Hurricane at Trump and Biden Nest

TEHRAN, Oct. 14 (MNA) – The political game in the United States of America is extremely complicated. Most US citizens' support for Donald Trump's impeachment has created difficult conditions for the White House. On the other hand, revelations against former Vice President Joe Biden have diminished his popularity in the polls.

In such a situation we are witnessing the rise of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Here's a look at the latest news and analysis on the situation of the US president and his rival, Joe Biden:

Fox News pollster Braun Research misrepresented impeachment poll: analysis

As New York Post reported, the poll released last week by Fox News that claimed most Americans favor the impeachment of President Trump underrepresented Republican and independent voters, The Post has found.

The poll said 51% of voters were in favor of Trump’s impeachment and removal from office, while 40% did not want him impeached.

Princeton, New Jersey, pollster Braun Research, which conducted the survey, noted 48% of its respondents were Democrats. But the actual breakdown of party-affiliation is 31% Democrat, 29% Republican and 38% independent, according to Gallup.

A poll weighted for party affiliation would have concluded that 44.9% favored impeachment and 44.4% opposed it, a Post analysis has concluded. The poll prompted Trump to tweet: “Whoever [Fox News’] Pollster is, they suck.”

Braun could not be reached for comment.

Impeachment Support Grows, but So Does the Public Divide

But New York Times reported that Americans are as divided over impeachment as they are over President Trump. But support for the Democrats’ inquiry is building even in places Mr. Trump won, and among politically crucial independents.

Over lunch at the Frost Cafe, a corner diner in a picturesque pocket of Virginia that President Trump won handily in 2016, opinion over his impeachment is as varied as anywhere in the country. Garland Gentry, 74, a pro-Trump retiree, declared the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry “another in a long line of hoaxes,” while Cindy Rafala, 59, a therapist, sat nearby and wondered, “If we don’t impeach, then what are our principles?”

Donnie Johnston, a newspaper columnist who voted for Mr. Trump but has since soured on him, said Democrats are right to look into the president’s effort to pressure the leader of Ukraine to dig up dirt on political rivals. Mr. Trump, he said, makes “a wonderful tyrant but he’s a miserable president.”

The shifting tides in Culpeper, a rural town of about 18,000 nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and in communities across the country, are a warning sign for Mr. Trump as Congress returns to Washington Tuesday after a two-week recess and Democrats’ impeachment inquiry kicks into high gear. They suggest that while Americans are deeply split along party lines over the push to remove Mr. Trump, their views on impeachment are beginning to crystallize in some unexpected ways.

From Iowa to Texas to Virginia to Ohio — and especially in swing districts like this one, where Representative Abigail Spanberger, a freshman Democrat, flipped a seat long held by Republicans — interviews with dozens of voters suggest what public polls have begun to show: that there is growing support for the impeachment inquiry that could ultimately result in Mr. Trump’s ouster, even as sharp divides remain over his conduct and character.

Democrats, aware of the risks of a backlash by voters against the impeachment process, have been monitoring public opinion vigilantly and tailoring their message and strategy accordingly. On a private conference call on Friday afternoon, leaders briefed their rank and file on private polling of 57 politically competitive districts that confirmed what public polls have reported in recent days: while a stark partisan divide persists, public support is growing for impeaching the president, and for the inquiry itself.

An average of impeachment polls calculated by the website FiveThirtyEight found that, as of Oct. 11, 49.3 percent of respondents supported impeachment and 43.5 percent did not. A survey released this past week by The Washington Post found 58 percent said the House was correct to open an inquiry.

And polling by a group of Democratic strategists found a potential opportunity to sway the public still further: nearly a quarter of the respondents categorized by strategists as “impeachment skeptics” opposed the inquiry but were not ready to say that Mr. Trump did nothing wrong.

Those figures do not point to a broad consensus around impeachment, and the interviews in recent days made clear there is none. Republicans here and around the country view the Democrats’ inquiry as just one more effort to undo the results of the 2016 presidential race. Just 14 percent of them back impeachment, according to FiveThirtyEight, compared to 82 percent of Democrats.

At a weekly steak fry in Trump-friendly Bandera, Texas, a town that bills itself as the “Cowboy Capital of the World,” most people seemed to agree with Holly Mydland, a fiddler, that the inquiry is “just bull crap,” and the local congressman, Representative Chip Roy, a Republican who has said he wants to follow the facts, but insisted that “only in Washington are people all in a tizzy about this.”

But Michael Clark, 69, a retired purchasing agent for an oil company who considers himself an independent, said the inquiry “has merit — we need to know the truth whatever the truth maybe.”

