Bernie Sanders continues to cut into Hillary Clinton’s once-commanding lead among Iowa Democrats, closing to just 7 points of the party front-runner in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, a new poll has found.
A survey released late Saturday afternoon by the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics finds that Sanders, the fiery progressive senator from Vermont, trails Clinton 37% to 30%. The former secretary of state has lost one-third of her supporters since May.
Sanders’ support owes more to voters’ enthusiasm for his candidacy than opposition to Clinton, the poll found. A whopping 96% of his backers say they support him and his ideas, with just 2% saying their vote is motivated by a desire to stop a Clinton candidacy. As for the controversy surrounding Clinton’s use of email while leading the State Department, 61% of likely Democratic caucusgoers say the issue is not important to them.
Sanders has a deeper reservoir of support, the poll found. Thirty-nine percent of likely caucusgoers say their feelings about Sanders are very favorable, with just 8% having a negative view of him. That’s a sharp contrast to Clinton: 27% view her very favorably, but 19% view her negatively.
Saturday’s poll marks a remarkable eight-month climb for the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist from Vermont, who is garnering support in part from his anti-establishment rhetoric. Back in January, half of likely Democratic caucusgoers were unfamiliar with Sanders, and he was pulling in just 5% of support.
“What this new poll shows is that the more Iowans get to know Bernie, the better they like him and what he stands for. We’ve seen the same thing in New Hampshire and across the country,” Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden, who has not declared whether he’ll seek the Oval Office next year, captured 14% of the vote, easily distancing himself from former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (3%), former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb (2%) and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (1%).
Speculation has heated up in recent weeks about whether Biden, 72, will join the race. He faces several obstacles in a potential run, including the need to raise enough campaign cash to compete with the Clinton machine and carving out enough support among key Democratic voting blocs. And he’s still grieving over the loss of his son, Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer three months ago; in a conference call with Democrats this week, Biden said he was still determining whether he had the “emotional fuel” to run.
But the vice president’s hesitation didn’t prevent his supporters from responding enthusiastically to Saturday’s poll.
“These results are the latest sign that voters respect and trust the Vice President and are looking for a candidate who speaks authentically and openly about the issues important to them,” according to a statement from “Draft Biden.” “They make clear the Vice President would have the support needed to mount a strong, competitive campaign.”
Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in a new poll of “usual” New Hampshire Democratic primary voters. According to Public Policy polling, a Democratic firm, Sanders has 42 percent support to Clinton’s 35 percent support.
The Vermont senator also has great favorability ratings among New Hampshire Democrats, with 78 percent viewing him favorably and just 12 percent viewing him unfavorably. Compare that to just 63 percent who say they have a favorable view of Clinton and 25 percent who say they have an unfavorable view.
PPP notes that Democrats of different ideological groups appear somewhat evenly split between Sanders and Clinton, but the former secretary of state is hurting among Democrats under the age of 65. Clinton leads with seniors, 51 percent to Sanders’s 34 percent, but Sanders does much better with younger voters, 45 percent to Clinton’s 29 percent.
This isn’t the first poll to show Sanders leading in New Hampshire, and according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Clinton’s lead in the Granite State has shrunk to just one point.
In 2008, construction was completed on the 757-room Baltimore Hilton, a $305 million publicly-funded hotel spearheaded by Baltimore’s mayor at the time, Martin O’Malley. The hotel, in seven years of operation, has never turned a profit. The best year of operation saw a $2.9 million loss.
“It’s the biggest boondoggle ever. It’s hemorrhaging money every year and has less-than-stellar performance,” Democratic Maryland state Sen. James Brochin told The Daily Caller.
Originally intended to draw revenue from a supposed untapped convention market in Baltimore, the Hilton Hotel project slowly began losing money when conventions passed on Baltimore for other locations such as Austin, Texas and nearby Washington, D.C.
In July 2005, more than three years after the plan was finalized, it was still facing opposition in the city council. Of the 15 council members, only three said they believed the hotel would actually help the city.
“In my district, I can’t get funding to fix vacant houses,” Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke told The Baltimore Sun in 2005. “I’m worried about the financing and the kind of precedent this is setting.”
After O’Malley pushed the hotel vote to pass with the council, The Sun reported that this, the “costliest public project in Baltimore history” may see the fate of other cities’ failed publicly funded hotel ventures, such as St. Louis, Omaha, and Overland Park, Kan., “all cities that used public money to build hotels. Failing hotels.”
