Bernie pulls even nationally with Hillary.  photo via Instagram

Bernie pulls even nationally with Hillary.
photo via Instagram

In the Democratic race nationwide, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has 44 percent, with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 42 percent, and 11 percent undecided. This compares to a 61 – 30 percent Clinton lead in a December 22 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll. [Quinnipiac]

PERHAPS NOW you’ll understand why I’ve been sounding the alarm over Hillary Clinton and her campaign, going back to late August 2015. National polls don’t mean anything except when they give an outsider equal status with the establishment’s candidate.

Let’s go there first.

“Well, look, I’ve got to just jump in here because, honestly, Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment. And I’ve got to tell you that it is… (APPLAUSE) CLINTON: It is really quite amusing to me.” – Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is the wife of a former much-beloved president who has been able to also earn the right to jettison from a privileged life in the White House, Senate, and State Department to her own political career. Whatever you want to say about Clinton’s impressive talents as a policy maker, global thinker on foreign policy issues, as well as a leading feminist. She’s not an outsider, regardless of being a woman.

The other challenge is that voters aren’t looking for someone who can work the system anymore, and everyone knows Hillary Clinton won’t change the system because she’s part of it. Nobody is going to buy that she isn’t.

Clinton supporters were aghast when I wrote how complicated it is for some women where Clinton is concerned. That was back in October though it began in September when I challenged Clinton’s scripted, uninspiring campaigning. When I wrote that Clinton doesn’t have a message in January 2016, rebuttals were more emotional wishful thinking than persuasive.

Through it all the Clinton campaign had absolutely no plan to challenge Bernie Sanders by treating him like any opponent that wants to defeat you. The rumpled socialist democrat received a collective shrug.

After pulling to a dramatic tie in Iowa, with NBC logging that Clinton is the “apparent winner” even after the AP called it. The CNN town hall, then last night’s fantastically uproarious MSNBC debate, Bernie Sanders now stands as a viable alternative to Hillary Clinton, southern firewalls be damned.

And about the single ladies and young women…

First, it’s never cool to back the establishment. And until New Hampshire, neither Clinton or her team have worked to make electing the first woman president hip.

Whether you want to get into the weeds of intersectional feminism that goes beyond a privileged white woman married to a former president or not — I can feel people bristle as they read that line — it’s a reality that Hillary Clinton represents a world that most young women today will never reach, especially if they’re a woman of color.

Hillary Clinton’s establishment stairway to the nomination doesn’t impress them no matter how much she sweated to get there. Just imagine how hard it would be for a woman of color, many of these young women not seeing how Clinton ascending to the presidency has anything to do with them.

It’s just one reason the media unfairness meme that Clinton supporters constantly cite is not working. Women today know the unfairness we face in the media and elsewhere but it’s baked into the conversation. The media isn’t nearly as sexist as it was in 2008, unless you’re watching the usual suspects.

It’s why Nina Turner, in my opinion, once a Hillary supporter but now a rabid Bernie advocate, doesn’t see Hillary Clinton as the answer anymore.

Now that Bernie Sanders has stood equal to Hillary Clinton in Iowa, as well as the debate stage over multiple meetings, the advantage Hillary Clinton once had as the only choice has vanished. Even on foreign policy, Sanders is no match for Clinton but he certainly has gamed up and is getting better. The “judgment” versus “experience” knock on Clinton over her Iraq war vote is working.

Clinton should thank the debate gods that Libya hasn’t surfaced in the discussion.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton still doesn’t have an answer to the Wall Street question that will change minds, particularly young women, and independents.

Sanders on Wall Street is clear and understandable.

Yeah, I do. I agree with much of what the Secretary said, but, madam Secretary, it is not one street. Wall Street is an entity of unbelievable economic and political power. That’s a fact.

And, I want to say something, and it may sound harsh, not to you, but to the American people. In a sense, in my view, the business model of Wall Street is fraud. It’s fraud. I believe that corruption is rampant, and the fact that major bank after major bank has reached multi-billion dollar settlements with the United States government when we have a weak regulator system tells me that not only did we have to bail them out once, if we don’t start breaking them up, we’re going to have to bail them out again, and I do not want to see that happen…

No one knows what will happen in New Hampshire.

Then it’s a turn to South Carolina where the Sanders team better hold on. President Bill Clinton is already down there. This is where the establishment takes care of business. It’s where oppo research dumps bloom into fields of thorns for unprepared candidates.

Sanders will keep coming no matter what. The important endorsement from NAACP’s Ben Jealous is just the latest sign.

It’s a fight for the Democratic party that Elizabeth Warren started, and the establishment can delay but can’t stop.