Democratic presidential forum open thread #2

U.S. Democratic presidential candidates  Hillary Clinton (R) is joined on stage by Martin O’Malley (C) and Bernie Sanders for the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States, July 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young   - RTX1KR

Rachel Maddow has questioned Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders, producing some great moments for both. Now she’s on to Hillary Clinton. As a reminder, this is a forum, not a debate, because the Democratic National Committee put limits on debates.

Democratic presidential forum open thread

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looks out to the crowd as she is flanked by rivals Senator Bernie Sanders (L), Lincoln Chafee (2nd R) and Martin O'Malley (R) at the end of the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTS4CVH

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are participating in MSNBC’s “First in the South Democratic Candidates Forum,” moderated by Rachel Maddow. According to Maddow:

It’s not a debate. Both the Republican and Democratic parties made decisions this year that they would pick a specific number of debates and require that the candidates would only participate in those. […] And that means I am not allowed to put these candidates on the stage at the same time. I have to talk to them sequentially, one on one.

So it will be a series of interviews with the candidates. But Maddow is a good interviewer, the candidates are smart and engaging people, so it should still be fun. Not as much fun as a debate, but still.

The forum runs from 8:00 to 10:00 PM ET. You can stream it

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Weekly poll roundup: Carson and Clinton rising

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with rival candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and thanks him for saying that he and the American people are sick of hearing about her State Department

On the Democratic side, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continue to rise, though the former at a higher rate. A week ago, October 29, Clinton led 54.4 to 29.9 in the Pollster composite of national polls. Today, that’s at 56.4-31.1 percent.

I thought Sanders’ ceiling was 30 percent. He’s now exceeded that. Congrats! But the overall picture continues to look bleak for his candidacy. Clinton’s numbers range between 50 and 62 percent in the last week’s national polls. Time is chipping away, yet over half of Democrats continue to back Clinton with her trend on the upswing. Sanders’ numbers have ranged between 26 and 35, meaning that he’s got just a quarter to a third of Democrats. I keep saying this and I’ll say it again, he’s not breaking through his demographic base.
Once upon a time, the early states were a bright spot for

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Bernie Sanders calls investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails ‘valid’

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/L

In what the media is casting as a major shift, Bernie Sanders said on Wednesday that he supports ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices as secretary of state:

If her email practices foiled public-records requests or compromised classified information, those are “valid questions,” Mr. Sanders said. […
On the issue of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, Mr. Sanders didn’t say he regretted his debate remarks. “You get 12 seconds to say these things,” he said of the debate setting. “There’s an investigation going on right now. I did not say, ‘End the investigation.’ That’s silly.…Let the investigation proceed unimpeded.”

These comments are something of a shift, but the media is also probably overselling them. It’s not a gaping contradiction to say that American voters are sick of the media hype over Clinton’s emails and the degree to which that hype has crowded out substantive discussion of policy and

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Merkley and Sanders introduce bill to end new and non-producing oil and gas leases on public lands

Jeff merkley

Sen. Jeff Merkley announces “Keep It in the Ground” legislation. On his right is tribal leader
Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska‎, with co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders peering over Merkley’s shoulder.

Flanked by Sierra Club president Aaron Mair, tribal rights attorney Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska‎, and founder Bill McKibben, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced legislation Wednesday to stop issuing leases to extract fossil fuels from on- and off-shore federal lands. Titled the Keep It in the Ground Act, the bill would also terminate all existing federal leases that are not producing. Co-sponsors of the legislation are Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrick Leahy, and Elizabeth Warren.
Behind the legislation is a simple message: When the common good depends on our adapting to and ameliorating the impacts of climate change, it makes no sense for public land meant for that common good to continue as a source

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Cartoon: Do you even vote, bro?

Daily Kos Democratic Primary Straw Poll 11-03-15

Voter buttons

Time for our biweekly community look into the Democratic presidential primary. Here’s where things have stood the last several months:

         10/20  9/29  9/15  9/1  8/19  8/5  7/21  7/9 6/23  6/9
  Sanders   53    62     62    58    58     58    57    67   63    69
  Clinton   41    29     29    34    34     35    36    29   31    24
  Other      1     3      3     2     2      3     2     2    1     3
  No clue    2     3      3     3     3      2     3     2    1     2

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View from the left—the media’s ‘objectivity’ on Trump is an insult to journalism

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump's greets the crowd during his

Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, who co-host MSNBC’s Morning Joe, had a low moment this week when they appeared stumped by the assertion that Donald Trump has been making racist, xenophobic comments on the campaign trail.
They were interviewing Alfonso Aguilar, one of the conservative Latino leaders who gathered in Boulder, Colorado, in advance of Wednesday’s GOP debate to put the candidates on notice: stop maligning Latino immigrants or you can kiss 2016 goodbye.

