If Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination analysts will surely point to October as the month that sealed the deal. Yes October has been that good for her.
It started out with strong third quarter fundraising numbers with her bringing in more than $29 million – the most of any candidate of either party. Then the debate happened and analysts agreed she won hands down. Last week two of her opponents, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee dropped out of the race while Vice President Joe Biden decided against running.
But it was her grueling 11-hour testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi that changed the game. Even Republicans conceded that her testimony and composure only helped her campaign, while the committee came across as partisan and petty, admitting afterwards that nothing new was learned.
Her good month must have gotten to her other two opponents Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Gov. Martin O’Malley. Sanders broke his pledge about going negative attacking Clinton for the first time at the very important Democratic Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Iowa. That was the same event that was largely seen a game changer for then Senator Barack Obama in his race against Clinton. O’Malley also attacked the frontrunner saying, "a weathervane shifts its positions in the wind, effective leaders do not.”
Meanwhile the latest poll in Iowa shows Clinton up 41 points over Sanders. But in New Hampshire Sanders is up 15 points over Clinton. The Real Clear Politics national average has Clinton up 22.8 points over Sanders.
On the Republican front billionaire Donald Trump has had a bad week with polls in Iowa showing neurosurgeon Ben Carson taking the lead and on Tuesday the first national poll in months has Carson leading Trump by 4 points. Trump in response to Carson’s rise has attacked his opponent for being a Seventh-day Adventist saying to a crowd in Jacksonville "I'm Presbyterian. Boy, that's down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don't know about. I just don't know about."
Meanwhile the rest of the Republican field is stagnant with no one getting more 10 percent in the Real Clear Politics national average. Florida Senator Marco Rubio comes close at 9 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign appears to be in complete disarray coming just short of a freefell. They’ve had to drastically cut their spending, including slashing payroll costs by 40 percent. It appears Bush has fallen into the same trap that doomed Scott Walker’s campaign, building the organization of a frontrunner but only fundraising like a second tier candidate.