- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Hillary Clinton is losing her way to winning the Democratic nomination.

Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state, has lost 11 of the last 18 primaries to Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders, and things are looking dicey in California. Mrs. Clinton canceled a day of campaigning in New Jersey this week and instead will return to the Golden State for five days ahead of the June 7 primary — an indication things in California may be more competitive than they seem.

Polling in the state ranges from her having an 18-point advantage over Mr. Sanders, from a narrow 2-point lead. If Mrs. Clinton loses California, she will do so on the same night she clinches the Democratic nomination — leading to a potentially embarrassing victory party and lending resolve for Mr. Sanders to stay in the race until the convention.

“A California loss would cement the notion that even if Clinton isn’t what [Donald] Trump would call a ‘total loser,’ neither is she a decisive winner — despite her built-in strength and resources, she was incapable of shucking off a challenge from a self-described Democratic socialist even at the very end,” Politico wrote last week.

So what’s gone wrong?

California voters are skeptical Mrs. Clinton is a credible “change agent,” given she’s been fixture in Washington for the last two-dozen years, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

“She’s not going to change anything because she’s part of the people in power,” Agusein Garcia, a 47-year-old father and grocery clerk told the Post. “She’s not part of us, it’s as simple as that.”

Mrs. Clinton doesn’t have a clear, concise campaign message — that it keeps evolving, the Boston Globe explained on Tuesday.

Clinton’s ever-evolving message identity highlights a broader critique of her candidacy: that she tries to be all things to all people, and that she does not let voters see who she really is underneath all the image-making,” the Globe said, hitting on Mrs. Clinton’s authenticity and likability numbers.

The New York Times has said the use of a private-email server has dogged her campaign.

In an article this week, Mrs. Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, Cheryl Mills, said in sworn testimony that she and other top advisers gave little thought to the problems that a private email server would cause.

During the testimony, Mrs. Mills appeared “contrite” and “defensive,” The Times reported. Last week, the State Department’s inspector general said Mrs. Clinton violated department rules by having such a server and that none of her staff willingly participated in the investigation.

And on Wednesday, The Washington Times reported that Mrs. Clinton has yet to hold a press conference this year — trying to control the media by rationing access.

Mrs. Clinton is still 3 million votes ahead of Mr. Sanders, and it’s unlikely he’ll switch over the number of superdelegates he needs to win the nomination at the convention.

Still, given the unpopularity of Mrs. Clinton — and the fact Mr. Sanders wins in head-to-head match-ups against GOP presumed nominee Donald Trump, whereas Mrs. Clinton is coming within the margin of error — why should he get out?

He’s inspiring a revolution, after all. She inspires people to change the television dial.

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