Review Category : Poltics

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders Almost Even in Quarterly Fundraising

Scott Eisen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders inch closer together in the polls, so it seems do their fundraising numbers.

Clinton raised roughly $28 million in the second quarter of her presidential campaign, a Clinton campaign official familiar with Federal Election Commission filings said. This figure, while strong, is just slightly ahead of her Democratic opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who raised about $26 million during the same period, which ended Wednesday.

Sanders’ fundraising efforts were aided by a last-minute texting and email push, campaign spokesperson Michael Briggs said after the fundraising deadline had passed.

“As of midnight, we raised $2.07 million online on Sept 30. That’s a record day for us,” Briggs said.

The funding total is a significant bump for Sanders, who raised $13.6 million in the previous quarter. (Clinton, by contrast, raised $47.6 million in the previous quarter.)

Although Clinton’s fundraising number this quarter is significantly less, she has now raised a total of roughly $75 million since the start of her campaign – a number that puts her campaign well on its way to hit the goal of $100 million by the end of 2015. Sanders has raised a total of about $39 million.

These figures, released late Wednesday, come after a tough summer for Clinton, who has seen sliding poll numbers partly because of the controversy about her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Sanders, however, has seen a rise in support. While Clinton is still leading Sanders in national polls, a recent CNN/WMUR/UNH poll showed the ultra-liberal Vermont senator with a 16-point lead on Clinton in the key early voting state of New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, Clinton has continued to raise money at a feverish pace. In the past three months, she has held more than 60 fundraisers across the country and Puerto Rico.

Her campaign, which says 93 percent of its donations were from small-dollar donors who gave $100 or less, remains confident and happy with the fundraising efforts.

“We are thrilled and grateful for the support of hundreds of thousands of donors across the country, helping us raise a record $75 million in the first two quarters,” Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement. “Thanks to our supporters, we are able to meet our goals and build an organization that can mobilize millions of voters to ensure Hillary Clinton is their fighter in the White House.”

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Secret Service Apologizes After Employees Improperly Accessed Utah Congressman’s Personal Information

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)(WASHINGTON) — The Secret Service apologized on Wednesday to Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz after a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General determined that Secret Service personnel had improperly accessed Chaffetz’ personal files.

Between March 24 and April 2, 45 Secret Service employees accessed Chaffetz’ personal information on approximately 60 occasions, the Inspector General said. Only four of those 45 employees were determined to have had a “legitimate need to access the information.”

Additionally, the Inspector General said, 18 supervisors knew or should have known about the improper access, but only one manager attempted to inform their superiors or stop the activity from occurring.

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson each apologized to Chaffetz. Clancy added in a statement that “any employee, regardless of rank or seniority, who has committed misconduct will be held accountable.”

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Hillary Clinton Received Speeding-Ticket Scam Email on Private Account

Jupiterimages/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received email on her private account that appeared to be part of a phishing scam, newly released documents show.

On the morning of Aug. 3, 2011, Clinton received five pieces of email with the subject line “Uniform traffic ticket,” with two attachments included. The email came from an address that resembled a New York City government account and contained a heading from the “New York State – Department of Motor Vehicles.”

It listed details of an alleged speeding violation and urged the recipient to print out the ticket and send it to a mailing address.

In 2011, Hillary Clinton received the following e-mail 5 times in the same day.

— Arlette Saenz (@ArletteSaenz) October 1, 2015

The messages, which were part of a State Department release of about 6,300 pages of email from Clinton’s personal account, bear resemblance to messages sent during a 2011 speeding-ticket phishing scam.

The Clinton campaign contends the former Secretary of State did not open the email nor was her private server breached.

“We have no evidence to suggest she replied to this email nor that she opened the attachment. As we have said before, there is no evidence that the system was ever breached,” Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, told ABC News. “All these emails show is that, like millions of other Americans, she received spam.”

But the new email may raise further questions about the security of her private server.

