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Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination
Mrs. Clinton’s main opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist, has proved to be more formidable than most people, including Mrs. Clinton, anticipated. He has brought income inequality and the lingering pain of the middle class to center stage and pushed Mrs. Clinton a bit more to the left than she might have gone on economic issues. Mr. Sanders has also surfaced important foreign policy questions, including the need for greater restraint in the use of military force. ....... His boldest proposals — to break up the banks and to start all over on health care reform with a Medicare-for-all system — have earned him support among alienated middle-class voters and young people. But his plans for achieving them aren’t realistic ....... Her economic proposals for financial reform reflect a deep understanding of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act, including the ways in which it has fallen short. She supports changes that the country badly needs, like controls on high-frequency trading and stronger curbs on bank speculation in derivatives. ........ Her lifelong fight for women bolsters her credibility in this area, since so many of the problems with labor law hit women the hardest, including those involving child care, paid sick leave, unstable schedules and low wages for tipped workers. ...... Mrs. Clinton is keenly aware of the wage gap for women, especially for women of color. It’s not just that she’s done her homework — Mrs. Clinton has done her homework on pretty much any subject you’d care to name. ....... She was the secretary President Obama needed and wanted: someone who knew leaders around the world, who brought star power as well as expertise to the table. .......

Certainly, the Israeli-Palestinian crisis deepened during her tenure, but she did not cause that.

...... Mrs. Clinton has honed a steeliness that will serve her well in negotiating with a difficult Congress on critically important issues like climate change. It will also help her weather what are certain to be more attacks from Republicans and, should she win the White House, the possibility of the same ideological opposition and personal animus that President Obama has endured. Some of the campaign attacks are outrageous, like Donald Trump’s efforts to bring up Bill Clinton’s marital infidelity. Some, like those about Mrs. Clinton's use of a private email server, are legitimate and deserve forthright answers. ....... Hillary Clinton is the right choice for the Democrats to present a vision for America that is radically different from the one that leading Republican candidates offer — a vision in which middle-class Americans have a real shot at prosperity, women’s rights are enhanced, undocumented immigrants are given a chance at legitimacy, international alliances are nurtured and the country is kept safe.


What Happens If Bernie Sanders Wins Iowa
If you’re dreaming of Bernie Sanders beating Hillary Clinton, you know how the movie begins (he wins Iowa on Monday1), how it ends (he accepts the nomination to a Simon & Garfunkel tune), and one of the major plot lines (black, Hispanic and moderate Democrats, who for now prefer Clinton to Sanders, begin to #feelthebern). ........ Sanders is highly competitive in the first two states, Iowa (where he’s only narrowly behind Clinton) and New Hampshire (where he leads her). However, those states are favorable for Sanders demographically, with Democratic turnout dominated by Sanders’s base of white liberal voters. ......

The first challenge for Sanders is that he appears to be trailing in Iowa. Our “polls-only” forecast gives Clinton a 68 percent chance of winning the state, compared with 32 percent for Sanders, on the basis of her being about 4 percentage points ahead in our weighted polling average.

Our “polls-plus” forecast, which assigns some additional credit to Clinton because of her massive lead in endorsements, has Clinton as a 76 percent favorite........ suppose Sanders does win Iowa. The next step is relatively easy: He’ll probably also win New Hampshire ......

No candidate (Democrat or Republican) has lost the nomination after winning both Iowa and New Hampshire since Ed Muskie in 1972.

...... Sanders’s success in Iowa and New Hampshire might be a reflection of their Sanders-friendly demographics rather than a harbinger of Clinton’s doom. That seems to match the polling we’re seeing in other states, where (for instance) Sanders is doing relatively well in Wisconsin, which also has plenty of white liberals, but struggling in North Carolina, which has fewer. ...... even if Sanders gained a lot of momentum after the early states, he could have trouble closing the sale with voters who think he’s a little too far to the left. ......

The other factor is that Clinton has the Democratic machine more or less fully behind her.

....... In 1992 .. Clinton was billed as the “comeback kid” despite losing each of the first four states ........ But Sanders would have an avalanche of momentum going for him after wins in Iowa and New Hampshire. ...... One factor helping Sanders: Voters who had been attracted to his message before, but who weren’t sure he could win, would mostly have their doubts removed after he beat Clinton twice. .....

It’s also possible that Democratic party elites would panic.

....... One state that doesn’t look good for Sanders is South Carolina, where Clinton is ahead by 31 points and where the Democratic electorate is majority black and relatively conservative. If Sanders wins there, or comes within a few points of doing so, that will be an unambiguous sign that Clinton is in deep trouble. ......

What if Sanders loses Iowa? ...It’s probably over.

.... If Sanders can’t win Iowa, he probably won’t be winning other relatively favorable states like Wisconsin, much less more challenging ones like Ohio and Florida.

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