Posts Tagged U.S Politics
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
Vice President Joe Biden called Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, asking him to reject an asylum request made by fugitive former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, it was revealed today.
‘They did discuss Snowden, but I don’t have additional details,’ Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters traveling with President Barack Obama in Africa.
It’s the highest-level conversation between the U.S. and Ecuador that has been publicly disclosed since Ecuador began considering the possibility of offering Snowden a sanctuary.
During his regular Saturday television appearance, President Correa spoke about his phone conversation with Mr Biden, stating that no decision will be made on Showden until he sets foot on Ecuadorian soil, be it in the country itself or in one of its embassies, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Mr Correa added that the NSA leaker ‘will have to assume his own responsibilities’ for blowing the whistle on secret programs the U.S. intelligence agencies have been using to spy on foreign and domestic targets.
Ecuador’s leader also pointed out that the world’s attention should be on America’s clandestine data collection scheme rather than Snowden’s fate.
Earlier this week, Correa said that a letter of safe passage that was allegedly issued to the 29-year-old NSA hacker by an Ecuadorian diplomat stationed in London was void.
Since fleeing Hong Kong to Russia last weekend, Snowden had his U.S. passport revoked, and he is believed to be still holed up in the transit area of a Moscow airport.
Mr Correa also promised that the first ones to be consulted on Snowden’s asylum request ‘would be the U.S. as we did in the [Julian] Assange case with England.’ He was referring to the elusive WikiLeaks founder, who has been staying in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for nearly a year.
Meanwhile, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said on Friday that his government had held talks with Russian officials about when and how Showden, who has no travel documents, could leave the terminal where he has been staying for a week in a state of legal limbo.
Earlier this week, Ecuador revealed it could take months to decide whether to grant asylum to Snowden. He is currently in a transit area of a Moscow airport but it is believed he is hopeful Ecuador will protect him.
Foreign Minister Patino compared Snowden’s case to that of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has found refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.
‘It took us two months to make a decision in the case of Assange, so do not expect us to make a decision sooner this time,’ Patino told reporters.
Snowden, who is charged with violating American espionage laws, fled Hong Kong last Sunday and flew to Russia.
Russia only acknowledged his arrival only on Tuesday, when President Vladimir Putin said Snowden was still in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that he remained there on Wednesday.
Snowden had also booked a seat on a Havana-bound flight on Monday en route to Venezuela and then possible asylum in Ecuador, but he failed to board the plane.
Despite U.S. officials called for Snowden to be extradited immediately, but Russia said it would not as they have no extradition treaty with the country and Snowden has not committed a crime in Russia.
‘He hasn’t violated any of our laws, he hasn’t crossed our border, he is in the transit zone of the airport and has the right to fly in any direction he wants,’ Lavrov said.
Asked if Ecuador would provide protection to Snowden while considering his request for asylum, Patino said through a translator that if Snowden ‘goes to the embassy, then we will make a decision.’
Patino refused to say what criteria his government would use, but added that it would ‘consider all these risks’, including whether it could hurt trade with the U.S. and damage Ecuador’s economy.
WikiLeaks gave a terse update on Snowden’s condition earlier on Wednesday, saying in a statement posted to Twitter that Snowden was ‘well’.