Democrats March Toward Cliff

Exclusive: Barack Obama once called Hillary Clinton “likable enough,” but a new poll raises doubts about that, as the Democratic frontrunner’s net-negative has nearly doubled to 24 points, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

As Democratic-insider “super-delegates” give Hillary Clinton a seemingly insurmountable lead for the presidential nomination, the former Secretary of State’s negative ratings continue to soar to stunning levels, hitting a net 24-point unfavorable in the new NBC-Wall Street Journal poll.

It is hard to imagine someone who is viewed unfavorably by a clear majority of voters (56 percent) and with a net-negative of 24 points winning the White House, except that most voters also don’t like the top Republican choices either. Donald Trump sports a 41-point net-negative and Sen. Ted Cruz is at minus-23 points. (By contrast, of the two trailing candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders gets a net-positive 9 points and Gov. John Kasich a net-positive 12 points.)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confronts Sen. Bernie Sanders in Democratic presidential debate on Jan. 17, 2016.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confronts Sen. Bernie Sanders in Democratic presidential debate on Jan. 17, 2016.

But a major difference between Trump and Clinton in the latest poll is that Trump’s numbers haven’t moved much while Clinton’s net-negative has almost doubled in the last month. In other words, the more Americans get to see of Clinton the more they don’t want her.

While Clinton’s dismal approval ratings haven’t seemed to have shaken the Democratic establishment, which continues to line up behind her long-anticipated coronation, some outside analysts see the party leaders blindly marching toward a cliff.

Despite Sanders’s string of victories, Clinton still leads him in elected delegates, but her daunting lead comes from her dominance of “super-delegates,” party insiders who are not chosen by primaries or caucuses but still get to vote at the convention. According to The Associated Press tally, Clinton has 1,289 elected delegates to Sanders’s 1,045, but she has the backing of 469 “super-delegates” to Sanders’s 31. To win requires 2,383 delegates.

So, if Clinton’s eventual nomination is inevitable, the Democrats will be putting up a candidate who is broadly disliked by the American people. That means a Clinton candidacy will require massive spending on negative ads to make the Republican candidate so frightening in the eyes of most Americans that they will vote for Clinton out of fear, not hope.

There’s also the irony that although most attention has focused on the Republican need for a brokered convention – to block a Trump nomination – an argument could be made that the Democrats would benefit from a brokered convention themselves.

If neither Clinton nor Sanders could clinch the nomination on the first ballot, that could open the process to allow the party to select an alternative who has not been in the race, someone such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, an economic populist who is beloved by Sanders’s backers and a woman who might be acceptable to Clinton supporters wanting the first female President.

Still, such a possibility does not appear to be in the cards. The odds remain heavily weighted in favor of Clinton securing the nomination and the Democrats then trying to make the best of her soaring unfavorable numbers.

In a 2008 debate, addressing a question about Clinton’s high negatives, then-Sen. Barack Obama condescendingly opined that “you’re likable enough, Hillary.” But it turns out Obama may have been overstating the case. With her current unfavorable level at 56 percent – and only 32 percent holding a favorable view – many voters seem to be saying, she’s not likable enough.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

42 comments for “Democrats March Toward Cliff

  1. Drew Hunkins
    April 19, 2016 at 22:18

    Killary just won NY state by a pretty good margin, almost makes one despondent to hear these results.

    When during Killary’s presidency — which now seems extremely likely — she ardently backs every single bloody and violent transgression by the warmongering Zionist murder machine, the Muslim and Arab blood will be on the hands of the Dem voters in Illinois, Ohio and NY who helped usher this sycophantic psychopath into office. These three states were crucial in allowing Killary into the White House. Scary times.

  2. ltr
    April 19, 2016 at 20:02

    I had already decided that there was 1 candidate I would not be voting for in November were that candidate to be nominated. I am simply not going to vote for a definitive neo-conservative candidate.

  3. Jill
    April 19, 2016 at 17:20

    Of course, Hillary has a lot of negativity focused on her. The Right Wing has been bashing her for 24/7/365 for 2 decades. And now some Bernie supporters are joining in. But I think she’ll get elected anyway. Unfortunately. I am for Bernie.

    I’ll vote for Hillary if she is the Dem nominee though. She is to the Right of Nixon and is unfortunately somewhat neocon. But all the GOP candidates are to the Right of Attila the Hun.

