But maybe lazy pundits won't say that for much longer. Soon, perhaps, pundits will pair Scary Donald and Scary Hillary:
Americans aren't just for or against presidential candidates this year: Color them scared.The non-conservative press could depict Clinton as the safe, color-within-the-lines sort of politician she actually is. But no -- if she and Trump are the nominees, we won't be told that one party is offering to put a steady, seasoned hand in charge of the ship of state, while the other party has chosen a Putin wannabe with narcissistic personality disorder. Instead we'll be told that they're both frightening in disturbingly similar ways. The mainstream press, taking its cue from the right, has made her into a monster, so she'll go into the general election as Trump's twin.
In a national USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, likely voters given the choice of four options -- enthusiastic, satisfied, dissatisfied or scared -- are most inclined to say the prospect of Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination or Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic one would leave them fearful.
... for Trump, 38% of likely voters would be scared if the real-estate mogul won the GOP nomination -- including not only 62% of Democrats but also 17% of Republicans. A third of independents, 33%, feel that way.
... And for Clinton, a former secretary of State, 33% would be scared -- including 60% of Republicans and also 8% of Democrats. Just over a third of independents, 35%, agree.
And yes, I still think Clinton will be the nominee. I know -- Sanders is in a virtual tie with Clinton in Nevada according to a new CNN poll, and yes, the two are effectively tied nationally according to a new Quinnipiac poll. But Clinton leads in ten of twelve early primary states according to Public Policy Polling, mostly by double digits, in large part because of support from African-American voters. So I still think it's her race to lose.
Mike Bloomberg probably won't run if Clinton beats Sanders. But if he were to run, I think he'd be the overwhelming mainstream-media favorite, the candidate who looks good enough at closing time to go home with after the Beltway press's mancrushes -- Rubio, Christie, Kasich, Ryan -- have either withdrawn from the race or, in Ryan's case, chosen not to run. And Bloomberg will definitely be the Rubio of the general election if he runs against Trump and Sanders.
I suspect that won't be enough to enable him to overcome his disadvantages -- lack of charisma, strictly regional appeal, reputation as a gun-grabber and nanny-stater -- but he'll absolutely be the favorite of the chattering classes. Not that that's been much help to Rubio, Christie, Kasich, or, for that matter, Jeb Bush.