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Dick Morris
Dick Morris
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Clinton In Free Fall

Comment

I have polled Hillary Clinton's national favorability for the past 25 years and I have never seen it drop to its current level of 40 percent. Not ever.

Her recent crash (to 40 percent favorable, 51 percent unfavorable in the July 30 Quinnipiac Poll) means that she is essentially in free fall, having lost a net of 16 points of favorability in Quinnipiac polls since November of last year.

Here is the record of her decent:

Date: Favorable-Unfavorable

Nov. 2014: 50-45

Mar: 48-45

April: 46-47

May: 45-47

July: 30 40-51

Source: Quinnipiac Poll

A stunning collapse! In the process, she has fallen into a statistical tie with Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. And her base among women is not holding firm. In the latest poll, women only give her a favorable rating by 47-43.

As an indicator of likely further fall, only 37 percent of all voters find her "honest and trustworthy" while 57 percent do not. Even among women she is not trusted. While only 43 percent of women surveyed trust her, 51 percent do not.

It is hard to recall any recent example of such free fall in a candidate, particularly one who has been in the public eye for so long, is married to a still very popular former president, and served as Secretary of State leaving office with high positive ratings.

For Clinton, the worst is yet to come. The textbook teaches that the way to get over a political scandal is to end it by getting all the facts out, however negative, and then to move to the recovery phase.

The metaphor of fighting a forest fire is apt. During the fire, one cannot extinguish the flames. They are too intense. So you need to set your own fire, burning the fuel in its path so that the big fire dies out.

But Clinton's scandal has no end in sight. Her insane, self-destructive policy of concealment and paranoid secrecy has led to a prolongation of the drip-drip-drip of scandal revelations throughout the balance of this year and perhaps into the election year itself.

At the end of each month, new emails will be released by the State Department until they are all public. The Benghazi hearings lie ahead of her in October. And, as the emails emerge from hiding, we will see more examples of her flouting the law by sending or receiving classified material on her private, insecure server. The repercussions of these illegal communications are sure to reverberate for many months into 2016.

Are the Democrats really going to commit suicide by nominating Clinton? Will they all line up to drink the Kool-Aid?

My guess is that President Obama and Valerie Jarrett won't let them. As Bernie Sanders gains momentum, the possibility of Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren entering the race grows. If Clinton's crash in favorability continues, and she falls below the 40 percent firewall Obama has been able to maintain throughout his term, a real Democratic alternative becomes inevitable.

If one does not emerge and Clinton continues her fall, there is a real chance that even Sanders could defeat her for the nomination.

COPYRIGHT 2015 DICK MORRIS

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