Insiders and Pundits 'Predicted' That Bernie Sanders Would Be No Threat to Hillary Clinton
“For now, Hillary Clinton has nothing to worry about as she prepares for the Iowa caucuses,” Bloomberg political reporter John McCormick wrote last May. “Despite a wave of influence-peddling allegations involving her family’s foundation, her prospects for winning the first-in-the-nation presidential contest remain undamaged.” McCormick cited a Quinnipiac poll showing Clinton capturing 60 percent of the vote in Iowa to Sanders’ 15.
Quinnipiac promoted this poll as definitive in the race. “One thing is obvious about Iowa Democratic Caucus participants: They are loyal as the day is long, at least when it comes to Hillary Clinton,” said Peter A. Brown, the assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “There is no candidate who appears to have the political and financial resources at this time to successfully take her on.”
Citing the same poll, Politico’s Annie Karni reported that “Clinton’s challengers are considered bit players, so far, in the drama of the 2016 election.” Laura Clawson, a Daily Kos editor, said that the poll is “evidence that the 2016 Democratic presidential primary is not the 2008 Democratic presidential primary,” with Clinton holding “an extremely healthy lead. Extremely healthy.”
A month later, FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten opined, “It’s difficult to imagine why someone who has described himself as a socialist, has never competed for minority voters and has no roots within the Democratic Party should worry Clinton much. … Clinton looks as strong as — or stronger than — any of these past front-runners. She is near 60 percent in Iowa.”