Posts Tagged Senator Bernie Sanders
Despite a storm of recent controversies, Hillary Clinton’s popularity is proving durable among likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, home of the nation’s first presidential primary election in early 2016.
Nearly nine of 10 Granite State Democrats who are likely to vote in the primary say they had either a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” opinion of Clinton, according to a new Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm New Hampshire Poll. The number, 86 percent, is virtually unchanged from her 88 percent favorability rating among Democrats last November and an 89 percent rating in February.
She also fares about as well as her husband, the 42nd president and a popular figure in U.S. politics, on a host of qualities, the poll found.
“She’s the best of what I’ve seen so far,” said poll respondent Bruce Bonnette, a 79-year-old retiree from Northfield, N.H. “And she’s got Bill to back her up.”
There are also signs that Clinton shouldn’t take her support for granted, particularly among the state’s independent voters. Even among Democrats, there is considerable skepticism about her truth-telling.
“I’m not that happy about the private e-mail server,” said Walter Hamilton, a 64-year-old Democrat and retired civil servant from Portsmouth, N.H., referring to Clinton’s use of non-official e-mail while she served as secretary of state. He also expressed concerns about allegations of impropriety over foreign donations made to the Clinton Foundation during that same time.
But one thing stands out for Hamilton: “She’s the only one that can beat the Republicans, and my guess is that most Democrats feel the same way.”
Among likely general-election voters, Clinton is less popular. Nearly half of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of her, and her favorable rating has dropped 8 percentage points since February to 46 percent.
Still, only one politician in the survey had a higher favorability rating among general-election voters: Bill Clinton, at 53 percent.
Among likely Democratic primary voters, both Clintons and President Barack Obama are deeply popular, with more than 85 percent expressing either “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” opinions of them.
By contrast, independent Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist from neighboring Vermont who announced his candidacy for the nomination last week, has a 56 percent favorable rating among likely Democratic primary voters. Another potential Democratic presidential candidate, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, had a 25 percent favorable rating, a likely reflection of poor name recognition.
Yet the poll also suggests that voters believe the former first lady has a clear deficit in some of the qualities they consider most important in choosing a president.
Nearly six out of 10 likely general-election voters said neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton can be trusted to tell the truth. Nearly half, 47 percent, said neither Clinton shares their values. They rated somewhat better on questions about having a vision for the future and perceptions that they care about “people like you.”
While feeding a narrative about her truthfulness, criticism over Clinton’s handling of foreign donations to her family foundation has not created the firestorm that Republicans might have foreseen.
A solid majority, 60 percent, of likely general-election voters said they were either unsure about the allegations or believed they were just another example of overblown accusations by Republicans against the Clintons.
Others think the accustions have merit. Forty percent of those polled said they believed foreign governments and companies that donated to the Clinton Foundation or paid for Bill Clinton’s speaking fees were probably looking for favors and some of them got what they wanted.
Thomas Keach, a 50-year-old independent who said he voted for Obama in 2012, said Clinton’s foreign connections, along with the e-mail controversy, are evidence that she is “part of the old-school politics” in Washington.
“They don’t address real problems that people like I face every day,” said Keach, who now favors Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive.
Women voters are especially likely to support Hillary Clinton. Fifty-six percent of women who are likely to vote in the general election expressed a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” opinion of her, compared to 37 percent of men.
“I’m so glad she’s giving it a second shot,” said Spickler. “I felt strongly in 2008 that it was such a wonderful thing to see a woman as a serious candidate in my lifetime. Now, I think it’s more that I think she’s the best-qualified Democrat.”
But she faces a challenge among independent voters who can cast their ballots in either party’s primary. Just 41 percent of independents rate Clinton favorably, compared to 51 percent who expressed positive opinions of Bill Clinton.
Even so, she has a higher favorability rating among independents than many likely Republican presidential candidates, including Jeb Bush.
The poll, conducted May 2-6 by Washington-based Purple Insights, included 500 general-election voters as well as oversamples to include 400 Republican primary voters and 400 Democratic primary voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points on general-election questions and plus or minus 4.9 percentage points on primary questions.
