Memo to Sen. Bernie Sanders:
Americans by overwhelming numbers say they would vote for a qualified presidential candidate nominated by their party who is Catholic, a woman, black, Hispanic or Jewish.
They say they would be somewhat less inclined to support a Mormon, a gay or lesbian, an evangelical Christian or Muslim for president, according to a new Gallup Poll released Monday. Yet more than half of those Americans surveyed said they would be accepting of anyone from this group who managed to garner their party’s presidential nomination. Even a qualified atheist would be acceptable to 58 percent of those questioned.
But only 47 percent said they could vote for a socialist for president. Fifty percent said they would absolutely not.
Sanders, 73, an independent who is challenging Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, is the only Jewish candidate in the race. And while many wrote him off early on as a fringe candidate with limited appeal, Sanders has subsequently generated considerable buzz among liberals and progressives, and has made respectable showings in some of the early polling, including in New Hampshire.
With his ringing anti-Wall Street populist message, Sanders is tapping into the Democratic Party’s progressive wing – including some who had hoped at one time that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might change her mind and enter the race. However, the former University of Chicago student radical and self-described democratic socialist, supports proposals similar to those of mainstream social democratic governments in Europe, particularly those of Scandinavia.
Five of the declared candidates for president are Catholics – including Republicans Jeb Bush, George Pataki, Marco Rubio and Rick Santorum, and Democrat Martin O'Malley. Two are women -- Clinton and Republican Carly Fiorina. Republican Ben Carson is the only black candidate in the race, while two candidates are Hispanic -- Republicans Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Here are Gallup’s findings:
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimated this week that President Trump has now signed legislation that will add a total of $4.7 trillion to the national debt between 2017 and 2029. Tax cuts and spending increases account for similar portions of the projected increase, though if the individual tax cuts in the 2017 Republican overhaul are extended beyond their current expiration date at the end of 2025, they would add another $1 trillion in debt through 2029.
Are interest rates destined to move higher, increasing the cost of private and public debt? While many experts believe that higher rates are all but inevitable, historian Paul Schmelzing argues that today’s low-interest environment is consistent with a long-term trend stretching back 600 years.
The chart “shows a clear historical downtrend, with rates falling about 1% every 60 years to near zero today,” says Bloomberg’s Aaron Brown. “Rates do tend to revert to a mean, but that mean seems to be declining.”
Lawmakers are considering three separate bills that are intended to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Here’s an overview of the proposals, from a series of charts produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation this week. An interesting detail highlighted in another chart: 88% of voters – including 92% of Democrats and 85% of Republicans – want to give the government the power to negotiate prices with drug companies.
From Gallup: “A record 25% of Americans say they or a family member put off treatment for a serious medical condition in the past year because of the cost, up from 19% a year ago and the highest in Gallup's trend. Another 8% said they or a family member put off treatment for a less serious condition, bringing the total percentage of households delaying care due to costs to 33%, tying the high from 2014.”