Following a tremendous performance at Hofstra University, which hosted the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, Hillary Clinton emerged indisputably as the victor. Her answers were concise and comprehensible, often leaving Donald Trump hushed in a wake of vast preparation. Despite Clinton’s decisive triumph, a looming issue still remains regarding her campaign — Hillary Clinton has unconditionally failed to capitalize upon the easiest election cycle in modern history.
In a recent Quinnipiac University poll, released hours ahead of Monday night’s debate, Hillary Clinton lead Donald Trump nationally by a single digit; moreover, with a +/- 2.9 percent margin of error, this signals that the presidential race has narrowed to a virtual tie. These numbers, which further strengthen an increasingly evident pattern, show a dead-heat forming between both candidates. In a recent Bloomberg poll, Trump and Clinton each rested at 46 percent among voters; additionally, in a Washington Post poll, Clinton leads by only a small margin of two percent. These figures culminate into RealClearPolitics’s average, which shows that Clinton’s once significant lead has withered to a mere 2.4 percent advantage over her Republican rival.
Undoubtedly, this reveals Clinton’s incapability to connect with voters.
There is a distinct reason that Trump has become the source of tremendous media attention. His derogatory comments towards women, minorities and economic partners have polarized American society. His personality is brash and unforgiving, which prominently displays his humorously ill-mannered temperament — a quality Trump attempted to rebuff during Monday’s debate. These attributes are usually characteristic of a thug, not a presidential candidate.
Following Monday’s debate, researchers at PolitiFact found that Trump lied over a dozen times regarding significant issues, usually highlighted by Clinton. While this isn’t to say that Clinton remained completely forthright, she certainly fared better than her GOP rival. Waiting patiently for Trump’s demeanor to erode, Clinton showed her political prowess, especially on matters of diplomatic relations. Her performance was flawless, a fact recognized by virtually everyone who watched the debate.
Indeed, it makes sense that Hillary Clinton should receive astronomically higher support than Donald Trump.
Yet this is not reality, a trend easily observable from the litany of aforementioned polls. Throughout the duration of her campaign, Clinton has faltered to connect with numerous voters, plagued by scandals including: her charity, use of private email servers and personal gains made while Secretary of State. At times, these scandals have outweighed news regarding Trump, which led to a contentious race now closely tied. According to numerous surveys listed on RealClearPolitics, Clinton hasn’t polled favorably amongst voters since May 30 of last year. Furthermore, according to Politco, Hillary Clinton barely holds an advantage of 5 percent amongst women over Donald Trump. Keep in mind, this is a man who once said of Megyn Kelly, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever…”
This leads to a burning question: why is Hillary Clinton tied with her opponent?
Clinton has suffered largely because of her inaccessibility to average citizens. This trend was perceptible on Monday night, in which Clinton repeated lines directly from the mouths’ of a campaign consultants. On the trail, she is often chastised for telling her story of humble roots, while reaping enormous personal gains each year. It’s astonishing that despite tremendous media support and her significantly higher fundraising, Hillary Clinton cannot seem to gather traction for her campaign. With so much firepower, Clinton should be sweeping the nation, drawing upon Trump’s words to take even Republican voters. Instead, despite all advantages, Clinton is barely leading by a mere one percent.
Whether Clinton’s campaign is able to win in November is insignificant; rather, one ought to acknowledge her already momentous failure against an unworthy opponent. Armed with a heaping mountain of donor money, Hillary Clinton should be accruing vast support nationwide. Realistically, Donald Trump’s campaign should closely resemble George McGovern’s; instead, the election cycle is narrowing, a characteristic developed sheerly from Clinton’s incapability to sway voters. Whether this reality will lead to Trump’s presidency, however, can only be seen on election day.
Photo by Gage Skidmore: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a “Get Out the Caucus” rally at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.