Clinton’s ‘invincibility’ is dangerous myth, could prove costly

Michael Jensen

With a commanding victory in South Carolina and considerable support from African-American voters, Hillary Clinton is well positioned to win both Super Tuesday and the Democratic nomination. Still, I’m perplexed by the idea that Clinton, a deeply flawed and unpopular candidate, will be a juggernaut in the general election. The myth of Clinton’s invincibility might be enough to win her the nomination, but down the road it could also cost Democrats the presidency.

Much of Clinton’s support stems from the belief that she’s the most electable candidate rather than from genuine enthusiasm. Textiles and apparel senior Mitzi Torres said she is settling for Clinton because she’s worried about the prospect of a Trump presidency. 

“I personally am not feeling her completely one hundred percent.” Torres said. “But judging by the impending threat of Donald Trump becoming the GOP nominee, I think she has much better chances of defeating him at the national stage than Bernie Sanders ever will.” 

Electability is a valid concern, but a recent Quinnipiac poll undermines the argument for Clinton. In head-to-head match ups, Clinton loses to Ted Cruz by 3 percent, Rubio by 7 percent and Kasich by 8 percent. She does beat Trump, but only by one point. Sanders easily beats his GOP rivals, likely due to his higher favorability ratings and greater popularity among independents. Voting for Clinton because you agree with her policies is great, but be careful not to overestimate her electability in the general election.

Another reason Clinton struggles is that many voters, especially millennials, dislike and distrust her. Advertising senior Hannah Duaine voiced her own issues with the candidate.

“She isn’t firm in any of her values, and that really bothers me.” Duaine said. “I find myself unable to trust her to get anything significant done when I keep reading more into the money she’s taken from so many industries.”

Clinton’s record does reveal a rather on-again, off-again relationship with the truth. Notably, she publicly condemns Wall Street while privately receiving millions of dollars from them in campaign contributions. She’s also reversed her positions on gay marriage, healthcare, the Iraq War and criminal justice

To make matters worse, the former first lady and secretary of state is being investigated by the FBI over her alleged mishandling of classified material. If Clinton is indicted during the general election, that alone could destroy her candidacy. 

Perhaps Bernie Sanders really is too liberal to win the general election. But Sanders being a weak candidate does not make Clinton a strong one, and if she’s the best the Democrats can muster, then come November we might be looking at President Donald J. Trump. 

Jensen is a neuroscience major from the Woodlands.