In an editorial board meeting with the Des Moines Register last week, Clinton suggested her server had a better security track record than the State Department’s.

“There is no evidence at all that my server was breached and in the State Department we had constant barrages, attacks,” Clinton said.

National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers, the nation’s cyberwarfare chief, said last week he would consider it an opportunity if he knew a foreign leader used a private email account to conduct government business.

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Ben Carson Cannot Say How He Would Tackle Hurricane Joaquin

Stocktrek Images/iStock/Thinkstock(EXEXTER, N.H.) — Ben Carson could not say how he would deal with Hurricane Joaquin, the storm that’s intensifying in the Atlantic and headed toward the Bahamas and the East Coast.

“Uh, I don’t know,” Carson said with a giggle in response to an ABC News question asking what steps he would take if he was president today.

In contrast, Jeb Bush gave a rather detailed response, including an evacuation plan for certain areas in Joaquin’s path.

“It’s easy for people to be prepared and public leaders, mayors and governors have a duty to let them know they’ll be there to help them the day the storm passes,” Bush said today in New Hampshire. “But in the interim it’s up to citizens to be prepared and evacuate if they’re in low lying areas. And you know be safe basically.”

Bush advised government officials on the East Coast to be prepared for what could be a devastating storm.

National Hurricane Center Director Richard Knabb said on Wednesday that a hurricane warning could be issued for parts of the East Coast as early as Thursday.

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Hillary Clinton Email: 6,300 New Pages From Private Account Released

Hemera Technologies/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The State Department released about 6,300 pages of email from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private account on Wednesday, the fifth batch of such documents released since May.

The newly released messages, which were posted on the State Department’s Freedom of Information Act website, date from 2010 to 2011. The new production accounts for 12 percent of the 52,000 pages in the State Department’s possession, bringing the total amount of Clinton’s email released to 37 percent.

In an interview with ABC News’ David Muir in early September, Clinton apologized for the use of a private email account, acknowledging it was a “mistake.”

“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,” Clinton said. “That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility.”

The State Department began releasing Clinton’s work-related email from her private account in May and aims to release them in their entirety by January.

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White House Reiterates Kim Davis’ Religious Freedom Not Above Constitution

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — In response to a report that Pope Francis met with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refuses to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, White House press secretary Josh Earnest reiterated that Davis is not above the rule of law.

“Our position about Miss Davis is quite clear: that the president believes strongly in the rule of law and that’s a principle that applies to those who are engaged in public service, starting at the level of the President of the United States but even going down all the way to the level of the Rowan County clerk in Kentucky,” Earnest told reporters during Wednesday’s White House press briefing.

Earnest stressed that President Obama believes “religious freedom doesn’t grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their basic constitutional rights.”

Davis privately met with Pope Francis in Washington, D.C., last Thursday, as first reported by ABC News Wednesday.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office, refused to confirm the meeting occurred, but added “I do not deny that the meeting took place, but I will not comment on it further.”

Pope Francis told reporters on Monday that it is the “human right” of government officials like Kim Davis who refuse to enforce laws because it goes against their religion.

“Conscientious objection is a right that is a part of every human right,” Francis declared. “It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right. Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right, a human right. Otherwise we would end up in a situation where we select what is a right, saying ‘this right that has merit, this one does not.'”

“It is a human right and if a government official is a human person, he has that right,” the pope continued. “It is a human right.”

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Hillary Clinton’s 55,000 Pages of Emails: That’s a Whole Lot of Paper

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The State Department is expected to release an additional 6,000-plus pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails on Wednesday, on top of the 55,000 pages it’s been poring over since April.

That’s a lot of paper.

With the average ream of paper measuring two inches thick, 55,000 pieces of paper stacked on top of each other is high enough to let someone climb up and change a light bulb 18 feet high — or even higher if the person stood on top.