And in Westerville, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus that will host a Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Don Foster, who voted for Mr. Trump but no longer supports him, said he found the latest allegations direr than those investigated by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, involving Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“This one seems truer than the Mueller report,’’ he said. “I’m guessing that Trump really is guilty, I just don’t know yet.’’

Still, Democrats are confronting some warning signs of their own as they pursue what Speaker Nancy Pelosi has conceded is the most divisive process in American political life. While the Democratic base overwhelmingly supports impeachment, many share the view of Ms. Rafala, the therapist in Culpeper, who said she is “worried to death that it could backfire.”

Michael Clark, who considers himself an independent, said the inquiry “has merit.”

Michael Clark, who considers himself an independent, said the inquiry “has merit.”CreditCallaghan O'Hare for The New York Times

In West Des Moines, Iowa, Dimeka Jennings said she is far more focused on the 2020 election than on the efforts in Congress to remove Mr. Trump, which she predicts will fail. “We need to look at beating Trump, and doing so at all costs,” Ms. Jennings said.

And in Reno, Nev., April Friedman, 48, a teacher for students with special needs, said she thought the impeachment inquiry was important but wished the government would also address other more pressing issues.

“I’m in a Title I school and we have cockroaches in our trailer,” she said, referring to the law that mandates extra federal funding for schools with large concentrations of low-income students. “I know there’s a lot going on, but that’s what I’m focused on.”

When lawmakers left Washington for their home districts at the end of September, Ms. Pelosi instructed her fellow Democrats to speak about impeachment in “prayerful, respectful, solemn” tones in an effort to persuade the public that Democrats were acting out of principle, not politics. Two weeks later, it is not clear whether they have succeeded.

“I think the jury’s still out,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster. For Democrats, she said, “the risk is less than voters disagree with them on impeachment and more that people will think: ‘Why are you engaged in this when my prescription drug bill has gone up, my health care is uncertain, my job doesn’t pay very well, my kid’s got student debt?’ ”

Meantime, the impeachment inquiry is barreling ahead as Democrats seek to build their case that Mr. Trump abused his power by using a security aid package and the promise of a White House visit to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate Democrats including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mr. Biden’s younger son, Hunter. On Friday, Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, testified behind closed doors, telling impeachment investigators that the president had personally pushed for her ouster based on “false claims.”

During their conference call on Friday, Representative Cheri Bustos of Illinois, who runs the party’s campaign arm, urged fellow Democrats to focus on kitchen-table issues and to speak about impeachment in “direct, simple and values-based” language, according to aides who listened to the call.

The advice reflected the findings of internal polls that the most potent argument for Democrats is that Mr. Trump has abused his power and put himself above the law. It was also an acknowledgment that Republicans are succeeding at persuading some voters that the impeachment push is distracting Democrats from getting things done for their constituents.

“They’ve been hassling the president since the day he got in office,” said Diane Segura, 56, who works as a nurse near the 11th Street Cowboy Bar in Bandera. “I’m tired of hearing it, tired of dealing with it.”

“It’s just more of the same,” she added.

But for many Democratic voters, the impeachment push is long overdue.

“Regardless of what your party is, I don’t understand how you could look at that and think this is not worthy of an investigation,’” said Deborah Harris, a self-described “strong Democrat” in Iowa City, referring to Mr. Trump’s entreaties to President Zelensky. She added, “This is crossing a line.”

But in between, there are hints of an important shift among a constituency critical to the president’s future: independents. The FiveThirtyEight tracker shows 44 percent of independents favor impeachment, up from 33 percent after Mr. Mueller concluded his two-year investigation. A memo prepared by Navigator Research, a progressive polling project, entitled “How to Talk About Impeachment,” found even stronger support among independents, with 51 percent backing impeachment. Culpeper, a town that is older than America itself and sits roughly halfway between Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, Va., offers a snapshot of America’s impeachment divide.

At the Rusty Willow Boutique, an upscale women’s clothing shop that was preparing for its grand opening, just the mention of Mr. Trump prompted a squabble between Sonya Pancione, 57, the shop’s owner, and Denise Reynolds, 50, one of her best friends from church. Ms. Pancione is dead-set against impeachment.

“Respect the office. It’s a democracy. People voted for him,” she said.

Ms. Reynolds loathes Mr. Trump and blames him for inciting racial hatred. She was once excited about his candidacy — “I thought we needed somebody who understood business in that seat,” she said — but says now that if he were impeached and removed from office, “it would not upset me in the least.”

