Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hillary News & Views 7.16: Pols, Polls, and Puerto Rico

Today's edition of Hillary News & Views finds Secretary Clinton standing tall as she visits Congress, rebounds in the polls, and comes out swinging on behalf of Puerto Rico.

Let's start with the pols. More details have emerged regarding Clinton's visit to Congress earlier this week.  Politico reports "Mission Accomplished," as she won over some lawmakers who had been critical of her in the past:
But on Tuesday, even some of the most ardent populists in Congress had nothing but praise for the 2016 Democratic front-runner during her day trip to Capitol Hill, after peppering her with questions on income inequality, early childhood education and criminal justice reform.  “She sounded good,” said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who has not endorsed in the presidential race and been critical of Clinton in the past. “She came out of the box saying that the problem facing the American average worker is income, and I’m like ‘yeah, absolutely.’ I was really pleased to hear that. She spoke eloquently on the need to address poverty. She is not afraid to say the ‘p’ word. She spoke on climate change. She is into it.”
The New York Times reports additional details about her visit with the Congressional Black Caucus:
Her visit with the black caucus lasted the longest, and touched on the controversy over the Confederate battle flag, incarceration, income inequality and poverty, among other issues, said Representative G. K. Butterfield of North Carolina, the caucus chairman. Mr. Butterfield said Mrs. Clinton impressed the caucus, and though he would not yet offer an endorsement, said she had the best chance of appealing to black voters. “I think African-Americans understand the enormity of the 2016 elections, and Mrs. Clinton, I think, is the right one to energize our base and to get a good voting turnout,” he said.
The Huffington Post reports that she also tailored her message to specific issues facing Hispanics when meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus:
Members said the former first lady requested to hear about issues facing the Hispanic community. In the meeting, Clinton talked about the economy, immigration reform, health care, the wage gap and the need for an inclusive workforce, according to a readout of the meeting from the caucus.
The latest ABC News-Washington Post poll finds that Clinton's popularity has rebounded since May, and she's now the only presidential candidate in net positive territory with the American public:
Fifty-two percent see Clinton favorably, up 7 points from late May, while 45 percent see her negatively – putting her popularity back above water, if not broadly so. The result reverses a 22-point drop in favorability from her peak in January 2013. Clinton’s improved most since May among minorities, including Hispanics (up 17 points) and blacks (+12 points), as well as a mix of other groups, including Northeasterners (+16), “somewhat” conservatives (+14) and young adults (+12).
Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight notes that the horserace coverage continues to obscure a basic truth: Clinton's popularity has remained high with her base over the past year.
I’ve compiled all the favorability rating polls I could find among Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats since the start of the year. In Iowa, there’s been no change at all in Clinton’s ratings. Her favorability rating is about 85 percent, and her unfavorable rating is around 10 percent, right where it was in January. Perhaps you can perceive a slight downturn in Clinton’s favorability numbers among Democrats in New Hampshire — they’re now in the high 70s instead of the mid-80s, while her unfavorable ratings have grown by a few percentage points. Her ratings are still very good, however, and (given the noise in the polling) the change isn’t statistically significant.
Vox reports on Clinton's statement regarding the financial crisis in Puerto Rico, which she connects to unfair rates of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement:
In the statement, Clinton rightly says that Puerto Rico not only needs debt relief, it needs a longer-term plan to address the fact that its economy has "shrunk for eight of the last nine years." Her main concrete suggestion for doing something about that is a "lack of equity in federal funding for Puerto Rico under Medicaid and Medicare."
Clinton also alludes to statehood as a possible long-term solution. The National Journal reports that Clinton's campaign is spending tons of money on national infrastructure for both the primary and the general election:
The spending amounts to roughly $230,000 for every day since she declared her candidacy on April 12, an incredible pace at a time when Clinton was not purchasing expensive television ads. Instead, the funds have gone toward building a national political apparatus helmed by campaign manager Robby Mook. "We have had the ability to make critical investments in our organization that will put us in position to win the primary and the White House," Mook said in a statement.
Despite the spending, Clinton still ended the quarter with roughly $28 million in primary cash, according to the campaign and reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. She raised a total of $46.7 million, including $824,000 in general election contributions.
Finally, a poorly titled but excellently written series of feminist thought pieces regarding Clinton's campaign has been published by the New York Times.  Here's a highlight from one of the five essays, this one written by Jamia Wilson:
[I]t’s clear that Clinton and her campaign understand the cost of ignoring young women, specifically black women who have consistently had the highest turn out at the polls among women of color.
That’s why it’s no surprise that the recent emergence of Clinton’s more liberal policy positions on paid leave, mass incarceration, police violence and immigration, align with values many young feminists support. From her representation of same-gender couples in her opening video, to her recent remarks about women of color and wage inequality, Clinton is explicitly showing young women (and specifically young women of color) that she respects the power of our vote — and that matters.
Clinton has a unique opportunity to commit to a proactive multi-issue agenda that promotes access and inclusion. While Clinton’s recent steps signify a more progressive shift, a platform with sustained emphasis on advancing racial and economic justice will be necessary to mobilize diverse young women voters.
For more on Clinton, check out The Hillary 2016 Platform Series:
Part 1: Criminal Justice Reform
Part 2: Immigration Reform
Part 3: Voting Rights

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