It’s a valid question. After all, she seems to be the least liked and least trusted presidential candidate in recent memory.
However, public opinion is notoriously difficult to gage with accuracy.
It is fairly well known, in the UK for example, that polls will give only a false impression of popular mood, partly because a lot of people prefer to appear (or even feel) progressive or anti-Establishment, but will nevertheless vote for the status quo at the last minute. Whether this is to do with last-minute fear or anxiety, or whether it’s simply a case of being reluctant to openly admit one’s true leanings, is unclear.
In the case of Hillary – assuming she wins the Democratic nomination – the likely anxiety that will be created by a rival Donald Trump campaign may force a lot of people who don’t even like or trust Hillary to nevertheless vote for her at the last moment.
That would represent not a liked or popular candidate, but simply a fear of the alternative.
All of which illustrates the ludicrousness of the current presidential race and what it says about American democracy.
Even at this stage, however, there is evidence that Hillary’s odd ‘popularity’ might simply be an illusion.
Aside from US mainstream media appearing to be working to make her campaign seem more popular than it is (CNN’s parent company, for one thing, is one of Hillary’s financial backers), The Daily Mail recently reported that the results of multiple studies show that Hillary’s on-line following is largely illusory.
According to the studies, the majority of her Twitter fans and her social-media following in general is fake.
Findings from StatusPeople.com and analytical tool TwitterAudit both find that no more than 44 percent of Clinton’s followers are actually real, active users of Twitter. This is nothing new: the State Department under Hillary Clinton previously spent at least $630,000 to buy Facebook likes, essentially manufacturing a public following for itself.
The effect is to create an illusion of popularity and momentum.
There are of course still scores of distinct non-fans of Hillary on all of these platforms too. Which is why a substantial campaign has been in operation to ‘correct’ anti-Hillary activity on the same social-media platforms. Describing its focus as being “to defend Hillary Clinton from baseless attacks”, ‘Correct the Record’ has launched a digital task-force and investing over $1million to “push back on online harassment” of the Establishment Goddess.
“Correct The Record will invest more than $1 million… including a tripling of its digital operation to engage in online messaging both for Secretary Clinton and to push back against attackers on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram,” according to a statement.
To be fair to Hillary, when even people like hardcore Democrat Susan Sarandon are coming out and saying they’d rather vote Trump than Hillary, she needs all the tactics she can lay her hands on. For the record, Sarandon isn’t intending to actually vote Trump, but has clarified that if Sanders doesn’t get the Democratic nomination then she intends to not vote at all.
Which is actually a sentiment being spoken by a lot of people.
Meanwhile, more reports recently emerged from Kentucky to suggest that the Clinton campaign has been involved in more electoral fraud, essentially cheating to push Clinton ahead of Bernie Sanders in the bid for the Democratic nomination.