‘Morning Joe’ Panel: Clinton ‘Doesn’t Wear Well,’ ‘Casualty’ of Establishment Disdain

The panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” reacted to a new Quinnipiac poll showing Hillary Clinton with poor favorability rankings in Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia by stating Clinton “doesn’t wear well,” sees her numbers fall whenever she’s the “focal point” of the Democratic Party, and her candidacy is a “casualty” of disdain with the political establishment.

C0-host Mika Brzezinski introduced the numbers by saying that while Donald Trump’s favorability rankings in Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia are poor, “Hillary Clinton’s numbers in those same states are not much better, only in Virginia are her approval ratings significantly higher than Trump’s.” After fellow co-host Joe Scarborough expressed his surprised at the number,  Brzezinski remarked, “I think we kind of missed a lede here.”

Scarborough continuned, “Hillary is upside down by 23 in Iowa? She’s upside down by nine in Virginia which, she has to win. She’s up side down by 2[1] in Colorado, and, Mika, I think we just — in that one snapshot has shown — and I’m sure Jeb Bush’s isn’t much better — why somebody out of, I was going to say left field, he’s not left field or right field, why somebody like Donald Trump attacking politicians is actually getting support. Those numbers — I think you’re right. I think we did bury the lede. Everybody is saying that Hillary — that DonaldTtrump is never going to get the nomination and everybody thinks Hillary Clinton is going to get the nomination, put those numbers up again. Those numbers are stunning.”

Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart pointed out that in another poll, one conducted by the Post and ABC, showed that “62 percent of Americans say they definitely would not consider voting for” Trump.

Scarborough countered that if one assumes Trump won’t win the nomination, “it doesn’t matter what people say about Donald Trump. What matters is, you look at these polls, if everybody around the table says Hillary’s going to be the Democratic nominee. … What does the Democratic Party do about numbers like this in Iowa, Virginia, and other important swing states? Colorado, for god’s sake.”

“Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd argued, “If it wasn’t for Donald Trump, the biggest story of the summer would be Hillary Clinton’s problems solidifying herself inside the Democratic Party. It would be the Bernie Sanders boomlet. It would be this issue of what we’re seeing here, I think, is both parties are seeing its populist base flex its muscles in different ways, Trump is tapping into it. I kind of think we need to move on from Trump the personality, and focus more on the people that attracted to Trump. That is an important story.”

Todd continued that Trump’s supporters are “people that have felt marginalized by a lot of things, Joe. They have felt marginalized by this economy. They have felt marginalized by the political establishment. They have felt marginalized by the media. So, guess what? When we marginalize Donald Trump, they sit there and say, ‘Yeah, just like me.’ And in an odd way, it helps him. Going back to Hillary Clinton, look, this also fits another pattern of hers. Whenever she’s been out front as the face of the Democratic Party, her numbers have gone down. They always have. Whenever she has been the focal point.”

He explained Clinton’s numbers with, “Well, you could just simply say she doesn’t wear well. You know, when she was number — when Bill Clinton was the face, and she would see her numbers go up as sort of a supportive spouse or a victim. When Barack Obama was president and she was secretary of state, she was praised and viewed nicely by the public as sort of an operator that didn’t embarrass the country, as secretary of state, and stayed above the fray. Whenever she has been front and center, candidate in ’07, Barack Obama surpasses her. And here she is again.”

Brzezinski pointed out that in Iowa, Colorado, and Virginia, “Clinton loses across the board to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and former Governor Jeb Bush.” And “shockingly, the poll finds Bernie Sanders performing nearly as well as Clinton, and even better against Jeb Bush in Iowa and Colorado, to Chuck’s point.”

Scarborough stated that if you add Florida, Virginia, and Ohio to the GOP column, Republicans are three electoral votes from victory. And “Democratic strategists have to be looking at these numbers, and I guess you’re right, thanking god for Donald Trump right now.”

Todd pointed out that there is an electoral college advantage for Democrats because Republicans can win Florida, Virginia, and Ohio and still lose. He continued, “to your point, to your larger point here about Colorado and Iowa, you know, four years ago Obama’s numbers in Colorado and Iowa were worse there than in any of the other swing states in the summer before the campaign started. He eventually improved those. Now, is that Barack Obama[‘s] coalition that figured that out? Is that Mitt Romney that lost Iowa and lost Colorado rather than Obama won them? I don’t know. But I would just throw that out there as a just a cautionary note that I think, Colorado and Iowa are very unstable swing states, meaning, I think they’re very volatile and could go either way.”

Mike Barnicle, stated, “You know, Joe, we’ve been talking about Republicans versus Democrats with all these numbers, matchups and everything like that. But the estrangement from the process extends beyond party lines. And I think Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is a casualty of this estrangement, Chuck, just articulated it a few moments ago. It’s partially responsible for Trump’s rise in the polls. You ask people today, it’s not like it was ten, 20, 30 years ago, ‘Are you a Republican or a Democrat?’ ‘No, I’m neither, I’m pissed,’ they say and at both parties. Because people pay enormous amounts of money, increasingly so in taxes. They get no bang for their buck. They wonder what government is up to. We’ve had the polarization in our politics going on now for 10, 15 years. So, I think Hillary Clinton’s numbers are a reflection of two things. One, this estrangement that people have from the process, and again the phrase just was used, she just simply does not wear well. And it’s a real issue within that campaign.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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