After Scarborough asked Aguilar if he agreed with Trump that illegal immigration is a “big problem” in the U.S., he answered, “Oh absolutely,” but added that it’s “very naïve” to suggest that’s all Trump is implying. “He’s saying things like, the majority of undocumented immigrants from Mexico are rapists and criminals and that we have to deport everyone—that is absolutely ridiculous,” explained Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.


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Clinton rises in polling, and so does Sanders

Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton debate duringthe first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/

I’ve long argued that Bernie Sanders’ national ceiling is 30 percent, and at 28.7 percent in the polling composite, he’s close to either proving me right or wrong. Unfortunately for him, Hillary Clinton has also seen a big rise in her numbers as well, from 44.3 percent in the composite in late September, to 54.5 percent just a month later.

All told, in the past month, Clinton is up 10 and Sanders is up about 3 1/2. Interestingly, Clinton’s gains don’t seem to have come at the expense of Sanders. Eyeballing the list of polling, it really looks like half of Biden’s crowd went to Clinton, the other half slotted in at “undecided.” But that’s about as rough an observation as anyone can muster. We really don’t know who went from what column to what column. We can only guess.
The Benghazi Inquisition of Hillary

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Forget Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Third Way has figured out how to get you REALLY pumped!

Third Way leadership, Jon Cowan, Paul Volcker, John Vogelstein

The Third Way leadership, the same guys who know how to get you PUMPED!

We checked in with the corporatist Third Way yesterday, and found out that yes, they are still dicks. But there was a reason they were in the news, and it was this report claiming to show what ails the Democratic Party, and how to fix those alleged ailments.
So it starts out with this, er, assertion:

[W]e show that the narrative of fairness has demonstrably failed to excite voters, with three consecutive losing performances with the middle class

First of all, “fairness” isn’t an argument wholly focused on the middle class, we’re a much bigger party than that.
Furthermore, they’re hinging the assertion that we’ve lost the middle class from exit polls showing Republicans winning the $50-100K income bracket. (For example, Romney won those 52-48.) However, an income of $100,000 puts you at the 96

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Third Way panics over Bernie Sanders and the new American mainstream

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders poses for pictures after his speech at Creative Visions Human Development Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, September 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Brian C. Frank - RTX1SR13

Third Way freaks out about Bernie Sanders. What took them so long?

Remember Third Way, the Wall-Street-run front group of supposed “Democrats?” Fresh off panicking over Elizabeth Warren, they’re now panicking over Bernie Sanders.

“You would be back to 1972 [if Bernie were nominated],” warned Bill Daley, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff and a Third Way board member, referencing the blowout Richard Nixon win that year. “It was not a happy time for Democrats. The guy has been a socialist his whole life and now decides he is a Democrat and therefore the Democratic Party has got to move to that extreme? I think it is a recipe for disaster.”

I love these assholes talking about the “extremes” inhabited by the likes of Sanders and Warren. What exactly is in Sanders’ bucket of issues that is so far out of touch with America? Granted, he’s hostile

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Hillary posts significant lead over Bernie in two Iowa polls

Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton debate during the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/

Hillary Clinton appears to have gotten a boost in Iowa now that the Biden factor has receded. Caucus states are notoriously difficult to poll (as noted here) but two separate polls now suggest Clinton is hovering around a 40-point lead over Bernie Sanders—her biggest lead to date.
Here’ the Monmouth University poll (6/27-29 results):

Hillary Clinton: 65% (63)
Bernie Sanders: 24% (20)
Martin O’Malley: 5% (5)
Undecided: 4% (8)

And the Loras College poll (8/24-27 results):

Hillary Clinton: 62% (48)
Bernie Sanders: 24% (23)
Martin O’Malley: 3% (4)
Undecided: 10% (6)

Update by kos: Added trendlines. For the Monmouth poll, the trendlines are so old that they are practically useless, having missed the big Sanders gains. So how much stock can we put in these polls, with their gaudy outlier-looking numbers? I’m certainly skeptical and wish that Selzer would come back and repoll post-Benghazi Inquisition testimony. Her last

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Cartoon: Democratic debate tweaks

Click to enlarge.

Last week’s Democratic debate was a welcome relief from the GOP train wrecks. While light on foreign policy, it was a substantial discussion of what’s at stake in the upcoming election. 15 million tuned in, the most for any Democratic debate, which is great free advertising for a party that’s been struggling for air time against the Trump Show™.

The next three debates won’t get that number of eyeballs combined. In a bid to pave the way for Hillary, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz scheduled them all on weekends and possibly in the middle of the night between infomercials. I’ll never know because I spend my weekends doing fun things and staying as far away from the news-cycle grind of the workweek.

New Iowa poll gives Clinton 11-point lead

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets members of the culinary workers union local 226 after speaking at a demonstration outside the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada October 12, 2015. The union was prot

Hillary Clinton has jumped out to a significant lead over Bernie Sanders in the latest Iowa poll from Quinnipiac. With Vice President Joe Biden taken out of the equation, Clinton now has an 11-point lead over Sanders, 51 percent to 40 percent.