“The government shouldn’t be in the business of owning businesses. It was a catastrophic economical mistake by O’Malley, and the whole thing is ridiculous,” said Brochin.
O’Malley’s hotel, which he claimed in 2005 to be “risk-free,” is now entering its seventh year of public losses, the Sun reported earlier this year.
Even in times of great profit for the city, the hotel has weighed it down. In 2014, 2.4 million fans were drawn to Camden Yards when the Orioles took home the AL East pennant and, even though the hotel is situated directly adjacent to the stadium, it reported losses of $5.6 million.
Jan Freitag, a vice president with the Tennessee-based firm Smith Travel Research, told the Sun 2014 was a banner year for hotels across the country, including Baltimore, which saw a 7.9 percent growth in hotel revenue. Yet the Hilton’s losses persisted.
In a 2008 sports column in The Washington Post, Thomas Boswell used the Hilton Hotel’s burgeoning construction to illustrate the sadness of the Orioles as a whole. He described the sadness of their opening day loss as “begin[ning] their season as expected – in the utter misery of a complete rebuilding program,” referring to the ball club and the city of Baltimore.
Boswell continues: “The Hilton Convention Center Hotel next door, when finished, may merely be ugly. However, in its current state, with huge random splotches of yellow, white and blue, it’s like a cruel cubist joke. Forever, it will dominate the horizon and block views of the… adored Bromo Seltzer Tower… lording [its] eyesore [self] over previously perfect Camden Yards.”
A request for comment to the O’Malley campaign went unreturned.
The socialist party in Seattle that wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $20 per hour but advertised a job last week for an experienced web developer paying just $13 per hour is now defending itself.
The Huffington Post, which was sued by a bunch of unpaid bloggers after founder Arianna Huffington sold the website for $315 million, has the story.
The argument from the Freedom Socialist Party is that it cannot afford the minimum wage it seeks to impose on every commercial entity in America.
Doug Barnes, the Freedom Socialist Party’s national secretary, claimed that the collectivist political organization shouldn’t be subject to its own wage demands because it is a nonprofit that receives revenue from leftist contributors.
“We’re practicing what we’re preaching in terms of continuing to fight for the minimum wage,” Barnes told the HuffPo. “But we can’t pay a lot more than $13.”
Barnes also suggested that the Freedom Socialist Party would make more money off the backs of the low-wage workers he claims make many contributions if the federal government or state governments forced businesses to pay employees a minimum of $20 per hour.
“Our donor base would all be affected, and the low-wage workers who support us with $5 to $6 a month would be able to give more,” he told HuffPo. “That would affect our ability to pay higher wages as well.”
He noted that he personally supports a $22 per hour minimum wage.
According to his Facebook page, Barnes is a graduate of the Evergreen State College.
His Facebook “likes” include Occupy Seattle, Syrian Revolution Support Bases, El Centro de la Raza, Mumia Abu Jamal and Bay Area Radical Women.
Despite his spirited defense of the help wanted ad, Barnes added that the Freedom Socialist Party has since removed its ad from both Indeed.com and Craigslist.
“The right-wing attack is very hypocritical,” the socialist – who wants a $20 minimum wage but has sought a $13-per-hour web developer – lamented.
The Daily Caller predicted such an outcome, by the way, and saved a screenshot of the ad as it appeared at Indeed.com. You can see it below.
In 2012, the Freedom Socialist Party’s national platform championed “full employment” and an increase in the minimum wage “to $20 an hour” for all employees in all jobs.
The Freedom Socialist Party’s 2012 political platform also demanded a 70 percent tax rate for “the top 1 percent”; “free multi-lingual public education, including ethnic studies, through college and trade school”; free abortions; bank nationalization; and the cancellation of all free-trade treaties.
Despite last week’s offer of a part-time, 20-hour-per-week, $13-per-hour job, the party also called for a 30-hour work week for everyone “with no cut in pay” and “a guaranteed annual income.”
A part-time web developer making $13 per hour and working 20 hours per week would bring home about $13,600 annually, before taxes.
The Seattle headquarters of the Freedom Socialist Party appears to be located in an apartment building directly across the street from a Bank of America branch.