Clinton and Sanders in dead heat

11 January 2016 2:41 pm

This is where the race for president gets interesting.

According to new NBC/Wall Street Journal polls, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders are in a dead heat for the Democratic presidential nomination in two key states.

Clinton had 48 per cent support among likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa to Sanders’ 45 per cent. But Sanders remains ahead in New Hampshire, where he leads Clinton with 50 per cent to the former secretary of state’s 46 per cent.

Indeed, Sanders did better than Clinton when he was lined up against Republican candidates in both Iowa and New Hampshire, hypothetically speaking of course. Sanders beat Donald Trump by 13 points in Iowa, for example. Well ahead of Clinton who had an eight-point advantage over the real estate magnate. In a matchup against Sen. Ted Cruz, Sanders was ahead by five points, while Clinton is down by four. Against Sen. Marco Rubio, Clinton lost by 12 points while Sanders beat him by nine points.

There are issues that divide them and Clinton, shaken by the surge of support for Sanders, seized on gun control as one of them.

Bernie Sanders represents Vermont which has some of the most lax gun control laws in the country and his own voting record on guns is mixed. For example, he voted against the so-called Brady Bill which mandated federal background checks. Not surprisingly, Clinton has got stuck into him. “It’s a difference that Democratic voters in our primary can take into account,” she said.

Sanders on the other hand says Clinton has not had the courage to stand up to Wall Street. Sanders has proposed breaking up the biggest banks and reinstating the Glass-Steagall financial law that separated commercial and investment banking activities. Clinton argues her plan is tougher because it would address risky behavior in the shadow banking sector. She has not endorsed reinstating Glass-Steagall, a progressive priority.

The bottom line however is that the web sites of both candidates show they vote the same way on key issues like raising the minimum wage; expanding voting rights; supporting unions; reforming campaign financing; passing reasonable gun-safety laws; reforming the financial sector; supporting LGBT rights; separating church and state; promoting equal pay for equal work; budgeting for sensible deficit reduction and bringing in a fair tax structure.

Assuming Clinton gets up, she could do worse than appoint Sanders as Secretary of Labour where he would have a huge impact, far more than what he's having in Congress now.

Of course, Democrats who refuse to vote for Clinton because she’s not Sanders are risking a TrumpCruzCarson presidency.