This compares to results of a September 10 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University showing Sanders at 41 percent, with Clinton at 40 percent.
Today, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley gets 4 percent of Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, with no other candidate even scoring 1 percent and 4 percent undecided.

So I guess Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee leaving the race won’t produce any kind of big shake-up in the results of the next poll …

In a poll released September 10, Sanders had led Clinton by 41 percent to 40 percent, so Clinton’s lead now does not come at Sanders’ expense. Rather, the fact that Quinnipiac

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Sanders wants DOJ Exxon probe, Whitehouse renews call for RICO investigation over climate fraud

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has renewed his call for a RICO investigation of fraud by
companies that deceived the public about climate change.

Detailed revelations last month that Exxon officials have paid big bucks to deceive the public about the realities of global warming—even though their own researchers had told them the climate risks of burning fossil fuels more than three decades ago—have sparked loud calls for an official investigation. Citizen activists, a pair of House Democrats from California, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island are all seeking an investigation by the Department of Justice.
As noted here Tuesday by Climate Hawks Vote co-founder RLMiller, Sanders sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking that the Justice Department investigate these allegations, and take appropriate action if the investigation yields evidence of wrongdoing:

These reports, if true, raise serious allegations of a misinformation campaign that

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New Hampshire Republicans like Biden best, want to face Sanders; Democrats like Kasich, want Trump

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden smiles as he delivers remarks at the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum in Washington July 13, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas - RTX1K90R

Joe Biden, the top choice of … New Hampshire Republicans?

Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling is always finding clever new questions to ask the folks he polls, and here’s his latest. In his newest survey of the New Hampshire primaries, PPP asked Republicans which candidate they’d most like to see win the Democratic nomination, and vice-versa for Democratic voters. PPP further broke down the results based on whether respondents actually like the person from the other party they were naming, or whether they thought that candidate would be the easiest to beat in the general election. The results are quite interesting:

We also asked Republicans who their pick for the Democratic nominee would be and Biden and Sanders tie at 20% with Webb at 16%, Clinton at 9%, O’Malley at 8%, Chafee at 7%, and Lawrence Lessig at 1%. […] Among those picking a Democrat simply because they

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Clinton and Trump, a (poll-driven) tale of two debates

As we’ve written repeatedly, the last GOP debate was Carly Fiorina’s big audition to be “The Establishment Choice,” crowned the winner (and Donald Trump the loser) before the damn thing even started. The punditry avalanche was so big, I had people try to convince me that Fiorina “is now leading in the polls!” The reality?

Trump did take a little dip post debate, and you can see Fiorina’s orange bump, but the big winner was apparently someone people barely mentioned—Ben Carson. The punditry can blab all they want, but the people decide in the end. Let’s now look at the Dems:

Clinton was already recovering from her nadir before the debate took place (likely from the exposure of the Benghazi Committee sham), but we don’t have enough data to get good post-debate trend lines just yet.

So let’s look at individual polls that have both pre- and post-debate numbers,

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Clinton gets debate bump in new poll

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has widened her lead following last week’s debate according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday.

The survey, conducted Oct. 15-18, found Mrs. Clinton leading the primary field with 49% support, compared with 29% for Sen. Bernie Sanders, and 15% for Mr. Biden.
Without the vice president on the ballot, Mrs. Clinton’s lead over Mr. Sanders opened to 58% to 33%—a margin 10 percentage points wider than in a Journal/NBC News poll taken in late September, before the Oct. 13 Democratic debate.

These numbers are almost identical to those in the yesterday’s CNN/ORC poll. However, this poll found a lower level of enthusiasm for Joe Biden entering the race, with just 30 percent of Democratic primary voters saying he should get in, while 38 percent say he shouldn’t.
An ABC/Washington Post poll released Tuesday put Clinton’s numbers even higher without Biden in the race:

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Daily Kos Democratic Primary Straw Poll 10-20-15

Voter buttons

So I’m supposed to do these every two weeks, but I forgot last week, so sorry about that. And it’s too bad! Would’ve been nice to get a pre-debate check in. Oh well. Here’s where things stood three weeks ago:

         9/29  9/15  9/1  8/19  8/5  7/21 7/9  6/23  6/9
Sanders    62    62    58    58    58    57    67    63    69
Clinton    29    29    34    34    35    36    29    31    24
Other       3    3     2     2     3     2     2     1     3
No clue     3    3     3     3     2     3     2     1     2

This poll

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Despised pharmaceutical CEO just can’t help himself, claims broken wrist in tantrum over Bernie

Martin Shkreli, pharmaceutical profiteer.

Perhaps it is time to take a break from Twitter, Martin.

Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who raised the price of of a generic drug by 5,000 percent and drew the ire of nearly everyone in the United States, donated to the Bernie Sanders campaign and the campaign declined to keep it, donating it to a health clinic instead.
On Twitter, the pharma bro claimed to be enraged:

He went onto complain he’d broken his wrist in the temper tantrum, even tweeting an x-ray of his alleged broken wrist. But there was something suspect about the image. See it below.