Wednesday, February 18, 2015

NBC News/Marist Poll: Hillary Competitive in...South Carolina?

An NBC News/Marist poll was released last weekend with more results that shouldn't surprise any regular visitor to Hillary HQ.
In Iowa, Clinton holds an eight-point advantage over Bush, 48 percent to 40 percent, and an 11-point edge over Walker, 49 percent to 38 percent. 
In New Hampshire, Clinton is up by six points over Bush (48 percent to 42 percent) and seven points over Walker (49 percent to 42 percent). 
And in the GOP-leaning state of South Carolina, Bush leads Clinton by three points, 48 percent to 45 percent. And Walker ties her at 46 percent each.
Charts via
Note the gentle framing of South Carolina as a "GOP-leaning state" to cushion the blow against the two Republican frontrunners. Perhaps I can reframe this bit of early polling news slightly more accurately:

Bush can't get out of the margin of error and Walker is breaking even with Clinton in the longtime GOP stronghold of South Carolina.

South Carolina hasn't gone Democratic since Carter in '76. Even the Clinton landslide of '96 couldn't muster a win there. So imagine for a second that this poll measured Connecticut instead...and showed Hillary just 3 points ahead of Jeb and tied with Scotty.

Then imagine the widespread "SHOCK POLL" headlines suddenly casting serious doubt on the electoral strength of Hillary Clinton and causing massive consternation among Democratic voters and donors...if not outright panic.

But because South Carolina went for the Republican candidate by about 10 points in the last two presidential elections (and even more before that), it still won't likely be a prime target for 2016, despite these surprising early numbers. However, it brings up some tantalizing possibilities about a few other typically red states where Hillary might have a better shot.

I'm looking at you Georgia, Missouri, Arizona, Indiana and...


I know, I know...but a longtime Blue Texan can dream, can't he?


  1. Not sure if this deserves its own post, but its funny...Huckabee now leads the GOP field by 5 points in a new CNN poll! PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE!!!