  4. Brad Benson
    April 19, 2016 at 07:06

    This Sanders Voter and financial supporter will not vote for Hillary under any circumstances and would not accept that phony Elizabeth Warren as a substitute. If the wise course would be for the Democrats to have a brokered convention, then they should realize that they cannot win without Bernie and get behind him.

    If it’s anyone other than Bernie, the fix is in and I’ll vote for Trump. He’s better on foreign policy than Elizabeth Warren, who blindly pays homage to all of our wars in accordance with official Beltway Groupthink and then talks about economic collapse at home as if the two aren’t related.

    Election Analysis—Elizabeth Warren’s Silence

  5. April 19, 2016 at 01:53

    Perhaps the time has come for U.S. voters to take on board that their leaders – who have been undermining and overthrowing democratically elected governments abroad for decades – no longer believe in true democracy at home.

      April 19, 2016 at 03:29

      Independent (Decline to State) are 38 % of the electorate vs. 32% Democrats and 26% Republicans (Gallup, March 6). Add Trump and Sanders backers and it seems that a yuge chunk of the voters “no longer believe in true democracy at home.” Clinton vs. Cruz may may be the biggest electorate turn-off ever, in what s/b a critical election.

      • Daniel
        April 19, 2016 at 17:41

        Independents now account for 45% of the electorate, I saw recently. And, at this juncture, I highly doubt that, given Sanders as a third option, Hillary or Trump/Cruz/Kasich could win. Democrats have a real electability problem in Hillary, I think.

  6. Pablo Diablo
    April 18, 2016 at 18:11

    No more Clintons. That includes Chelsea

  7. Zachary Smith
    April 18, 2016 at 18:06

    The odds remain heavily weighted in favor of Clinton securing the nomination and the Democrats then trying to make the best of her soaring unfavorable numbers.

    I agree, but there is more than one way to skin a cat. Hillary’s ideal opponent is Ted Cruz because he’s obviously worse than even her. There is no way under heaven Sanders supporters could vote for Cruz. They’d either stay home, or go vote for Hillary then come home and throw up in the toilet bowl.

    With Cruz on the ballot Hillary would actually have another string in her bow – the eligibility of Cruz to take office is extremely shaky. Once again it would all come down to the Supreme Court – who would the five Catholics and three Jews want in the White House. There is no doubt Cruz was born an American Citizen, but the question of whether he is “natural born” is not a trivial one.

    So in a Hillary/Cruz contest, HRC might get the most electoral votes and become president. But she might lose that contest and still become president. Or some wacko nut Cruz put on the ticket as VP would become president.

    In any of these cases I lose – big time.

    I can idly daydream and think about a particular third party candidate if it comes to Hillary/Cruz. I strongly suspect that Sanders might win outright, for both his own supporters and Trump’s thoroughly screwed supporters would have an ax to grind and might well turn to him. In other words, HRC and her neocon buddies had better not get Sanders too POed.

  8. Richo
    April 18, 2016 at 17:17

    Wow! A new idea here. Bernie running as a third party candidate to split the ticket, and elect the Real peace candidate, Trump.

    • Abbybwood
      April 18, 2016 at 21:35

      In a three way race between Trump/Sanders/Clinton, Sanders would win just like Jesse Ventura did in Minnesota back in 1998:,_1998

      I hope if Sanders loses the nomination to Clinton, especially if she has to call in her rigged Super Delegates to do it, that he will NOT endorse her and will run as an Independent in November.

      I would be one of millions of his supporters out gathering the signatures and registering new voters to make it happen.

      I will NEVER vote for Hillary Clinton. EVER.

      • Daniel
        April 19, 2016 at 17:39

        My thoughts exactly.

  9. Bob Van Noy
    April 18, 2016 at 16:38

    After tomorrows NY results, we’ll know a great deal more about what to do next. If Bernie comes close or wins, then there are multiple possibilities for his advance to the nomination. The clearest would be for Elizabeth Warren to get off the “fence”, and endorse him. He could then plan to “run the table”, and put major PR pressure on Hillary to withdraw. Should Bernie loose, he still has many options including some write-in options, we’ll see… I totally agree that this is the most important election in some time because, clearly, America’s options for getting international relations right are quickly running out.

