40% of Democratic insiders in early primary states are convinced Hillary Clinton is not campaigning hard enough.
These insiders are part of the Politico Caucus, which surveys activists, campaign staff, and elected officials in Iowa and New Hampshire each week.
So far, Hillary’s campaign has been muted.
After her splashy launch last month via video, she’s had little in the way of events that are open to the public. Even parts of her so-called “listening tour” of Iowa were later found to be staged: the “regular Iowans” she met with were Democratic Party insiders, one of whom had worked for Vice President Joe Biden.
Though presidential campaigns like Hillary’s must have a nationwide focus and strong online outreach–which Hillary does–old-fashioned hand-shaking and baby-kissing still play a key role. Especially in early states.
Unfortunately for Democrats, it doesn’t look like Hillary is planning on stepping up her game. While she returns to Iowa and New Hampshire next week, it’s largely to fundraise; her campaign has announced that her events will be small and invite-only.
“We have this need to feel well-loved every four years,” said an uncommitted Democratic operative in New Hampshire–all Politico Caucus surveys are submitted anonymously. “If other candidates begin to make inroads, Clinton’s absence will be noted.”
Some Republicans in the Politico Caucus, however, think Hillary’s lack of campaigning is intentional.
A Republican caucus member in New Hampshire explained that, when Hillary does campaign “she is so horrible, dull, scripted and phony that the Hillary juggernaut should create plans to build a soundproof Rose Garden in Brooklyn.”
While Hillary has no realistic opponents for the Democratic nomination, her lack of campaigning could prove to be problematic if another candidate begins to gain steam.