not great bob
September 17, 2019

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio could really use one of those "special moments" in his 2020 campaign right about now.

The Democratic presidential candidate, who recently insisted that "an hour from now, one of those special moments could happen" that turns his entire campaign around, in a new Siena College poll released Tuesday earned zero percent support in New York City. He also did not crack 1 percent support across New York state in the poll, in which former Vice President Joe Biden leads.

This poll found de Blasio has a 58 percent unfavorable rating in New York City compared to 33 percent who say they have a favorable view of him.

De Blasio hasn't been faring much better nationally, with most polls showing him at either 0 percent or 1 percent. Qualifying for the next Democratic presidential debate requires a candidate to reach 2 percent in four qualifying polls, and so the New York City mayor is on pace to miss two debates in a row. Should that happen, de Blasio indicated earlier this month it would be "tough to conceive" of continuing the race.

Siena College's poll was conducted by speaking to 798 registered voters, including 359 registered Democrats, in New York state from Sept. 8 to Sept. 12. The margin of error among the sample of registered Democrats is 6.1 percentage points. Read the full results at Siena College. Brendan Morrow

August 9, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden while speaking before the Asian & Latino Coalition in Iowa on Thursday accidentally said that "poor kids" are just as bright as "white kids."

Biden at this Des Moines event was discussing advanced placement programs in schools when he told the crowd, "We have this notion that somehow if you're poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids," Bloomberg reports.

The former vice president, it appears, quickly realized his mistake, as he immediately added, "...wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids. No, I really mean it."

This came hours after another gaffe from Biden in Iowa, as he had earlier in the day also told a crowd, seemingly on accident, that "we choose truth over facts." Then there was a moment in which Biden started to refer to former British Prime Minister Theresa May as Margaret Thatcher, which CNN's Daniel Dale points out is his second time doing so in the past few months.

Biden, of course, has a long history of gaffes, and he previously came under fire for saying that then-Senator Barack Obama was the "first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," as The Washington Post reports. Biden quickly apologized, saying he "deeply" regrets the "offense" the remark caused.

Watch Biden's most unfortunate gaffe of his Thursday Iowa visit below. Brendan Morrow

May 21, 2019

The latest 2020 poll from Quinnipiac sure doesn't look great for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday shows de Blasio, who launched his 2020 presidential campaign last week, with an 8 percent favorable rating. Forty-five percent of voters said they have an unfavorable opinion of him, while 48 percent say they haven't heard enough about him.

Other Democratic contenders like Washington Governor Jay Inslee and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper have similarly low favorability ratings, but these are candidates most voters say they haven't heard enough about, which wasn't the case with de Blasio.

The New York City mayor's net favorability, which is calculated by subtracting his unfavorable rating from his favorable rating, among all voters is -37 percent. For comparison, former congressman Beto O'Rourke's net favorability is -12 percent. Fewer than one percent of Democratic voters said they would vote for de Blasio in the 2020 primary.

De Blasio's favorability rating is also quite low even among Democrats: just 14 percent, compared to 35 percent who have an unfavorable opinion of him.

At least one polling expert was stunned at how bad this showing was, with CNN's Harry Enten writing, "These numbers are about the worst I've seen for a non-scandal'd politician."

Of course, this isn't the first round of poor polling de Blasio has received, with a previous Quinnipiac poll finding that 76 percent of New York City voters didn't want him to run for president. Faced with a question about this poll upon jumping into the race, de Blasio said last week, "I think about polling in general, it's not where you start, it's where you end."

Quinnipiac's poll was conducted by speaking with 1,078 registered voters over the phone from May 16-20. The margin of error is 3.8 percentage points. Read the full poll at Quinnipiac. Brendan Morrow

March 21, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper was asked on Wednesday whether he would pick a woman as his running mate should he win his party's nomination, a question that has been posed to many candidates in the race. But his answer was certainly unique.

The former Colorado participated in a CNN town hall on Wednesday, during which Dana Bash asked this question about potentially picking a woman for vice president. Numerous candidates in the race have pledged to do so in recent weeks in order to ensure there is gender diversity on the ticket and pave the way for the first female vice president, with former congressman Beto O'Rourke and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) suggesting they'll do so.

At first, Hickenlooper just answered, "Of course." But then, he decided to add, "How come we're not asking more often the women, 'Would you be willing to put a man on the ticket?'" Hickenlooper's zinger didn't seem to get the response he was hoping for, drawing a single laugh followed by an awkward silence and then a scattering of applause as Bash transitioned into a commercial break.

After the event, Hickenlooper tried to clarify by saying he was only making a point about how "too often media discounts the chance of a woman winning," per CNN's Dan Merica. He added, "That is what I am talking about. People can take it out of context." Bash on Thursday said that she understood what Hickenlooper meant but that the comment "obviously didn't come out the way he intended" even though he was trying to "sound woke." Watch the moment below. Brendan Morrow

March 5, 2019

A majority of U.S voters believe President Trump committed a crime when he was a private citizen — including about a third of Republicans.

In a new poll from Quinnipiac University, voters were asked whether Trump "committed any crimes before he was president." A total of 64 percent of respondents said he has, including 33 percent of Republicans. Only 24 percent of voters said Trump didn't commit crimes before being elected, while 13 percent were unsure.

When asked if they think Trump has committed crimes as president, voters weren't as sure, but a plurality — 45 percent — still said he has. Forty-three percent said he hasn't, while another 12 percent weren't sure.

Still, it seems these voters who think Trump has committed crimes aren't quite ready for impeachment yet. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said Congress should not begin the impeachment process, while 35 percent said it should.

The poll also asked voters about the recent congressional testimony of Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and it found that 44 percent believe Cohen told the truth, while 36 percent said he didn't and 20 percent aren't sure. And 50 percent of voters said that in general, they believe Cohen more than Trump.

Quinnipiac's poll was conducted over the phone by speaking to 1,120 voters nationwide from March 1-4. The margin of error is 3.4 percentage points. Read the full results at Quinnipiac. Brendan Morrow

March 9, 2018

Things are getting messy at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In a large and unsettling report about the inner-workings of the VA published Friday, The Washington Post reveals that the department's internecine squabbling has gotten so bad that VA Secretary David Shulkin has taken dramatic action to shield himself from his own advisers:

[Shulkin] is managing the government's second-largest bureaucracy from a fortified bunker atop the agency's Washington headquarters.

He has canceled the morning meetings once attended by several of President Trump's political appointees — members of his senior management team — gathering instead with aides he trusts not to miscast his remarks. Access to Shulkin's 10th-floor executive suite was recently revoked for several people he has accused of lobbying the White House to oust him. He and his public-affairs chief have not spoken in weeks.

And in a sign of how deeply the secretary's trust in his senior staff has eroded, an armed guard now stands outside his office. [The Washington Post]

Perhaps the armed freeze-out isn't unexpected, though, given Shulkin has been public with his desire to clean house at the department. Last month, Shulkin told Politico that he was investigating "subversion" within his group, with the intent that anyone who disobeys him "won't be working in my operation."

"This is a salacious conspiracy, and it's treason," the national director of the country's largest veterans group told the Post about the department's dysfunction under Shulkin, who served as an undersecretary at the VA in the Obama administration. Read more about the troubled VA at The Washington Post. Kimberly Alters

See More Speed Reads