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Mitch Perry Report for 8.5.15 — Hillary Clinton is struggling, but is Joe Biden really the answer?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Maybe the presidential race will be what some fantasize/dread has always been the inevitable challenge — a Jeb Bush v. Hillary Clinton throwback contest of dueling 60-somethings.

But it doesn’t look like it in early August of 2015.

Forget about Jeb’s misstatements, which are starting to pile up. Let’s look deeper at some of Hillary’s numbers.

A Wall Street Journal poll shows Clinton losing support with her supposed base — white women, whose numbers are supposed to make up for the reduction of black voters that enabled Barack Obama to get by Mitt Romney in 2012. Specifically, in the the first three months of the year, suburban women by a margin of 18 points had a positive view of  Clinton. In July, those numbers took a dramatic turn for the worse. By a five-point margin, suburban women had a negative view of her.

Among white women with at least a college degree, 51 percent had a positive view of Mrs. Clinton and 38 percent a negative as of June. In July, those numbers had turned to 43 percent positive and 47 percent negative,

So Democrats are now pining for Joe Biden, leading to the question: Is this really the best Democrats can do?

Florida Democrats are all too familiar with a lack of bench strength, but the GOP’s 17 candidates certainly provide more possible alternatives  than the four Democrats at this point opposing Clinton — Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee.

Sanders has been the left’s man of the summer, and maybe he could win it all next year. But among the power brokers in the Democratic Party, nobody feels that way, which is why there’s the hunt for the next big Democrat, be it John Kerry, Al Gore or now, apparently, Joe Biden.

In Biden you have a man who twice failed to win the Democratic nomination, and not even come close either time. Sure, he’s a sitting vice president, which helps out, but he’s also 72.  There’s a tremendous amount of sympathy and good will toward him based on his most recent tragedy. But is that a reason to back him for president?

Maybe these are just the summer doldrums for Mrs. Clinton. Then again, with more investigations regarding her home server pending, maybe not.

In other news..

Four national polls came out yesterday — and all have Donald Trump dominating the GOP presidential race.

Progress Florida and three other progressive organizations are blasting Marco Rubio and other GOP senators running for president who are jamming President Obama judicial nominees this year.

Do you care who Rick Scott chooses to support for president? Well, he assumes you do, since he issued a statement yesterday informing the world that he wants to see a nominee who can be as effective as he has been in Florida in creating jobs.

Another staffer from the Tampa Bay Times reporter is taking her talents elsewhere.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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