Ms. Spanberger, a former C.I.A. officer and federal postal inspector who worked on money laundering cases before joining Congress, reflects the shifting tide. She won her district, which includes Culpeper, narrowly in 2018, casting herself as a moderate who wanted to solve problems like the high cost of prescription drugs. She visited Culpeper this past week, making it the first stop on a two-day “education tour,” but declined an interview for this article.

For months, she resisted calls for impeachment. But after the Ukraine news broke, she joined six freshman Democrats who have national security backgrounds in writing an opinion piece in The Washington Post to call for Ms. Pelosi to open an inquiry.

Now Mr. Trump and his allies are targeting vulnerable Democrats like her. In Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa and other battleground states, scores of Republicans turned out this month for “Stop the Madness!” rallies orchestrated by the Trump campaign. Here in Culpeper, the local party staged its own rally last Saturday.

“Abigail won on a blue-wave year, and she really won on this whole notion that she was going to go down and be an independent voice, that she wasn’t interested in impeachment, she was really interested in getting things done,” said Nick Freitas, a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates, who helped organize the event.

“And here we are.”

Why Populist Democrats Have Gained the Upper Hand in the 2020 Race

Also, New York Times reported that As next week’s debate looms, polls and donor contributions suggest a party seeking candidates who will push the boundaries, while moderates argue they can beat President Trump.

With a crucial debate looming next week in the Democratic presidential primary, the party’s populist wing appears increasingly in control of the race — rising in the polls, stocked with cash and with only a wounded leading candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr., standing in its way.

Several slow-building trends have converged to upend the race over the last few weeks: Senator Elizabeth Warren’s steady ascent in the polls has accelerated. Both she and Senator Bernie Sanders, a fellow progressive, have raised immense sums of money from small donors online, dominating the Democratic field and each collecting about $10 million more than Mr. Biden in the last quarter. And Mr. Biden’s numbers have gradually slipped in a way that has alarmed his supporters.

The race is far from over: All three of the top candidates — Ms. Warren, Mr. Biden, and Mr. Sanders — have a path to victory, and there is still time for longer-shot candidates to make a real run at the nomination. The CNN/New York Times debate in Ohio on Tuesday is likely to test Ms. Warren’s status as an emerging front-runner, subjecting her to new criticism from her fellow Democrats on matters ranging from health care policy to trade and the role of the government in overseeing the economy. Above all, she may need to allay lingering reservations about her appeal to swing voters in the general election.

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And Mr. Biden signaled on Thursday night that he will come into the debate fighting. “One of the problems I’m finding, I’ve got to be more aggressive,” he said at a fund-raiser in Los Angeles. He then used a roundabout example to explain that debate time restraints don’t allow time for lengthy answers.

“When someone says, you know, you know, ‘Are you still beating your wife?’ And, and I go, ‘I have a long explanation,’ and they say, ‘You got 30 seconds to answer.’ And you say, ‘No. And then, wait a minute, what’d I just say? No, I’m not still beating my wife.’ But so, I’ve had, I’ve had some difficulties,” he said.

If Tuesday’s debate could break in any number of directions, what may be resolved is the overall mood of Democratic primary voters, and whether they are more inclined to seek a politically cautious nominee who promises to restore normalcy in Washington or a more confrontational standard-bearer with an ambitious and disruptive reform agenda. It is candidates in the latter category who now control the bulk of the financial might in the race, and are best positioned in most of the early primary states.

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Anna Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who is not aligned in the primary, said an “anti-establishment” current had plainly taken hold, with voters rewarding candidates for defying the conventional limits of political debate and “pushing boundaries in really productive ways.” She pointed not only to Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders but also to former Representative Beto O’Rourke, who has embraced a new political identity for himself as a gun-control activist and a critic of his own party’s relatively cautious platform on the issue.

“Across the board, whether it’s Beto talking about assault weapons or Warren and Sanders talking about Wall Street,” Ms. Greenberg said, “it does feel like there is a shift in the party that is kind of new.”

Ms. Greenberg said there was still space for Mr. Biden to run a strong campaign because of the way voters perceive his values and character. Americans, she said, believe Mr. Biden “cares about people and working-class people, regular people, and that’s not an insignificant asset.”

Yet it has been Ms. Warren, rather than Mr. Biden, who has consistently gained strength. Campaigning on a message of purging corruption in Washington and restructuring the economy, Ms. Warren has closed Mr. Biden’s lead in the polls every week since the beginning of the summer and is now in a position to upset him in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote.

Mr. Biden remains a strong contender for the nomination, largely because of the support he collects from African-American voters. But he has struggled for months to articulate a clear vision for the future and has relied heavily on Democratic nostalgia for the Obama administration. In recent weeks, he has been consumed in a grisly political clash with President Trump.