    • Drew Hunkins
      April 18, 2016 at 16:59

      Elizabeth Warren had a perfect chance to endorse Bernie when he was running a close race in Massachusetts against Killary. It was disturbing to see Warren rebuff Bernie’s camp’s requests for an endorsement. Hopefully Warren soon sees the light and endorses Bernie pronto.

  10. Drew Hunkins
    April 18, 2016 at 16:33

    If Killary’s the nom it portends a nightmare for down ticket Dems. Trump’s being set up as the straw dragon so that the only option is to vote for Killary; it’s the evil of two lessers paradigm to a sad degree.

  11. Peter Loeb
    April 18, 2016 at 15:32


    The Democratic party has long been captive to its bundle of myths. These illusions
    are the consensus even among liberal/progressive pundits and commentators.

    Among them are that FDR and The New Deal “saved” America from the Great
    Depression. (World War Two did.)

    Minority groups now and will forever look to the Democratic party to save them
    from their demons.

    Democrats are now and will always be the choice of “workers”.( But
    workers have almost ceased to exist.)

    Ironically both Democrats and Republicans declare themselves opposed to
    “politicians”. Many continue in the belief that X or Y will satisfy their needs.

    (Because of the decline of our society, this will not happen.)

    All have proclaimed the belief that X or Y (Democrat or Republican, male
    or female) will be their savior. (See Gabriel Kolko: THE ROOTS OF

    No one can ever run a campaign which recognizes the defeat of
    decades of US assumptions whether in regard to domestic or
    foreign policy.

    A candidate with unfavorable ratings, with fewer delegates may
    limp along, may even “win” and “prove” again the “greatness of the USA”.

    Truth or anything near to it usually takes a backseat in American election
    campaigns. It always has.

    [Parenthetically, the New York Democratic debate showed nothing but
    desperation in the inner circles of of both H. Clinton and B. Sanders. Sanders
    is to be congratulated for his recognition of the dignity of Palestinians. It did
    not go far and was in many ways removed from reality. But it was
    a crumb if reluctantly given. One must still bow graciously for crumbs was
    once required before a monarch.]

    —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Brad Owen
      April 18, 2016 at 18:10

      Your insistence that WWII saved us from the great Depression is what has delivered us into the MIC that controls us right now. This only ends in thermonuclear destruction of Earth. Thank you.

      • Brad Owen
        April 19, 2016 at 03:18

        I shall dilate on this matter a little bit more. You are a victim of “Magic”. I’m not talking about stage magicians. I’m talking about the real thing. I’m talking about “Technicians” whose job it is to attach particular “Zeitgeists” to the hearts and minds of people, to induce a particular state-of-mind and belief system. I’m not talking about mere propagandists. I’m talking about “Technicians” who work with Living Spirits, “Zeitgeists”, to attach Them to people so that they think and perceive in a particular way. This is the way the Gods & Goddesses (or Ministering Angels if one prefers) govern our planet (the planet’s Natural Government, which is WHY we should be more humble about our political arrangements & organization, and WHY Kings & Queens and such are sheer foolishness). There is seldom any need for Them to manifest, or “Incarnate” here, within the range of our perception (Crop Circles and Sky Spirals are about as close as They come to “Manifesting”). One particular, and very useful “Zeitgeist” is “Disbelief”, allowing for the existence of our current, “Modern” acceptance of the atheism/materialism that co-exists with our “Scientific” outlook (which also renders all Religions into mere “Codes of conduct”), so that They can do Their work unmolested, not having to deal with endless petitioning from us to solve our little problems for us. Some people are “Receivers” who “Get IT”. Call it Insight or Intuition, whatever. The M.O. of attaching “Zeitgeists” is repetition. It works with Mantras, formal Prayers, Meditation, Chants, etc…, and with the turning of nails into magnets via stroking them against a permanent magnet (“Stroking” the Mind against God, the “Permanent Magnet”). Anyway, the persistent repetition of the IDEA that only WWII got us out of the Great Depression, ONLY intense military production and activity, and NOT intense CIVIL production and activity (as in CCC/WPA/PWA/TVA etc…) solves our economic problems is an IDEA tailored by some “Technician”(“Black Magician” in this case) to affix the MIC to our polity, our society. One should not willingly participate in this Deception.

  12. Bill Bodden
    April 18, 2016 at 15:01

    Democrats March Toward Cliff

    And when they get to the cliff’s edge, let’s toss the corrupt and undemocratic oligarchs and their authoritarian followers into the abyss.

