WASHINGTON — In Washington Democrats aren't worried Hillary Clinton is blowing it — yet. They remain publicly confident Hillary Clinton isn’t in danger of losing the election come November, dismissing recent polling showing Republican Donald Trump up as a blip while insisting her ground game and message will carry the day.
Polls show Trump leading Clinton in Ohio and leading or within the margin of error nationally. Combine that with her campaign’s handling of her case of pneumonia and the controversy over her “basket of deplorables” comment, have led some Democrats to worry the campaign is struggling.
But lawmakers and Democratic strategists insist those concerns are overblown.
“I’m not that concerned about it. The polls are all over the place, Trump is not going to win Ohio,” Ohio’s Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said Thursday. “There’s no way Trump is going to win Ohio…she just had this walking pneumonia thing. Things are going to happen like that. Once the debates start, they’re going to make the contrast, and she’s qualified to be commander in chief, he isn’t.”
Sen. Chris Coons said Clinton is simply suffering from the normal up and downs of a presidential race, and argued the fundamentals of her campaign will make up any ground she may have lost.
“I have confidence in the Clinton campaigns ground game, its policy message and the strength and quality of its candidate, so I’m not particularly alarmed,” Coons said.
Rodell Mollineau, a Democratic strategist, agreed. “The table is set for Sec. Clinton to win. But now the campaign and her allies need to execute.”
Not everyone, however, is as optimistic. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle told the Washington Post that he is concerned, particularly given “all the things that Trump has done, the numbers should be far more explicitly in her favor, but they’re not.”
A Democratic strategist argued that Clinton’s position is “ok. It’s not ideal. It’s ok,” and that the sense that Clinton is floundering ultimately comes from the idea that she should already be walking away with the election. “Hillary is suffering from the notion that since she isn’t blowing this guy out of the water, and everyone knows he’s a terrible candidate, that some how that means she’s down,” the strategist explained, adding that at this time in 2012, Mitt Romney was leading President Obama.
Still, despite those high expectations and the less than ideal position Clinton is in, “I’m in the ‘everybody chill the fuck out’ category,” the strategist said.
John Stanton is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New Orleans. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
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