So far, the support Mr. Biden has lost does not seem to have gone to another moderate, like Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. Only Ms. Warren has been moving up in the national polls, suggesting either that Mr. Biden’s lost supporters have defected to her camp or that they have become undecided altogether.

If Ms. Warren has become the leading liberal standard-bearer, Mr. Sanders has been a steady third in national polls and his fund-raising power is likely to keep him among the most formidable competitors in the race. Yet his campaign has been grappling with the implications of Mr. Sanders’s heart attack in Las Vegas last week, a medical emergency that landed him in the hospital and has kept him off the trail for days.

He has sent mixed signals about his path forward, first indicating that he would scale back his campaign schedule and then defiantly reversing that suggestion.

It is unclear whether Mr. Sanders’s physical condition will affect his poll numbers: He has a solid base of support nationally and a few other candidates believe his core followers will be easily dislodged. There is at least a new degree of uncertainty about whether he will be in a strong position to vie for liberal Democrats who have already been migrating toward Ms. Warren.

Nearly all of the candidates feel pressure to do something in the Ohio debate to stop the race from becoming a contest entirely defined by a Warren-Biden rivalry, either by inflicting direct damage on Ms. Warren’s campaign or by outflanking her as an alternative to Mr. Biden. The ongoing impeachment inquiry targeting Mr. Trump has only added to the pressure on the Democratic field, since the tumult in Washington is likely to leave voters with even less time to devote to reviewing underdog options.

Mr. Buttigieg, in particular, has been moving assertively in recent weeks to position himself as a center-left alternative to both Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren, using his considerable war chest to run television ads in Iowa.

Several other candidates of different ideological stripes are counting on Iowa for a breakthrough, including Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar. A wild-card joining them onstage will be a new contender, Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund investor who has spent lavishly from his personal fortune to brand himself as a reform-minded outsider.

For Ms. Warren, meanwhile, the debate may help reveal whether she can consolidate her gains across the Democratic Party. On Wednesday, she campaigned in South Carolina, where she has so far struggled to gain traction with the African-American voters who largely decide the primary there. To cement her status as a front-runner, she may have to win over a range of constituencies torn between their interest in her ideas and a more cautious political calculus that draws them to Mr. Biden.
Joseph R. Biden Jr. speaks at a campaign event in Manchester, N.H. His numbers have gradually slipped in a way that has alarmed his supporters.

Joseph R. Biden Jr. speaks at a campaign event in Manchester, N.H. His numbers have gradually slipped in a way that has alarmed his supporters.CreditElizabeth Frantz for The New York Times

One of those voters is Ohio’s former governor, Ted Strickland, the only Democrat to hold that office this century. Like many Democratic voters, Mr. Strickland, a populist with close ties to organized labor, said he saw Mr. Biden as the safer bet for the general election but found it hard to resist the appeal of Ms. Warren’s proposals, most of all her plan for a new tax on vast private fortunes.

“I think there may be something to the electability issue for Mr. Biden, in Ohio,” Mr. Strickland said. “But if I could just choose to put someone in the presidency — if that was my choice alone — it would be hard for me to pass up Elizabeth Warren.”

Mr. Strickland said he had spoken with Mr. Biden recently and saw him as a seasoned diplomat and a reliable “economic progressive.” But Ms. Warren, he said, was gradually easing voters’ reservations about her ability to go up against Mr. Trump by talking about policy issues “in ways that are easily understood.”

Mr. Biden remains a clear favorite in just one of the early states, South Carolina, and his advisers have predicted that he would fare better in larger, more diverse states that vote later in the calendar. He is counting, in particular, on older and more moderate African-American voters to hold back the party from stampeding toward a more ideological liberal candidate. In 2016, black and Latino voters helped Hillary Clinton withstand a persistent primary challenge from Mr. Sanders.

Yet scattered polling in the later states has largely followed the national trend: Last week, for instance, the Public Policy Institute of California released a poll finding a statistical three-way tie in the nation’s most populous state between Mr. Biden, Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders.

Mark Baldassare, president of the institute, said there was no indication in his poll that the state’s diversity would represent a stumbling block for candidates on the left, as Mr. Biden is hoping. The primary debates would be crucial to determining Ms. Warren’s continued momentum, he said, because voters seemed to be using them for insight into the general election.

“It has become a kind of a proxy for: How are these candidates going to do when they stand up next to Trump?” Mr. Baldassare said. “I think this will be Elizabeth Warren’s moment now because if she is in the mix for the front-runner, people are going to be testing her and seeing: How does she do? How does she do when she has to be on defense?”

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