Just over 24 hours after announcing his presidential bid, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has already raised $6 million from more than 225,000 donors, his campaign said Wednesday morning. That amount far surpasses what any of his rivals have disclosed raising after their own announcements this year. Previously, Senator Kamala Harris of California had claimed the biggest early fund-raising haul that had been made public, with $1.5 million in 24 hours. In comparison, Sanders' campaign said its fund-raising in the first 24 hours came to $5.9 million. Sanders' early fund-raising success is not unexpected; after all, he raised well over $200 million when he ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 election, and his list of online donors dwarfs those of his rivals. I know that it is still very early in the game, but is this a data point that we should take note of?
Two new polls out today show pluralities say Democrativ Virginia Governor Ralph Northam should not quit or be forced out over a racist photo that appeared on his medical-school yearbook page 35 years ago. Most African-American voters agree that he shouldn't go, according to one of the surveys. In a Quinnipiac University poll, 42 percent of voters said Northam should resign — but more, 48 percent, said he shouldn't. White voters are split evenly — 46 percent said he should resign, and the same percentage said he shouldn't — but a majority of black voters, 56 percent, said Northam should not quit. Even fewer Virginians said Northam should resign in a second poll out Wednesday, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs for the University of Virginia Center for Politics. In that poll, which surveyed adults in the commonwealth, only 31 percent said Northam should resign, compared to 43 percent who said he shouldn't. Both polls show scant support for impeaching Northam. In the Quinnipiac poll, only 26 percent said Northam should be impeached, while nearly two-in-three voters, 65 percent, said he shouldn't. In the Ipsos/UVA poll, just 21 percent said the General Assembly should remove Northam, while 56 percent said state legislators shouldn't impeach the governor. How are we to interpret this data? What does say about the status of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax?
It is reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that his country's new missiles would point toward the United States if Washington deploys missiles in Europe. Putin emphasized that Russia will only respond if the United States makes the first move, but his remarks were among the strongest yet on a potential new arms race after the countries' mutual pullout from a Cold War-era nuclear weapons treaty. Is this an accurate translation of his position, with the proper context and nuance? It is reported that Putin said "Russia would be forced to create and deploy types of weapons" that can be used against nations that pose a "direct threat." And in a clear reference to the United States, Putin said the Russian missiles also could be trained on where "the centers of decision-making are located." Is this reporting accurate?
Teresa M. Lundy — Government affairs and public relations specialist and principal of TML Communications, LLC.
Avis Jones DeWever — Founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women.
Mark Sleboda — Moscow-based international relations and security analyst.
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