Mrs. Clinton began her political career as a volunteer for Barry Goldwater; she married Bill Clinton who became the Democratic governor of Arkansas and President of the United States. During his administration NAFTA and Gramm/Leach/Blylie (the horror that gave banks an open-hunting season on our economy) were passed and signed by the President. She was charged with leading the campaign to reform health care in the country. That effort failed miserably and gave the insurance industry a warning shot, allowing them to prepare for the more serious effort mounted by President Obama, giving us our present, unsatisfactory system, and the insurance industry guarantees. Clinton was given the NY Senate seat, where she served reasonably well. To keep her close President Obama named her Secretary of State. Her tenure was not stellar and she proudly points to guidance and association with Henry Kissinger, the mouthpiece of the Military/Industrial Complex. Clinton has been the presumptive Democratic candidate for the last eight years.
US Senator Bernie Sanders began his political career about the same time as Clinton. His career bona fides include civil rights and worker activism, including arrest for civil rights disobedience. He served as mayor, elected with overwhelming approvals, and in Congress and the Senate. His career has been noted for consistent interest and support of human rights, worker rights, veteran rights, economic fairness and justice. His sponsored bills and amendments have been vastly successful.
The Iowa caucus ended in a virtual tie, surprising Washington-based pundits. In Iowa Sanders spoke of the predation of Wall Street and big banks, he proposed a $15.00 minimum wage, he expressed concern about GMO in food, the loss of family farms, and the need to provide affordable education for our children. Clinton told the world $15.00 was unobtainable, Sanders' proposals were unobtainable, and he was naïve. Voters rejected her pleas; the caucus resulted in a virtual tie.
In New Hampshire, the consensus was a Sanders win, by a little. Everyone was surprised by the blow out. In that contest Clinton actually had a reduction in votes of about 15% from her 2008 totals; additionally, in the Republican primary, with their large collection of candidates, Sanders received over 2,000 write-in votes, Clinton got about 500.
In the general population Clinton's negatives far surpass those of Sanders; her "not a chance for my vote" numbers hover in the mid forties while Sanders' negatives seldom exceed ten percent.
Super Tuesday is the big deal, but, before that we have the contests in Nevada and South Carolina. The caucus in Nevada is first. Clinton held a comfortable lead there through last year. The February '16 poll is calling it a toss up. Sanders has far more staff and volunteers on the ground; advertising buys will probably end up about equal. Nevada democratic caucus voters are largely service employees and blue-collar workers, folks who can easily identify with the urgent problems identified by Senator Sanders. The enthusiasm numbers clearly go to Sanders. It was surprising to speak with two separate Libertarians, each an open supporter of Sanders. With the little we really know of Nevada, I will make a soft projection of a Sanders win by fewer than 10.
In South Carolina, the foundation of the so-called Clinton "fire wall", the Clinton campaign is appearing shaky. Despite employing the most expensive and respected operatives available in the Democratic Party, the Clinton campaign seems out of touch with public sentiment and concerns. Sanders has led in the polls for months with white South Carolina primary voters. His numbers with black democratic-primary voters have been surprisingly low. President Bill Clinton was a favorite with black voters; the conjecture is that the affinity for Bill easily transfers to Hillary. Perhaps that is true; the primary in South Carolina will let the world know. Between eight years of a presumed Clinton candidacy and the ongoing demands of making a living let us suspect that a final decision in the primary has been deferred until closer to the date. Blacks in South Carolina are not a monolithic group. As more South Carolina voters find time to pay more attention to the differences between the candidates a more even distribution will begin to show in the various polls and the primary itself. It should be noted that on all social media in South Carolina mention of Sanders exceeds Clinton by multiples.
With high public negative opinions to many Clinton platforms, her ongoing affinity with and dependence on Wall-Street money, her off-putting and sometimes offensive personal behavior, many voters simply do not want her in the White House. Additionally, 2016 is not 2008. The issues that the public finds of interest have changed; the demographics of the country have changed. Younger voters are now the majority; white voters are now a minority. Wall-Street money pollution in our politics has finally penetrated the public consciousness. If Sanders can achieve vote totals in the mid 40% range in South Carolina, the Super-Tuesday voters and the media will begin to take critical notice of his platforms. If Clinton manages to lose in South Carolina (very unlikely) her campaign for President is over; she should abdicate the nomination at that time. The most likely scenario is that Clinton wins a close race in South Carolina, the race heats up, with Clinton taking the majority of Southern states on Super Tuesday, and Sanders sweeping Colorado, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Sanders would take the majority of remaining primaries, sweeping California to clench the numbers to avoid a brokered convention.
The public unease with the campaign this year portends an exciting time. People have expressed frustration with a government that does not work, with predatory banks, with wars of empire, our ever-growing population living in poverty. Participation should be high so long as Sanders remains in the race. Surviving South Carolina and Super Tuesday will determine if his campaign wins the nomination.
This year the public rage at a predatory economy, loss of rights and privacy, and loss of hope for a better future have been well expressed despite media attempts to ignore those issues and conditions. Voters have declared they want no more bought-off politicians serving in office.