Tulsi Gabbard’s quest to be the next President of the United States has been a curious one to many observers. Exactly where her support is coming from has been quite a puzzle. Hillary Clinton, CNN, and The New York Times have made accusations that Gabbard is being used as an unwitting agent of Russia.
Clinton joined others (CNN, New York Times) in suggesting that another candidate was being “groomed” by Russia for possible use in 2020. Although she didn’t mention (the others did) candidate Tulsi Gabbard by name, many, including Gabbard herself, speculated that she was the candidate in question. Gabbard responded to all the accusations, including Clinton’s:
“Just two days ago, The New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears,” Gabbard said. “This morning, a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia — completely despicable.”
Gabbard has repeatedly been accused by Democrats of being a “puppet for the Russian government.” Gabbard – an anti-war activist who has accused the United States of waging a “regime change war” in Syria – has had to defend her 2017 meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the brutal dictator, throughout the campaign.
Whether she is or isn’t might not matter much going forward.
Nate Silver, who founded the universally respected polling and election analysis firm, 538.com, has found where Gabbard’s support is actually coming from — and it isn’t from progressive Democrats — nor is it from those who consider themselves more moderate.
Silver tweeted his findings today:
Lest you make the mistake that Tulsi Gabbard's support is coming from the left, almost all of her support in the Q-Pac poll of NH is from voters who describe themselves as conservative or moderate. And almost all from independents and not Democrats. https://t.co/gjT1sex4Gg pic.twitter.com/gCULsOB2J1
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 11, 2019
It turns out, that in addition to that, this is how Gabbard polls in most, if not all of the polling. She scores high with people identifying themselves as Republican, conservative, and/or independent. With folks who say they are liberal, progressive, or a member of the Democratic party, not so much.
In Today's CNN/UNH New Hampshire Democratic primary poll, Tulsi Gabbard has the support of 2% of Democrats, 7% of independents, and 28% of Republicans.https://t.co/r4GajGTiRG pic.twitter.com/kmXSNTZ1cj
— David Williams (@dznyc) October 29, 2019
Also interesting to note that another category that Gabbard does well in is the category that includes people who are “not registered to vote.”
Whether Gabbard is being pushed by Putin’s Russia, a Republican in disguise, or just so happens to be drawing support from where others aren’t — she surely is not changing many Democrats minds on her candidacy, Of course, those are the folks that need to be convinced of her viability and want to vote for her. Until that happens, Gabbard will continue to be an unnecessary distraction as the party moves closer to primary season.