There's a very simple and obvious reason for Hillary's struggles on the campaign trail this year: she's a terrible candidate.
She's an uninspiring and boring public speaker, she's prickly with the public and the press, and she's trying to win a Democratic primary with a message that's centered in realism. Additionally, she has a lengthy and very public history of dishonesty, self-dealing, and duplicity, and she's dogged by a scandal that clearly demonstrates that national security is less important to her than her own sense of self-importance.
Against this impressive backdrop of impressive liabilities, Hillary Clinton has only two political assets: 1) a uterus and 2) her aging and decreasingly charismatic husband.
A bit of simple political math would indicate to any reasonable observer that a candidate with Hillary's profile would be doomed in any election contest that pitted her against a ham sandwich. Fortunately for Clinton, she has drawn a Democratic opponent who is less appealing than a ham sandwich (Bernie Sanders) and might well draw a general election candidate who is less appealing than rancid pig's feet (Trump).
Even if the American public is ultimately forced to choose Hillary Clinton because Democratic voters are stupid and Republican voters even stupider, they are going to constantly cast about for another alternative. As I said, normal people would just accept that this is the consequence of sticking by a crappy candidate, but Hillary's supporters are instead casting about for explanations that blame the voters - instead of Clinton - for her problems.
The two latest efforts to blame the voters for not recognizing the greatness of Hillary are really doozies. The first is, wait for it, that Hillary is struggling with white blue collar voters because she took a job working for a black man (Obama):
I wonder if Clinton's troubles with white working class, which she carried in '08, have anything to do with the president she served
— Joan Walsh (@joanwalsh) February 11, 2016
What? I can't even imagine living inside the head of a person who thinks this way. There's actually a lot of polling data, going back to her time as first lady, that the more people see Hillary Clinton on TV, the less they like her. But yeah, I'm sure it was actually because racism. The other excuse might be even worse: young people are rejecting Clinton because they aren't having daughters.
Theories abound about why young voters in general, and young women in particular, do not support Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries. Such speculation will surely intensify after the New Hampshire primary, where Clinton won only 16 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds en route to losing to Bernie Sanders. Here is one important explanation for why many young Democrats do not support Hillary Clinton: They have not yet parented a daughter. * * * Why would having a daughter matter more for younger Americans than it does for older voters? Here are two complimentary explanations. First, a female president may mean more to parents of younger children because their kids have not yet forged their own paths in life. President Obama echoed that explanation a few weeks ago. The president responded to a question about the significance of having a woman succeed him in the Oval Office by saying, “… I want more women in politics generally, and I want my daughters to feel that there’s nothing that they can’t do.”
Counterpoint: maybe parents wouldn't want to hold up Hillary Clinton - who has aggressively participated in the coverup of multiple probable rapes and is seen as a fundamentally dishonest person by most of the electorate - as an example of what they want their daughters to grow up to be. Either way, it's kind of amazing the extent to which Democrats will accept any explanation for Hillary's troubles, other than the fact that Hillary is a terrible candidate. There's one guy talking sense on their whole side, and no one seems to be listening.
When the exact same problems crop up in separate campaigns, with different staff, at what point do the principals say, "Hey, maybe it's US?"
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) February 8, 2016