    “Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists,” Debbie Wasserman Schultz (un-Democratic National Committee Chairwoman)

    • Daniel
      April 19, 2016 at 17:33

      “Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists,” Debbie Wasserman Schultz…Exactly OPPOSITE of what she said just before the TW Cable/CNN debate started last week, trying to (falsely) inject dignity into one of the worst campaigns in living memory, with one of the weakest democratic candidates in history leading the charge.

      When oh when will US citizens wake up to the reality that they are held in contempt by those that pander for their votes. With the exception of Sanders and Dr. Jill Stein, among very few others, Washington is now nothing more than a place for immoral psychopaths to get rich quick. Getting elected today has virtually nothing to do with a will to provide for the well being of the citizenry and everything to do with enriching selfish greedy people.

      • Idiotland
        April 20, 2016 at 02:18

        “When oh when will US citizens wake up to the reality that they are held in contempt by those that pander for their votes?”

        Maybe when a majority are bankrupt, homeless and starving and/or thermonuclear bombs are dropping on their feeble pathetic heads.

  13. David Smith
    April 18, 2016 at 13:54

    Ralph Nader has a new article predicting the Republicans will choose Gov. John Kasich, and Mr. Parry’s article has Kasich net positive at +12%, Sanders+9%. It is odd that Clinton is opposed by only Sanders, who has effectively demolished her credibility. Sanders has very quickly, out of nowhere, come very close to getting the nomination. If he does not get it, the Democrats will lose a “yuge” chunk of the electorate. Where will the crucial “swing votes” go in a Clinton vs. Kasich race? To the one less hated? If Sanders goes “third party”, he will lose and take Clinton with him, after all Sanders is an independent. Trump will not go ” third party”, because Clinton would win and Trump is a Republican. Republican voters are loyalist and hate Clinton, Sanders supporters will not vote Clinton. 2016 seems to be the year of the “candidate out of nowhere”, we might end up with President Kasich.

    • Realist
      April 18, 2016 at 15:08

      Hell, there are some demented Democrats pushing Kasich. Chris Matthews, empty talking head on MSNBC, has pushed his case for most of the campaign, even going so far as to say that the cagey ultra-conservative troll who would start wars on Russia, labor unions and women the day after his inauguration should be given the veep spot on the Democratic ticket. Kasich is just as radical and crazy as Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. I’m beginning to fear that the world is not going to get out of this next administration alive, no matter which of the maniacs is enthroned.

      • chuck b
        April 19, 2016 at 11:21

        i fully agree. so far obama has restrained the neocon foreign policy running the state department. once he’s gone, NATO will spring into action.

    • Bart
      April 18, 2016 at 15:22

      Kasich wants a balanced budget ammendment, or at least a balanced Federal budget. Given that he will be unable to raise taxes, that will place him in Ryan’s cohort of effectively cutting most of the budget. He also wants to defund Planned Parenthood, and would give us back the 5-4 split on the supreme court.

  14. Kent Bott
    April 18, 2016 at 13:31

    I can’t disagree since I’ve been saying for months now that Obama was lying when he said Hillary is likeable enough. I think he meant to say loathable enough.

  15. Zahid Kramet
    April 18, 2016 at 13:26

    America is still a WASP dominated society and Sanders is Jewish. The odds of his winning the presidential race are remote, even if the all-poweful Jewish media pull out all the stops. But there has beenvObama, s black candidate with a Muslim middle name who promised ’change’ – and won – but didn’t. The neoconservative knew for sure, he would toe the line. He did. Saunders will be ablec to veer as well. Unless he’s prepared to share the same fate as John Kennedy

    • Zahid Kramet
      April 18, 2016 at 13:29

      Sorry, “not be able to veer either”…

    • John Puma
      April 18, 2016 at 13:52

      Certainly any candidate may veer away from campaign promises.

      However, any such veer is virtually always to the right. We will never get any meaningful change from someone campaigning on the right who then surprises and rules from the left.

      So the nomination of Sanders would allow any possibility of a palatable administration.

      It is not clear why the alleged “all-powerful Jewish media” has been ignoring Sanders, at best. Doesn’t the “all-powerful Jewish media” realize that he must be nominated first in order “to pull out all the stops” to get him elected president?

