The results of Iowa’s Democratic caucus showed that the road to the presidential nomination will not be easy for ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The obstacle posed by Senator Bernie Sanders is only one of the many Clinton has created for herself.
Although Clinton’s extremely narrow win in Iowa was only confirmed yesterday, to everyone’s surprise she declared victory on Monday night and immediately flew to New Hampshire. Her premature claim allowed her to at least strike first in the media war and get to New Hampshire ahead of everyone else. Sanders is presumably a favorite there due to the state’s proximity to Vermont, which the Senator represents. Two victories in a row for Sanders may have foretold a bad season for Hillary.
In any case, it will be a complicated road for the Democratic front runner, as Iowa revealed a large sector within the Party who see her as part of the Establishment: too moderate and too close to Wall Street. This is a big problem when the main issue in discussion is income and wealth inequality. Barack Obama defeated Clinton from the Left, the same side where Sanders stands today. If the Senator took the nomination, it may prove very difficult for a self-proclaimed Socialist to attract the number of independent votes necessary to win the White House.
Conversely, if Clinton is nominated, her candidacy will have to face her serious perception problem. Polls show that most voters do not believe that she is “honest and trustworthy.” Her decision to store her emails in a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State reinforce the impression that she, like her husband Bill, feels as if she is above the law and rules that govern the rest of us. While Sanders has not taken advantage of this topic, Republicans are rubbing their hands together in anticipation. More so when, every week, new revelations emerge regarding her alleged improper use of top secret documents, which, if proved true, would be a federal offense.
The impact of the internal war within the Republican Party, led by Donald Trump, has dominated public attention. Still, the Democratic primary will not be a walk in the park, as it has laid bare the difficulties that the winner will be facing in the general election.