According to a Fox News poll released Friday, self-described socialist Bernie Sanders is starting to catch up to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.
The poll shows for the first time this election Hillary has fallen below 50 percent approval. The polling was conducted between Aug. 11 and 13. While Hillary sits at 49 percent, her primary rival Sanders was able to climb to 30 percent.
Throughout the Democratic primary, Hillary has consistently lost support while Sanders has gained it. Back in June Hillary had 61 percent of the vote while Sanders had only 15 percent. The loss of support comes as Hillary continues to deal with major challenges that have plagued her campaign from the beginning.
Hillary has been the subject of several major scandals since before even announcing her run. The latest of which centers on how she handled her emails while secretary of state, her use of a private server housed in her Chappaqua, N.Y. home and deletion of data and emails. A situation some of her campaign rivals have already used against her.
Her family’s charitable organization has also been the subject of criticism. The Clinton Foundation has been accused as being nothing more than a slush fund for her and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Additionally, some have accused Hillary of making favorable deals with foreign entities in return for donations to the foundation.
Her reluctance to take a firm stance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been her at odds with the labor movement. Organized labor has worked to make the trade deal an important campaign issue and is particularly disappointed with Hillary.
Sanders, on the other hand, was much more adamant about his opposition. He has also made labor issues a primary focus of his campaign. In July, Sanders introduced a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Unions wield considerable political influence and their support — or lack thereof — could be critical for a candidate. This is particularly true for Democrats who they usually support. It’s not just political contributions but also the ability to rally voters which make unions such a powerful force in politics.
Fearing he is not electable, some major unions have been hesitant to officially endorse Sanders. The problem is one of the primary reasons Hillary is still in the running for vast union support. This, however, did stop The National Nurses United and former Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen from joining many local unions in endorsing Sanders.
The AFL-CIO hosted a meeting last month in Maryland as part of an ongoing effort by unions to determine which candidate to endorse. The union instead decided to delay endorsing anyone. Other labor groups are holding meetings or other initiatives to figure out who to back.
According to the poll, Vice President Joe Biden is in third place with 10 percent of the vote. Biden, however, has yet to announce whether he will run. It is rumored though that he is at the very least considering it.
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