Morning Joe: Clinton Brushing Off Polls But Fears Embarrassing Loss to Sanders

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Hillary Clinton is both ignoring poll numbers that show her in a tight race with Bernie Sanders and attacking Sanders to avoid an all-out loss, Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski said Tuesday.

Brzezinski said that while Clinton is “brush[ing] off” her poll numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire, she has also been differentiating herself from Sanders “like she never has before.”

Scarborough added that it would be embarrassing for Clinton to lose to an underdog candidate like Sanders, and that she “can’t afford to lose Iowa and New Hampshire back-to-back.”

“Those polls are very close right now. We’ll see what happens,” Scarborough said. “You can’t get embarrassed if you’re the massive presumed frontrunner a year out, you can’t lose in Iowa and New Hampshire to a guy who is a socialist from Burlington, Vermont.”

Clinton said in an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board Tuesday that she is not concerned about the Iowa caucuses, and that she “always expected it would [be] close.” She then said that she does not acknowledge polls because “there’s just no guarantee.”

Clinton repeated a similar line on MSNBC the same night, saying that she “always thought that this would be a close race.”

While ignoring polls because they are “unpredictable,” Clinton has gone on the attack against Sanders in recent weeks, differentiating herself on issues like gun control and highlighting her experience in politics. She has also moved to the left on issues like trade and has taken up income inequality, Sanders’ core focus.

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