Is Gary Hart correct when he implies that 60% of the Democratic Party is actively working against Hillary Clinton’s nomination?

Here’s how it was reported in a Denver Post blog:

Former Colo. Sen. Gary Hart doubts the prospects of a Hillary Clinton candidacy in a Politico story examining Barack Obama’s strategy in pursuing the Democratic presidential nomination

“There still is an enormous number of people in the party who are unhappy with [Clinton] for what they perceive to be her vacillation on the war and her reluctance to confess error,” Hart said in an interview. “People who care about these things remember when, remember how, remember who took leadership.

“She’s one of the best-known women in the world,” Hart added. “She’s been in the White House for eight years. She’s a senator from one of the largest states. And 60-plus percent of the Democratic Party wants somebody else.”

Hart’s inference is crystal clear. It’s his logic that suggests a mind tettering on senility.

The logic doesn’t work because it assumes that by adding up voter preferences for other candidates that the total somehow indicates a de facto repudiation of Hillary Clinton. That is not what those numbers mean.

In any election, voters start with their preferred candidates. Obama started with his share, Edwards his, Hillary hers, and all the rest got their share. Take Richardson as an example. If he is at 8% in the polls right now, that does not mean that 8% are repudiating Hillary. It simply means that 8% have found something about Richardson that they like — his views on immigration, his foreign policy experience.  That logic applies to most voters for most of the candidates.

Gary Hart’s suggestion that anyone currently supporting another candidate must hate Hillary Clinton is simply ludicrous and illogical. That fact that it comes from an old-time Democrat who once disgraced his party and is now clawing for some paltry attention and relevance, makes his political cameo even more pathetic.

At least a newspaper in his home state still finds him relevant.  

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