Monday :: Jul 21, 2014

Hot Air For Nothing


by Deacon Blues

I think it’s safe to say that given the mood of the likely 2016 electorate, foreign policy may not be a determinative issue. Americans seem to generally be more focused on pulling back overseas and wanting more engagement on domestic issues like the overall economy and jobs. As such, the upcoming presidential election will turn on which candidate can effectively address that mood and speak to those issues, while demonstrating to voters their aptitude to handle the job based on their experience to date. This makes the GOP effort to tear down Hillary Clinton on Benghazi all the more questionable.

That doesn’t mean it didn’t work a little. According to a just-released poll done for Politico, the GOP attack machine was partly successful in tearing down any benefit Hillary gets from being Secretary of State. Politico made a big deal today about the poll’s finding that 63 percent of those polled felt her record was “excellent”, “good”, or “fair”, with 32% rating her performance as “poor”. That’s the expected level of Hillary hate in the land, but when you read the fine print behind the poll, you find out that the poll was only done in purple districts with a sample that was 43% self-identified conservative, and 47% with a household income of more than $75,000 annually. That’s not a representative sample of the likely 2016 electorate, but the GOP did manage to dent Hillary’s foreign policy armor with the Benghazi obsession.

But will it matter? Gallup reports that Hillary is the best known and best-liked of all potential 2016 candidates, and she finds herself in a stronger position now than she did at the same point in the 2008 campaign. And Quinnipiac’s poll shows that even after the months of Benghazi pounding, she still runs 7-9 points ahead of all possible GOP rivals. And yet the GOP just spent months of their prime attack machinery going after Hillary on foreign policy with only this to show for it, with a likely 2016 electorate more interested in domestic issues?

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