Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton is feeling the heat from her email scandal and shrinking poll numbers, and has decided to move her campaign on to a different course. Clinton has decided to go negative and just attack the Republican Party, the large GOP field, particularly its frontrunners, businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, among others. The latest Reuters/Ipsos tracking survey released on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 gave Clinton a lot to be concerned about, although still in the lead of the Democratic field she is seeing her smallest lead margin and poll numbers to date.
According to the latest Reuters national poll, Clinton has only 45 percent support, followed closely considering Clinton’s former leads by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 25 percent. In third is Vice President Joe Biden with 16 percent. Biden is seriously considering a run, and would be a major threat to Clinton’s campaign. Clinton is no longer the inevitable Democratic nominee as everyone previously thought. It was long believed Clinton was the only candidate with electability, a new Quinnipiac University poll showed Biden does and can beat the GOP field’s frontrunners.
The lowest poll numbers to date are making Clinton desperate, desperate times call for desperate measures, and everyone is taking notice and not the way Clinton would hope. This past week, Clinton’s campaign changed course down to the negative and attack mode. First Clinton compared the Republicans’ positions on women’s issues to those of terrorists groups on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015 during a rally in Cleveland, Ohio. Clinton specifically went after the GOP on “abortion and women’s healthcare programs funding.” Clinton expressed, “Extreme views about women, we expect them from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world,”
Republicans then called for Clinton to apologize. Clinton specifically attacked Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich calling them “dead wrong for 21st century America.” In comparison, Clinton said her campaign is about “going forward, we are not going back.”
Then on Friday, Aug. 28, Clinton went further focusing her attacks for Republican frontrunner Donald Trump during her speech at Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) annual summer meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clinton declared, “The party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump,” she also insulted the rest of the GOP field saying they are Trump, but “without the pizzazz or the hair.”
Clinton’s attacks were especially reserved for Trump commenting that he said “hateful things” about immigrants, and that he “also insults and dismisses women. Just yesterday he attacked me once again and said I didn’t have a clue about women’s health issues. Really? I mean you can’t make this stuff up, folks. Trump actually says he would do a much better job for women than I would. Now that’s a general election debate that’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Trump is running away with the Republican voters’ support according to the new Reuters poll, with 33 percent support his largest lead margin than any other poll. His next competition is Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with only 12 percent support, followed by Bush with 10 percent. Rounding out the top five is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 8 percent support and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 7 percent support.
Clinton wants to put the focus on the Republicans and away from her email scandal over the private server she used as Secretary of State and the possibility that she possibly sent top-secret information through it. The strategy has been working the controversy Clinton is creating is making news, putting her in the spotlight and not about the ongoing scandal.
Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist told The Hill, “She knows what everyone else knows-that there is a perception that somehow she has lost inevitability and this will not be as easy as people thought. So her job is to make it appear that that is untrue.” Meanwhile Democratic strategist Joe Trippi observed, “This new, aggressive tack, I think, is smart because for two days, we’ve been talking about Hillary and the Republican field fighting on differences on women’s health, and not talking about [issues] that the Republicans would rather be fighting on.”
Going negative however, has never been successful in the past, positive campaigns go further, and the negativity is going to appear as if Clinton is desperate to resuscitate her campaign, and rally Democratic supporters so they do not flee to a potential Biden run. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio spoke on Friday, Aug. 28 to CNBC emphasizing Clinton’s new maneuvers as desperate, “She has zero credibility and it’s eroding by the day. She’s a desperate candidate who obviously has badly hurt by the revelations of deceitfulness that occurred with e-mails and server that she had.”