Original Source: Bloomberg Politics
The independent Vermont senator told the Associated Press in a story published Wednesday that he plans to run for the Democrats’ 2016 presidential nomination. The news was confirmed by multiple Sanders aides.
“I am running for president,” he told the Associated Press.
“People should not underestimate me,” Sanders told the AP. “I’ve run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates and, you know, I think the message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country.”
Sanders caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate but is an unlikely candidate for the Democratic nomination, primarily because he has never been a registered member of the party and calls himself a “democratic socialist.”
Yet many of his views fit with the Democratic left, a constituency in which Sanders has found a small yet devout following. Sanders and his top advisers hope that group of voters will propel his dark horse candidacy. Though Hillary Clinton is the dominant frontrunner, many in the progressive left of the party think she’s too moderate and are clamoring for a different candidate to support.
Sanders will outline his presidential plans further on Thursday when he holds a press conference in Washington. Sanders’ campaign advisers said that while their candidate has announced his plans to run, he won’t hold his first campaign rally until May. That event is expected to be in Vermont.
Sanders is an outspoken critic of Wall Street banks and the outsized influence of money in politics and is a supporter of universal health care. He regularly talks about the need to rebuild the middle class and raise taxes on America’s highest earners.
“At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, we need a progressive tax system in this country which is based on ability to pay,” Sanders said last month in Washington. “It is not acceptable that a number of major profitable corporations have paid zero in federal income taxes in recent years, and that millionaire hedge fund managers often enjoy an effective tax rate which is lower than the truck drivers or nurses.”
In interviews before his campaign announcement, Sanders said trade, income inequality and health care would be key tenants of his run. But despite having vocal liberal supporters on these issues, Sanders is a dark horse candidate and has acknowledged that his run will be uphill.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Sanders moved to Vermont after graduating from the University of Chicago. His first successful run for office came in 1981 when he was elected Burlington’s mayor by a mere 10 votes. He was elected as Vermont’s at-large member of Congress in 1990 and jumped to the Senate in 2007. Sanders is the longest-serving independent in congressional history.
Sanders does not have the personality of a typical politician. He is sometimes gruff and blunt, dispensing with social niceties and usually getting right to the point. He has come to be known as much for his fly-away hair as his passionate speeches in the Senate and has bluntly lamented the way political journalism in the United States focuses on personality.
He also starts with a small campaign infrastructure, largely the remnants of his past Senate runs, and is primarily being advised by Tad Devine, a Democratic political consultant who worked on the presidential campaign for Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. At an event this month in New Hampshire where Sanders leaned heavily into a presidential bid, the signs outside the house party touted his 2012 Senate re-election bid.
From the outset of his campaign, it appears money will be Sander’s biggest issue. The senator has regularly conceded in the last month that he would not be able to raise near the money Clinton will bring in.
“To run a credible campaign in this day and age, you do need a whole lot of money,” Sanders said. “Whether the magic number is $200 million, it is $150 million, it is a lot of money, but even with that, you would be enormously outspent by the Koch Brother candidates and the other candidates who will likely spend, in the final analysis, over $1 billion, if not two.”
Despite being a champion for many on the left, Sanders has been somewhat left out in the cold by big liberal organizations like MoveOn.org and Democracy for America, who have spent the last few months unsuccessfully urging Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president.
“Obviously one would hope one would have as much support as possible from all walks of life,” Sanders said on Tuesday when asked why he thinks those groups aren’t rallying around him. “I am a great fan of Elizabeth and as for what people do and why they don’t do it, I am not going to speculate.”
Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, even mentioned Warren in touting Sanders’ jump into the race.
“MoveOn members welcome Sen. Bernie Sanders to the presidential race,” said Galland. “The Democratic Party is made stronger by each additional voice who enters the race and commits to being a strong advocate for everyday, hardworking Americans and not just the wealthy few. That’s why we and our allies continue to call on Sen. Elizabeth Warren to also bring her tireless advocacy for middle-class and working Americans to the race. Our country will be stronger if she runs.”
Sanders enters a race that has so far been dominated by Clinton, the former secretary of state and Democrats’ prohibitive favorite for the nomination. For most of 2015, Sanders has been reticent to attack Clinton, but he recently has issued statements calling on her to change her policy positions.