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faraic: At this point, I’m assuming all the data on the server has been secured. But I think the likeliest right hook would come from something that seemed like an impropriety for the secretary of state to be doing — influence trading, for example — and not the security of the data itself. natesilver: If there’s a Sony-style hack in which highly sensitive national security information from Clinton’s email gets revealed publicly somehow, she’s presumably toast.I have no idea whether the chances of that are 0.2 percent or 2 percent or 20 percent.natesilver: Maybe it’s not so linear though, Harry? (Friend of the site.) faraic: I think the correct form is “Gladwellian” … natesilver: I know where you’re going with that: The primary could be thrown into disarray — and Clinton could wind up the winner anyway.micah: So let’s consider the extreme case: What do you think the story would have to become for the email stuff to force Clinton out of the race?This is a video of Lena Dunham (“Girls”) joking with Clinton about Lenny Kravitz’s “wardrobe malfunction” in an effort to be “likable.” Or millennial-friendly. hjenten-heynawl: I don’t play these analyses games too well, but here’s what I do know: What I had generally expected heading into the campaign is that Clinton’s numbers would come back to where they were in 2008.Her favorable ratings have been a bit worse, but she is polling at the same level as the generic Republican (Jeb Bush), which matches up with what you’d expect given the generic presidential ballot and Obama’s approval rating.“Clinton threatened national security and/or broke the law by maintaining a private email server” is better, but less self-evident. Some of the other parts of the five-pronged test would argue for the scandal being important. 3: “Does the scandal reify/reinforce/‘prove’ a core negative perception about the candidate? 2: “Does the scandal cut against a core element of the candidate’s brand?That’s part of why I’ve been skeptical that the details of the scandal mattered all that much to voters. ” It makes it harder for Clinton to talk about her time as secretary of state in a positive light, which could otherwise be a real strength for her.
faraic: I think some of the Democratic elites are annoyed, but panic is far from the emotional state. natesilver: The primary is a consensus-building process, and consensus-building processes are full of feedback loops and often nonlinear. That was a geeky sentence.) micah: That was very Malcolm Gladwell-y. Who is the consensus candidate here, though, besides Clinton?
That might be a sixth prong we’ll need to add to the acid test we described earlier: Does the scandal continue to produce news, or is it one-hit-and-you’re-done, in a way that allows you to apologize and move on?
(The American public can be real softies when politicians apologize for misbehavior.) micah: OK, let’s say Clinton makes it out of the primary: Does the email stuff have a different effect in the context of a general election?
And I don’t think the email scandal does particularly well by that test.
“Clinton maintained a private email server” is not all that sexy unto itself.
At least in terms of their chances of winning their party’s nomination. And in this day and age of polarized politics, it would take something truly special for Clinton to be anything but a generic Democrat.