Hillary Clinton’s free-falling public image poll numbers have impelled the often rigid and robotic presumed Democratic nominee to adopt a more aggressive tack, according to The Washington Post
The former secretary of state’s new posture, according to the Post, has included "almost daily attacks on the better-known contenders among the wide Republican field," the "surprise release of her health and tax information late last month on the same day as a very public airing — in the home state of [former Florida Gov. Jeb] Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) — of her policy reversal on U.S. relations with Cuba," and "a preemptive spin campaign" ahead of the first GOP debate.
Just before the "happy hour" debate kicked off at 5 p.m. Thursday, Clinton blasted a needling message on Twitter, one that embodied the tone of her new demeanor.
Wrote Clinton in a Twitter message typical of her recent postings:
The "elbows-out approach" by the "no-false-moves" candidate is designed to counter critics within her party that "despite posturing as a fighter, she has rarely taken the gloves off," the Post reports.
She’s also been forced to take more risks as a result of the unforeseen popularity of progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and rumblings that Vice President Joe Biden may get into the race.
A recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found that Clinton’s favorability rating dropped to 37 percent, from 44 percent, between June and July, according to the Post, while other surveys saw Clinton’s lead over Sanders' diminishing.
A June piece by the Post reported on the results of a Post-ABC poll
that found Clinton’s favorability ratings had fallen to their lowest since April 2008, when she first ran for president.
The poll found that 52 percent of Americans said Clinton is not trustworthy, "a 22-point swing in the past year," according to the Post, which noted that Clinton support from both independents and Democrats had diminished.
In July, The Hill reported on a Quinnipiac University survey
of voters in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia. The results were staggering.
When tested against leading Republican contenders — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — Clinton lost every state to every opponent.
"President [Barack] Obama won all three states in both of his presidential election victories, but they went for former President George W. Bush almost as uniformly in 2004 and 2000," according to The Hill.
Clinton allies tell the Post that the "new injection of energy is partly an effort to counter negative coverage of her email foibles and her falling poll numbers" while her campaign maintains that a decline in polling numbers is expected as the race moves into full swing.
The campaign insists its recent launch of a $2 million advertising campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire — spots that cast Clinton as a "champion for working people and families" — had already been in the works and are in no way a reaction to the falling numbers.
"You’re going to get nicked up a bit" over a long campaign, chief strategist and pollster Joel Benenson said Wednesday. "This is a marathon, not a sprint."
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