      • Harry Shade
        April 18, 2016 at 16:28

        Being a Jew is not enough. The all-powerful Jewish-controlled media want an Israeli-firster Zionist (such as Hillary) or any other gentile (such as Ted Cruz) who is happy to be a Zionist slave of Israel. Just look at the US Senate, Congress or the US Treaury.

      • Rob Roy
        April 18, 2016 at 17:13

        AIPAC is the most powerful Jewish organization in America and they hate Sanders just because he mildly said Palestinans deserve consideration and respect. The Jewish community went ballistic. NO, they DON’T want Sanders. H. Clinton grovels at their feet and they want her. She is obsequious in her ridiculous groveling, too. It’s disgusting….and she repeats faithfully ad naseam all the propaganda points (verbatim!) they feed to her. She said the first person she will invite to the White House is Netanyahu. Repeating the usual propaganda over and over doesn’t make it true, no matter how many times it’s said. She has no learning curve whatsoever. I’m amazed that anyone will be voting for her…she backs illegal regime changes in sovereign countries (Honduras, Ukraine, Libya to name the most recent and look at them now) and wants, believe it or not, regime change in Russia. She never concedes that those countries are left in ruin after NATO and the US bring them “democracy.” Anyway, AIPAC doesn’t care how many countries she will destroy as long as she fawns over Israel.

        • Wm. Boyce
          April 20, 2016 at 11:31

          “The Jewish community went ballistic.”

          I think the establishment Jewish community may have gone ballistic, but to think every Jewish person in the country feels that way is a very long stretch. That’s like dissing Sanders because the Democratic party establishment is “irritated” with his candidacy.

          And this to all planning to vote against Ms. Clinton if she becomes the nominee: There are significant domestic issues on which she will be miles better than the psychopathic fascists being put up on the Republican side. Think Supreme Court nominees, a woman’s right to choose, transgender issues, etc.

          In 1980, I made the mistake of voting for John Anderson in his third-party candidacy. I say that history, through the election of Ronald Reagan that year, has proven how bad a decision that was on my part. Jimmy Carter didn’t have clean hands by a long shot, but a second Carter term might have turned out a lot better for our people and, for example, people in Central America, than the Reagan presidency did.

          Think carefully before voting this year, is all I can say.

  16. philip
    April 18, 2016 at 13:03

    One thing for sure, I WILL NOT vote for Clinton. If I must I will write in Sanders for prez.

    • Joe L.
      April 18, 2016 at 13:47

      Well if he is not the nominee then why not a least vote for Jill Stein instead? That makes more sense to me.

      • Rob Roy
        April 18, 2016 at 17:21

        Yes, you can’t get better than Jill Stein. In the meantime, let’s elected Bernie. Maybe for the first time this century, a president (Sanders) will choose great advisers instead of the financial/military messes of the last sixteen years. If Hillary is chosen, it will be the same ole, same ole, and amplified at that.

        • April 18, 2016 at 19:43

          The US CIA is firmly behind Mrs. Clinton, no matter what the numbers say. She knows that, speaks, or shouts and pushes from that. Only Obama could stop her. He won’t as her power is 100% toxic. CIA loves that, no-one else but the Nudelmans love it too.

    • Jerry
      April 19, 2016 at 00:40

      I will not vote for Clinton either. A possibility close to Sanders in policy is Jill Stein of the Green Party. While she has little or no chance to be elected, voting with conscience for the third party candidate this time may have some meaning.

      • Daniel
        April 19, 2016 at 17:27

        Voting with conscience always has meaning. Imagine if everyone were to do so.

    • Roch
      April 19, 2016 at 17:39


  17. Jay
    April 18, 2016 at 12:43

    Happily for Sanders the AP is completely incorrect about the lead Clinton holds in pledged delegates, it’s 194, not 250+.

    Not making the news, but Sanders has picked up several delegates in state wide conventions in Nev and Missouri recently–there may be more from Illinois too.

    Even without these new delegates for Sanders from “settled” races, the lead was around 219. So again the AP is in significant error.

    • Gord M
      April 18, 2016 at 16:02

      Thanks for clearing that up so I didn’t have to :) Put another way, Bernie has 46% of elected delegates at present with 1,670 remaining to be competed for. Even a win for Hillary in NY does not seal the deal for her, contrary to what the media would have us believe.

      • Daniel
        April 19, 2016 at 17:26

        They tell us this after every contest. Shameful.

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