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 fact is very little medical care is shoppable. We become good shoppers when we are repeat shoppers. If you buy a new car every three years, you can become an informed shopper. There is no way to become an informed shopper for your appendix. You only get your appendix out once.”
— David Newman, former director of the Health Care Cost Institute, quoted in an article Thursday by Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times. Levey says the “consumer revolution” in health care – in which patients shop around for the best prices, forcing doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical firms to compete with lower prices – hasn’t materialized, but the higher deductibles that were part of the effort are very much in effect. “High-deductible health insurance was supposed to make American patients into smart shoppers,” Levey writes. “Instead, they got stuck with medical bills they can't afford.”
The House Ways and Means Committee released a new analysis of drug prices in the U.S. compared to 11 other developed nations, and the results, though predictable, aren’t pretty. Here are the key findings from the report:
- The U.S. pays the most for drugs, though prices varied widely.
- U.S. drug prices were nearly four times higher than average prices compared to similar countries.
- U.S. consumers pay significantly more for drugs than other countries, even when accounting for rebates.
- The U.S. could save $49 billion annually on Medicare Part D alone by using average drug prices for comparator countries.
The U.S. ranks 18th for retiree well-being among developed nations, according to the latest Global Retirement Index from Natixis, the French corporate and investment bank. The U.S. fell two spots in the ranking this year, due in part to rising economic inequality and poor performance for life expectancy.
President Trump won more than 2,600 of the nation’s 3,000-plus counties in the 2016 election, and residents in nearly 90% of those counties – or more than 2,300 – have received some level of aid from the administration’s Market Facilitation Program, a $16 billion effort that compensates farmers for losses incurred as a result of Trump’s trade war with China.
Drawing on a new report from the Environmental Working Group, The Washington Post’s Philip Bump says the data “show the extent to which [the farm] subsidies overlap with Trump’s base of political support.”
To be fair, about 80% of the counties Hillary Clinton won also received some degree of aid, Bump says, but there are many fewer of them, given the concentration of her supporters in urban areas.
Overall, residents in more than 2,600 counties in the U.S. have received payments from the farm aid program, with the heaviest concentration in the Midwest.
A new study from the Bipartisan Policy Center says that Medicare would save $1.57 for every dollar it spends delivering healthy food to elderly beneficiaries who have recently been discharged from the hospital. The savings would come from a reduction in the rate of readmissions to the hospital for patients suffering from a wide range of common ailments, including rheumatoid arthritis, congestive heart failure, diabetes and emphysema.
“If you were going to offer meals to every Medicare beneficiary, it would be cost-prohibitive,” said BPC’s Katherine Hayes. “By targeting it to a very, very sick group of people is how we were able to show there could be savings.”