriously, I don’t understand, I don’t think anybody understands what motivates him other than personal grievance, other than seeking adulation,” she said, still seeking adulation.
Meanwhile, former White House aide Steve Bannon, who knows a thing or two about politics, has predicted she will make a third attempt for the presidency. “Hillary Clinton is doing a whole thing,” he said on Fox Business. “She is running. She’s just throwing to decide how to fit her way in.”
Dick Morris, a former longtime adviser to President Bill Clinton, also now says Hillary is likely running.
“There’s a test you can do at home,” he said last month on “The Cats Roundtable” on New York AM 970 radio. “Just put your fingers on her wrist, and if you feel a pulse, you know she’s going to run.”
But it’s worth remembering the last time around. “Pollster” became a dirty word after the 2016 presidential election. Nearly all of the data-based prognosticators got it wrong — way wrong.
“A survey from the Princeton Election Consortium has found that Hillary Clinton has a 99 per cent chance of winning the election over Donald Trump,” the Independent wrote days before the election, adding that she was projected to win 312 electoral votes (she didn’t). Plenty of others wrote much the same thing.
It’s a long, looooong time until Election Day. The only poll that matters is the one America will take on Nov. 3, 2020.
Just like last time.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.
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