A Break in HRC’s Negative Feedback Loop

One poll is one poll, particularly this far out from actual voting. But for Hillary Clinton, caught, as we noted last week, in a “negative feedback loop” where falling poll ratings lead to more negative publicity, feeding on its self endlessly, a new CNN/ORC national poll must have felt like a break in an oppressive heat wave.

For one thing, her lead over Bernie Sanders swelled (from 10% earlier this month to 18% now) rather than shrank for the first time since the beginning of the summer. For another, this is one poll showing Joe Biden’s shadowy support coming almost entirely out of her base, which means that if, as a lot of us believe, Biden doesn’t run, Clinton could get a significant second wind. And that’s exactly what CNN/ORC indicates, with Clinton’s lead over Sanders growing to 57/28 without Biden in the field.

Whether or not this poll is a leading indicator of where things will soon stand, it gives Team Clinton the breathing space to do some things on its own to turn the arrows around. I suspect the craziness emanated from the other party’s contest at present will also boost her–and every other Democrat’s–head-to-head standings as well.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.