Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (N.Y.) campaign has a chance to reclaim momentum in the race for the Democratic nomination at Thursday night’s debate in Las Vegas.
In the two weeks since the last debate in Philadelphia, where Clinton later admitted she had an off night, her campaign has experienced repeated missteps. This has led many analysts and supporters of her rivals to believe her campaign ship is listing and ripe for capsizing.
While Clinton’s chief rivals are sure to remain on the offensive, Clinton will have the opportunity Thursday to re-establish herself as the candidate to beat, a notion reinforced by most national and state polls despite apparent slips in key places.
“This is a very important debate for Sen. Clinton because you want to see if Philadelphia was just a one-time occurrence and a bad night or if her campaign has been knocked down a bit,” said one Democratic strategist.
Dennis Goldford, a political science professor at Drake University in Iowa, where Clinton remains in a tight three-way race with former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) and Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.), said Clinton needs a strong debate performance to counter the growing media narrative that her campaign is reeling.
Will all those big, bad, scary men attack the poor, defenseless girl again? I'd lay money on it. She has shown weakness and needs to rebound tomorrow. They all know this and will be chomping at the bit to hit her again.
Of course, even with the terrible performance in the last debate, she is still way ahead in the polls. The race is hers to lose.
I think this did more to damage her in the general than in the primary. It proves she is not invincible. She does not have her husband's charm and political prowess. Maybe now is the time to start looking for a more conservative candidate instead of putting a RINO in just because of the perception that only one of the republicans can defeat Hillary. I think at least three, and quite possibly five could get that job done.