The average piece of paper can fit about 500 words, single-spaced, so that much paper could fit more than 27 million words, which would take the average person, who types 40 words per minute, more than a year to type. It would take the average person, who can read a page in about two minutes, more than 76 days to read.

With one tree making more than 16 reams of paper, it may have taken six trees to create those 55,000 pieces of paper.

Watch the video below for more examples to help you visualize how much paper 55,000 pages really is:

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POLL: Divisions Mark Trump’s Popularity; Bases Are Broader for Carson, Fiorina

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A growing gender gap, sharp racial polarization and a less-educated base of support all pose potential limits on Donald Trump’s popularity – challenges largely avoided by Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, the two lesser-known figures in the triumvirate of non-traditional GOP contenders.

The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll also finds Trump with no clear ideological home and very weak popularity outside his political party. Carson and Fiorina are better positioned on these, as well. While Trump’s better known, their support profiles are much broader.

See PDF with full results, charts and tables here.

Americans overall see Carson favorably rather than unfavorably by an 18-point margin, 45-27 percent. (The rest have no opinion). There’s a closer division on Fiorina, 35-30 percent, +5. Trump, by contrast, is seen favorably by 35 percent of Americans but unfavorably by 60 percent – a 25-point net negative score.

Trump’s favorability ratings have been essentially unchanged since midsummer. Carson’s and Fiorina’s haven’t been tested in previous ABC/Post polls.

Trump does far better among Republicans, 62-34 percent, favorable-unfavorable; that +28-point rating within the GOP is similar to Fiorina’s +20 points (47-27 percent). But both are surpassed by Carson, seen favorably by 68-14 percent among Republicans, +54 percentage points.

It’s outside the party that Trump falters in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Independents see him unfavorably by a 29-point margin, Democrats by a vast 64 points. Carson and Fiorina, by contrast, are +23 and +6 points, respectively, among independents, and -14 and -9 among Democrats.

Don’t knows

One factor is that Carson and Fiorina are much less well-known than Trump, with “no opinion” results of 28 percent for Carson and 35 percent for Fiorina, vs. Trump’s 5 percent. That said, Fiorina’s favorability rating is the same as Trump’s, and Carson’s is 10 points higher. It’s only in unfavorability that Trump’s rating exceeds theirs – and widely so.

That means that while Carson and Fiorina have to win over undecideds, Trump’s tougher task is to turn around those who now see him negatively. Put another way, for Carson and Fiorina to have overall ratings as poor as Trump’s, everyone who has no opinion of them now would have to end up in the unfavorable column. (Plus some, in Carson’s case.)

Favorability is one of the basic measures of a public figure’s popularity. A candidate can win support even without achieving personal popularity, but it’s a tougher path. And those without favorability may lack cartilage when the road gets rough.


Results by political ideology, rather than partisanship, if anything tell a less promising story for Trump. His favorable rating among conservatives is +14 points; Carson’s soars to +47, while Fiorina’s is +23. Among moderates they’re -44, +9 and even, respectively; among liberals, Trump’s -58, compared to -9 and -13.

These results suggest that Carson’s a darling of conservatives, while both he and Fiorina do comparatively well among moderates – with no clear ideological home for Trump.

Gender, education and race

Trump, who’s made remarks seen as insensitive toward women, has a 28-point gender gap in his favorability rating among all adults and a 34-point gender gap among Republicans. Gender gaps for Carson and Fiorina are smaller, and in most cases, non-significant.

Trump, moreover, has seen his gender gap in favorability grow since spring – among all adults, from a non-significant 2 points in May to 19 points in July and 28 points now. Just among Republicans, Trump’s gender gap has grown from 18 points in July to 34 points now – entirely because of gains for Trump among men, with no change among women.

Trump also continues to rely on less-educated adults for his support – among all adults, a 22-point gap between those who have and have not earned college degrees; and among Republicans, an even wider 46-point education gap. That’s a challenge for him particularly because education is a strong predictor of turning out to vote.

