You might have heard that the average Republican primary voter is seething mad. They have been let down one time too many by the elected leaders in whom they placed their trust. They are anxious about the state of the economic recovery, which has prompted a bout of paralyzing apprehension about their futures and those of their children. They have endured about all the lip service they can take from their party’s elites, and many are now in an open state of revolt. Some of them know that this rebellion is self-destructive and maybe even counter-productive, but they don’t care. Their dissatisfaction must be communicated to the party’s leadership, even if it amounts to an electoral impediment in 2016. Much the same could be said for grassroots Democrats. So why isn’t it?

As of this writing, Hillary Clinton currently maintains a respectable 16-point average lead over self-described socialist Senator Bernie Sanders in the nonexistent national Democratic primary nominating contest. On the state level, where actual votes are cast and convention delegates are assigned, the story is far more troubling for Team Clinton. The 10, 20, and even 30-point leads Clinton once enjoyed over Sanders in Iowa are gone. The two most recent surveys of Democratic caucus-goers in the Hawkeye State peg Clinton’s lead in the single-digits as she struggles to crest 40 percent support. In New Hampshire, Clinton’s slide in the polls grows more pronounced by the week. In the last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton trailed Sanders by 14 points – a result that confirms the findings of a CNN/WMUR poll that revealed Clinton trailing Sanders by 16 points.

Hillary Clinton has suffered a bit of a setback in admittedly early Democratic primary surveys, but it isn’t nearly the setback she is contending with in polls of the general electorate. If Clinton makes it to the general election, that same NBC/WSJ survey suggests that Clinton is failing to secure the support of a majority of voters in either swing state (both of which Barack Obama won twice). In New Hampshire, Clinton trails Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina substantially. In Iowa, Clinton cannot muster enough support among Hawkeye State voters to beat even Donald Trump. She trails Fiorina in Iowa by a whopping 14 points, with only 38 percent support to the California businesswoman’s 52 percent.

The message Democrats are sending Washington is clear. They are tired of half-measures and political leaders who value playing it safe over advancing deeply-held principles. These voters wager it’s time to force their leaders to acknowledge their righteous anger. In that, they have succeeded. Message received.

Clinton has been conspicuously lurching to the left since it became clear that the coronation was off. She has spent the better part of this year denouncing the most successful and popular accomplishments of her husband’s presidency, an administration that a critical mass of Democrats have deemed ideological deviant as the party has abandoned Clintonian triangulation and centrism. As Max Boot noted, Clinton is eagerly trying to create the impression that she is more liberal than even Barack Obama on almost every issue but those related to defense. Her latest groping efforts to make herself out to be a doctrinaire progressive reached a crescendo in the wake of another tragic mass shooting.

“It’s time to act on gun violence. We simply cannot accept as normal 33,000 gun deaths a year,” Clinton insisted on Monday. If that sounds like a high estimate to you, it should. Like several ideologically simpatico news outlets, Clinton is including self-inflicted wounds in her tally of all gun-related deaths. No matter; she’s on a roll.

On Monday, the prohibitive Democratic presidential candidate unveiled her embrace of a series of gun control proposals. Among the most controversial of those, Clinton pledged to close the nefarious “gun show loophole” – a gap in the laws regulating gun ownership that exists only in the minds of frustrated liberals. “Under the ATF’s existing definition, it is impossible to sell high volumes of firearms without triggering the definition of a dealer in firearms,” The Federalist’s Sean Davis noted. “The ‘repetitive purchase and resale of firearms’ makes you a dealer, not a private individual. Anything other than ‘occasional sales’ makes you a dealer, not a private individual. Unlicensed dealing is against the law. Refusing to conduct background checks as a dealer (licensed or not) is against the law.”

“If Congress refuses to act to end this epidemic of gun violence, I’ll take administrative action to do so,” Clinton added. What does this mean? Is Clinton conveying to her hair-on-fire, constitutionally illiterate supporters that she will somehow use the power of the pen in order to limit access to guns in a way that Barack Obama has timidly declined to do? Ah, but to perform any critical dissection of this statement is to miss the point. Clinton’s tribal scream is designed only to placate the liberal voter who so desperately wants to see the Democratic Party’s likely nominee display the same passion and anger that they feel. The faction that decides Democratic primaries is itching for a fight.

“The fact that Hillary’s coming out so strong in favor of gun control is the clearest evidence I’ve yet seen that she is really, really worried about even winning the Democratic primary at this point,” The Weekly Standard’s Mark Hemingway opined. He noted that Sanders’ liberal bona fides is unimpeachable on every subject but guns, being an elected political leader from Vermont where gun owners’ rights are sacrosanct. He further observed that Clinton will have a bear of a time tacking back to the center on deeply unpopular gun restrictions when she becomes her party’s presidential nominee, but Clinton has determined to take on her electoral challenges sequentially. It is, after all, shaping up to be a real fight.

Among political commentators, Clinton’s electoral travails are all about Clinton and much not the Democratic voters to whom she is so hamfistedly trying to appeal. For one-fifth to one-third of Democratic primary voters, Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party’s Jeb Bush. They are the members of the angry electorate that have changed the dynamics of the 2016 race so radically since the summer. Even if their candidate fails to capture the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, the frustrated Trump backer will have had a lasting impact on this presidential campaign season well into the general election. It’s becoming increasingly clear that that the angry Democratic voter will have a similar effect on their party’s race. But unlike the GOP, political observers have not fully explored the consequences for a Democratic Party that is forced by its most indignant voters in a radically leftward direction.

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