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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Clinton, Obama, and Change

Andrew Kohut writes at Politico:
Here’s the potential problem: Demographics notwithstanding, views of Clinton among Democrats correlate strongly with views of Obama. No fewer than 71 percent of Democrats who hold a highly favorable view of Obama feel the same way about Clinton. And the converse is true: Democrats who are unenthusiastic about the president are also unenthusiastic about Clinton—just 29 percent rate her very favorably.
And Clinton faces another potential challenge: the desire for change that divides the Democratic base between populists and centrists, given that she was married to one centrist Democratic president and worked for another [Obama -- a centrist?] The appeal of populism among Democrats in 2016 cannot be discounted. Sixty percent of Democrats continue to say their finances are not in good shape, even as many of them see the stock market and real estate values having recovered. Little wonder that a September Pew survey found 62 percent of Democrats saying that regulation of financial organizations has not gone far enough, compared with just 32 percent of Republicans who hold that view.
In 2008, Obama was the "change" candidate while Clinton was the "experience" candidate.  In Epic Journey, we explained:
A 2007 survey asked Democrats which was more important to their candidate choice: experience or the ability to bring about change. Only 26 percent chose experience while 73 percent wanted change.47 If Democrats valued freshness over familiarity, Obama was the one.
So in 2008, Obama beat her by being the outsider.  In 2016, Obama could drag her down by reinforcing her image as an insider.