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Opinion
Jonathan Bernstein

Will Hillary Clinton Have Smooth Sailing?

Even a candidate who easily wins a nomination can run into trouble in the general.
Nothing is easy. Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Nothing is easy. Photographer: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Let's say Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination for president by acclamation -- without a serious primary challenge. How would that affect the general election? Very little, probably.

Harry Enten today argues that an easy Clinton victory would be a sign of general election strength, but his analysis is seriously flawed. Enten looks back at recent history to assess whether the candidate who more easily wins his party's nomination also fares better in November. Enten finds an apparent effect, even when controlling for the president's approval rating.