Amidst the tail end of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, presidential nominee Hillary Clinton faces challenges before even her acceptance speech Thursday night. The alarm bells have been rung with a cluster of new polls showing Donald Trump storming into the lead after the Republican National Convention.
Such poll surges for a candidate who has just finished their party’s convention usually are not the best indicator on where the American voter will be. Hillary’s speechwriters are well aware this will be the most important address of her career.
What worries the Democrats is they expected Trump’s acceptance speech of gloom and doom would provide a negative response. They thought it wouldn’t gain traction in modern-day America. Wrong. Various polls show the GOP presidential nominee ahead or in a dead heat with the former secretary of state. Democrats can’t believe they are in a close race.
A deeply serious Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) sounded the warning. “It shouldn’t be this close. I don’t think there’s any question that the closeness of this race is cause for everybody to concern himself and recommit themselves to this campaign,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) he told The Hill Monday afternoon.
A new CNN/ORC poll shows Trump surging from a 10-point jump in support, putting him 3 points ahead of Clinton, 48 percent to 45 percent. A CNN/ORC poll from mid-July showed Clinton with a 7-point lead.
Hillary needs to hit the ball out of the park with the knowledge many Americans aren’t buying into a besieged Clinton. She is under suspicion for her email scandal, the latest WikiLeaks information on emails to rout challenger Bernie Sanders and her being the ultimate face of the establishment and Wall Street.
The worrisome feedback from the polls also includes the CBS News survey showing Trump leading 44 percent to 43 percent, and a Los Angeles Times/USC poll shows him with a 4-point lead. Both are operations usually received as liberal media stalwarts. Quinnipiac University earlier this month showed Trump up by 3 points in Florida and 2 points in Pennsylvania. Those are two states that President Obama carried in 2008 and 2012.
There is now evidence that voters are responding to what Clinton last week called “a dark picture of an America in decline” painted by Trump. Additionally, Rep. Cleaver said, “A large number of us this morning were talking about things we thought were long gone out of the hearts for Americans.”
Thursday, Clinton must address Trump’s ravaging words about her including the handling of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, her evolving positions on various issues and her use of a private email server as secretary of State. Not to mention the throng of Republicans chanting, “Lock her up!”
Meanwhile, Hillary supporters are wary that Sanders’ endorsement won’t sway his angry base. They are clearly outraged over leaked emails showing that Democratic National Committee (DNC) staff was biased in favor of Clinton during the primary race.
The ultimate nightmare scenario of Hillary’s Thursday acceptance speech would be Sanders’ supporters booing her mercilessly to a TV audience in the tens of millions. That would quell the Democrat’s comments concerning Sen. Ted Cruz’s speech at the GOP convention where he refused to endorse nominee Donald Trump.
It will be “Must TV” Thursday. Hillary needs the crowd cheering and that may be a task beyond her handlers’ control.