Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What's Driving Hillary's Rebound?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

What's Driving Hillary's Rebound?

Article excerpt

If summer was one long slump for Hillary Clinton, autumn seems to be a fresh start.

Two new polls show the Democratic presidential candidate staging a strong rebound. Some 54 percent of registered Democrats support Mrs. Clinton, up 12 points from one month ago, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll out Tuesday.

Clinton's lead over her rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, has also surged, from 7 points in September to 20 points this month, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that was also released Tuesday.

Why, after months of controversy over her use of a private e- mail server while serving as secretary of State, as well as her handling of the deaths of Americans at the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, does Clinton appear to be making a comeback?

"This isn't entirely unexpected for people who have been watching the polls and looking at the fundamentals of the campaign," says Frank Orlando, a political scientist at Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla.

"When you are the frontrunner you are going to get heat - from Republicans and Democrats alike. Clinton has gone through a period in the campaign where she has undergone a great amount of scrutiny, and some of this was self inflicted. Clinton's numbers swooned a bit," but the polls aren't always perfect reflectors of what's happening in a race, Professor Orlando adds.

For starters, many are crediting Clinton's performance in last week's Democratic presidential debate for her resurgence. Some 45 percent of Democrats and those leaning Democratic said they thought she won the debate, as opposed to 19 percent who said Senator Sanders won, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll.

Her campaign has also credited its "campaign reset," an effort to show Clinton's warmth, humor, and personality, as one reason behind her rebound.

And it doesn't hurt that most voters continue to see Clinton as the inevitable Democratic nominee. According to the ABC News poll, two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they expect her to win the nomination.

Following their summer crushes (on Sanders, mostly), Democratic voters are returning to Clinton, says Jonathan Rothermel, a professor of political science at Mansfield University in Mansfield, Penn. …

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