A new poll unveiled Thursday finds populist Bernie Sanders squeezing past Hillary Clinton for the first time as the preferred choice among likely Iowa caucus-goers.
The survey by Quinnipiac University shows the Vermont lawmaker receiving 41 percent, while Clinton garnered 40 percent. The figures put Sanders’ lead well within the poll’s 3.4 percent margin of error, but the numbers serve as another indication of how tight the Democratic primary has become, especially in Iowa where Clinton has long maintained an advantage.
The poll found another 12 percent of voters would support Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to decide if he will enter the 2016 race. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley received 3 percent, and the same number were undecided.
While many could view the survey as the latest sign Clinton’s campaign is flailing, the timing of the poll could prove crucial.
The study was conducted between August 27 and September 8. That was the same day the former secretary of State told ABC News that using a personal email account while in office was a mistake and that she is sorry for it.
“I do think I could have and should have done a better job answering questions earlier. I really didn’t perhaps appreciate the need to do that,” Clinton said. “What I had done was allowed, it was above board. But in retrospect, as I look back at it now, even though it was allowed, I should have used two accounts. One for personal, one for work-related emails. That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility.”
The interview marked the first time she apologized for her unique email arrangement. Questions over Clinton’s use of a private server have dogged her candidacy since she entered the White House race earlier this year.
Republicans have used the controversy surrounding the server to paint Clinton as untrustworthy and unfit to serve in the White House.
Indeed, Thursday’s poll found that while Clinton is still liked among Democratic voters who believe she would make a good leader, Sanders fares better on the question of trustworthiness.
The Quinnipiac poll also closed before Clinton gave a muscular foreign policy speech at the Brookings Institution on, among other things, the Iran nuclear deal.
“We should anticipate that Iran will test the next president,” she said. “They'll want to see how far they can bend the rules.”
“That won't work if I'm in the White House. I'll hold the line against Iranian noncompliance,” Clinton added.
On the softer side of things, Clinton’s interview on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will air Thursday afternoon. The appearance will give her a chance to connect with female voters who are the backbone of her support.
Taken together, the various actions could put Clinton back atop the polls, at least in Iowa, and help her gain back ground she lost to Sanders in New Hampshire as well.
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The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”