Dick Morris: Hillary Has ‘No Safety Net’ Poll Data Shows

By: Dick Morris

A recent poll by McLaughlin and Associates reveals that Hillary Clinton cannot count on the Obama base in her Democratic primary contest with Sen. Bernie Sanders and, possibly, 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.

In sum, Hillary has no core voting group that will buoy her electoral chances in a real primary fight.

Together, blacks, Hispanics, young voters and single women account for 51 percent of the Democratic primary vote and 40 percent 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 percent of voters in the black-Hispanic-under 25-single white women group back Hillary while 17 percent supported Biden in the McLaughlin poll and 14 percent were for Sanders, about the same as in other Democratic primary polls.  Among those outside these groups, Hillary gets 44 percent, Biden 17 percent, and Sanders wins 16 percent.

Blacks, who are 25 percent 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 percent of the African-American vote while Biden gets 25 percent, even though he is not a declared or even a decided candidate.  Sanders comes in third among blacks with only 4 percent.

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

Over half of single white women do not vote for Clinton.  She gets 49 percent of their votes compared with 15 percent for Biden and 11 percent for Sanders.

The biggest defections occur among voters under 25, only 30 percent of whom back Hillary while Sanders draws 30 percent as well.  Biden gets 12 percent 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.

The bottom line: Clinton cannot count on the base of the Democratic Party to sustain her in the primary.

The McLaughlin and Associates survey was conducted on Sept 17-22 online and sampled 1003 likely general election voters.

Dick Morris is a presidential political strategist, commentator and New York Times best-selling author. His latest book “Power Grab: Obama’s Plan for a One Party Nation” is Available Here.
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