Finally, Trump’s favorability is net -13 points among whites but -53 points among nonwhites (including -65 points among Hispanics), a 40-point gap overall. The comparable racial and ethnic gap for Carson is 28 points, and for Fiorina, 15.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cell phone Sept. 23-27, 2015, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,000 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 4 points. The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS of Media, Pa. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

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What Ben Carson Supporters Love Most About Him

Sean Rayford/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — More Republicans want Ben Carson in the White House than ever.

Over the weekend Carson pulled neck and neck with Donald Trump in the latest NBC/WSJ national poll — his highest polling numbers yet. In recent days, he also surpassed Trump in Facebook followers by more than 50,000. And that’s not an isolated incident — Carson gained 966,430 Facebook followers in the week after the Sept. 16 GOP debate alone.

Carson sparked controversy Sept. 21 when he declared that he didn’t believe a Muslim could be president of the United States. After his statements aired, Carson was met with criticism from groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Anti-Defamation League. Despite the controversy, Carson seems to be on the rise.

ABC News reached out to six Carson supporters and asked why they were so committed to seeing him in the White House. Here’s what they told us:

Supporters love that Carson’s an “outsider.”

Respondents saw Carson’s lack of experience in politics as a strength, not a weakness. Like other Carson supporters we interviewed, Karen Mihalic, 61, loves that the neurosurgeon’s “not like your typical politician.”

“I don’t think politicians are really in tune with the rest of America and what we need,” Mihalic said. “We need someone to shake things up down there.”

Don, 30, who declined to give his last name, said he doesn’t see a difference between Carson’s experience in politics and that of President Obama.

Jeanne Blando, 71, agreed.

“I think Carson will be much more effective than the president we have now,” Blando said.

Carson’s values are important.

But why not support fellow outsider Donald Trump instead? For Blando, it’s all about Carson’s values.

“I love Trump because he says what he thinks, but that won’t work for governing,” Blando said.

Jesse Varoz, 28, called Carson an “upstanding guy.” Richard Medina, 69, said Carson was “truly honest and someone I can depend on.”

“If you listen to [Carson] speak, he thinks about what he’s gonna say, while other candidates do not,” Median said.

Religion isn’t a factor.

None of the people we interviewed said Carson’s faith was a significant part of why they think he should be president. Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist.

Varoz is Catholic, but said he supports Carson because he’s not afraid to be politically incorrect or candid in interviews. “I like his demeanor, I like his platform,” Varoz said.

Valeryie Hoch, 68, said she was also drawn to Carson’s demeanor and convictions rather than his religious beliefs. However, she does want our future president to have Judeo-Christian values, she said, “because that’s what the Constitution was based on, that’s what our country was based on.”

His comments about Muslims didn’t alienate supporters.

Respondents said that Carson was still their number one choice for the White House, despite the controversy surrounding his recent comments.

The true nature of Carson’s statement has been misinterpreted, Hoch said. Carson wasn’t attacking Muslims but rather explaining the disparity between the Constitution and Islamic Sharia law. “A true Muslim believes in Sharia law, and Sharia law has many conflicting tenets that our Constitution would not support,” she said.

Koch, like Carson, said that if a Muslim “supported our Constitution and our law” that candidate could be president. But Medina was wary. “How can a Muslim not follow Sharia law?” he said. “That’s where we have conflict.”

Varoz said he didn’t support Carson’s comments, but still believes that “of all the candidates available, he’s the best one.”

Questions remain.

Is Carson electable? Most respondents thought so, but Mihalic wasn’t sure.

“Can he really carry the party? I don’t think so,” Mihalic said. But Hoch disagreed.

“He might not know about all the aspects of governing, but he’s intelligent and will surround himself” with the right people to be able to govern well, she said.

