On the heels of polls showing Bernie Sanders chopping 15 points off Hillary’s lead in Iowa — narrowing her advantage to 50-45 — Hillary Clinton has sent out an email to her supporters today (Wednesday, Dec. 23) warning them to brace themselves for the chance that she might lose Iowa or New Hampshire.
In a highly unusual email headlined “If We Lose Iowa Or New Hampshire”, Hillary speculates that she might meet defeat in the first two contests with Bernie Sanders.
Urging her supporters to be “realistic” and warning that “winning the nomination is no sure thing,” she appeals for money to rev up her campaign.
Anticipating the possibility — or likelihood — of one or two early defeats, she writes: “If we lose in Iowa or New Hampshire, we’re going to need to dig in and work that much harder to make sure we win the nomination. I’m going to fight as hard as I can to earn every last vote.”
The stunning admission that Sanders might capture one or even both of the two earliest states is unprecedented. Sanders has always led in New Hampshire with RealClearPolitics.com polling average showing him up but 51-43 over the last seven polls.
But, in Iowa, once considered safe for Hillary, the only post-debate poll, by CNN, has her ahead by only 50-45, a dramatic comedown from the lead PPP found prior to the debate of 52-34.
For Hillary to admit, this far in advance, that she might lose Iowa and/or New Hampshire, we can only speculate on what her private polls must be showing.
After Iowa and New Hampshire on the nominating calendar come South Carolina, where Hillary can likely count on a firewall since African-Americans dominate the Democratic contest. Sanders has repeatedly trailed far behind Hillary there and among black voters.
But then it is on to Nevada and the March 1 primaries. If Hillary limps into these states, having lost both New Hampshire and Iowa, she can be in real trouble.
Since the modern primary system was created in 1972, only George McGovern in ’72 and Bill Clinton in ’92 has ever gotten the Democratic nomination after losing both Iowa and New Hampshire. Nine times, the candidate who lost the first two states lost the nomination.
Dick Morris is well known for hard-hitting, nonpartisan commentary about U.S. politics. He has written many books, including his 1997 best-selling memoir of the Clinton administration, "Behind the Oval Office, Winning the Presidency in the Nineties." His latest is "Power Grab: Obama's Dangerous Plan foe a One Party Nation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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