So goes the predictable story of how the Beltway turns.
We’ve been hearing all about how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suffers from an enthusiasm gap, but according to a new Gallup poll, that’s not accurate at all.
In fact, Hillary Clinton supporters are extremely or very enthusiastic by 54% to Senator Bernie Sanders supporters who are extremely or very enthusiastic by 44%.
So Democrats need not fear no matter which candidate wins the 2016 primaries. Both are capable of whipping up enthusiasm. The winds of enthusiasm are behind both candidates, and Clinton is drawing more than her fair share of enthusiasm.
Huh. This is not what we have been told by the Beltway.
On the other side of the aisle, 65% of supporters of Republican front-runner Donald Trump say they are extremely or very enthusiastic. Trump supporters will use this as justification for their belief that Trump can beat Clinton, but the reality is Trump doesn’t look likely to get the delegates he needs to secure the nomination and he faces a brokered convention. Republicans are already shoving several less noxious candidates to the fore, hoping against reason that they can sell to the base one of them as the GOP nominee.
Trump leaves Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the dust with a mere 39% of enthusiasm and he has almost twice the level of enthusiasm as Ohio Governor John Kasich, who has a 33% enthusiasm rating.
The bottom line here is that Republicans are in trouble if they don’t pick Trump, but they can’t win if they pick Trump. This is what happens when a party caters to the nihilists, the extremists, and the crazies for too long.
Hillary Clinton is not suffering from an enthusiasm gap. I said this after covering her announcement rally in Freedom Park, New York. The enthusiasm was infectious. The lines were long. The devotion of her fans is hardcore.
Clinton is well-positioned if she wins the nomination. She has a long body of work from which to judge, she beats everyone at the table on foreign policy, and she’s letting more and more of her progressive side show in public (though she has a voting record to back this up). Clinton is on fire this campaign season.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.