Some respondents said they’d support other conservative candidates — like John Kasich or Rand Paul — if Carson is unsuccessful. But for Medina, there is no plan B if Carson loses the nomination. “I don’t trust any of [the other candidates],” he said — except for Carson, that is.

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2016 Presidential Candidates Get Creative in Last-Minute Fundraising Pitches

ABC News(NEW YORK) — As the Super Moon cast its blood orange glow across the night sky the other night, some religious leaders said it was a sign of a looming apocalyptic deadline. Back on earth, in the depths of campaign headquarters across the country, fear of a different date was nigh — the stroke of midnight Wednesday night, also known as the third quarter Federal Election Commission filing deadline.

You’re “running out of time” wrote Ben Carson’s campaign. “There’s so much on the line” emailed George P. Bush on behalf of his dad Jeb. The “deadline is approaching” said Lindsey Graham’s campaign. And “friend,” wrote Sen. Cory Booker on behalf of Hillary Clinton — “she needs us.”

Midnight marks the close of books for the October quarterly financial reports, which cover campaign disbursements and donations from July 1 to Sept. 30. And as is the case right before every big fundraising deadline, staffers and surrogates have been reaching out to supporters with increasing frequency, warning them of what is at stake for their candidate. Their reputation! Their competitive edge! The fate of the entire campaign! Many of the breathless pleas for cash struck notes of near desperation, while others pitched less doom and gloom.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley — currently polling at less than 1 percent nationally — is offering for one lucky person the chance to be personally serenaded by him on his guitar.

“Let me write you a song,” O’Malley tweeted this week.

I’m tuning my guitar to sing a song for someone. Will it be you?

— Martin O’Malley (@MartinOMalley) September 29, 2015

(No donation necessary, although O’Malley’s website encourages even a modest $5 contribution).

The Rubio campaign took a different tack, offering prospective donors the opportunity to “adopt” one of their staffers for a day. A $250 donation through the campaign’s online store will buy you recognition on the campaign website and Twitter, an update from the adopted staffer and a postcard from the campaign.

Fundraising is a major indicator of viability in political campaigns, and a strong showing is an even more important differentiator in a crowded field. As a last-minute plea from South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s presidential campaign noted, “A lot is riding on the numbers we report. My opponents will view it as a sign of the strength of our campaign, and the media will use it as a barometer to measure the support we have.”

Email inbox marketing directly appeals to low threshold donors, with most candidates asking for checks in the $5 to $250 range. And it’s far less expensive than direct mail that can cost millions of dollars in production and postage. Email fundraising also gives campaigns the chance to make immediate voter contact — but it has to stand out in an inbox.

To avoid being tossed to junk mail, campaigns take novel approaches such as addressing recipients as “friend” (Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton), or even more exclusively, labeling the email for “top supporters only” (Mike Huckabee).

Jeb Bush supporters saw emails from two Georges — Jeb Bush’s son, George P. Bush, and his father, former president George H.W. Bush. Both notes are up-front about campaign financial needs and fundraising expectations.

In an email request titled, “As real as it gets,” George P. Bush writes, “I’m personally reaching out because we’re two days away from the biggest deadline of this campaign and we’re still $126,724 short of our goal.” The midnight deadline “isn’t a ploy,” says Bush. “It’s as real as it gets. We have to publicly say how much money we raise in the next 48 hours, so missing this goal is NOT an option.”

Other campaigns are using the filing deadline emails as an attempt to tout their progress. In a slight stretch, Carly Fiorina claims that she is currently in second place in the GOP field, and requests a rather superstitious $13 to secure her luck in the polls. Meanwhile, the Graham campaign reassures supporters that the crowds at “events are growing” and “more people are signing up to volunteer.”

For those near the bottom of the barrel, reaching out is also a chance to remind voters that their campaigns are still alive and kicking.

For Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb, who is hovering around 1 percent support in the polls, donating is almost a post script. Instead, his email requests “a high $5” for Webb making radio waves on the Alan Colmes show.

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