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Reality check: Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush lose ground in primary state

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Washington: Both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, Democratic and Republican frontrunners respectively in the 2016 White House race, have lost some ground in New Hampshire, the state set to host the campaign’s first primary events.

The former Secretary of State’s sizable lead among Democrats in New Hampshire has been trimmed to single digits with Senator Bernie Sanders making a strong push in a state that narrowly broke Clinton’s way in 2008, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll.

Bush also still narrowly leads the Republican field in New Hampshire, but real estate mogul Donald Trump’s gains in the state suggest the billionaire businessman is establishing a following in New Hampshire, CNN said,

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Among the Democrats Clinton still holds an 8-point edge over Sanders, with 43 percent behind Clinton and 35 percent backing Sanders.

Vice President Joe Biden clocks in at 8 percent, with 2 percent or less supporting Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee.

The poll marks a significant tightening of the contest since May when Clinton stood at 51 percent, with Elizabeth Warren at 20 percent and Sanders at 13 percent.

More see Clinton as presidential than Sanders, with 38 percent saying she has the personal characteristics and qualities a president should have, compared with 27 percent who think Sanders is best representative of those qualities.

On the Republican side, the new CNN/WMUR New Hampshire Primary poll found Trump at 11 percent, just behind Bush at 16 percent.

They were followed by Rand Paul at 9 per cent, Scott Walker at 8 per cent, and Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio both at 6 per cent. Ben Carson and Chris Christie each have 5 per cent support.

As the low numbers at the top of the pack indicate, the field is far from settled with 21 per cent saying they don’t know which of the 19 candidates tested in the poll they’d support, and overall, 75 per cent saying they’re not committed to any candidate.

Trump’s gains seem connected to perceptions of him as a successful leader on economic issues and personal traits.

A whopping 46 percent say Trump is the one in the field “least likely to act like a typical politician if elected president.” No one else comes close on that measure.

Trump’s weakness may come from perceptions of his electability. While 37 per cent say Bush is the candidate with the best chance to beat the Democratic nominee next year, just 7 per cent say Trump has the best chance to win.

While Bush’s favourability rating has ticked upward since announcing his candidacy for President on June 1, New Hampshire voters seem to be souring on the rest of the field, the poll suggested.

(IANS)

 

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Facebook Chief Operating Officer Supports Releasing Russia-linked Advertisements

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Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, delivers a speech during the visit of a start-up companies gathering at Paris' Station F, in Paris. voa

Washington, October 12: Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Thursday she “absolutely” supports the public release of all advertisements produced by a Russia-linked organization during the 2016 presidential election.

Sandberg said the company is “working on transparency” following the revelation last month that a group with alleged ties to the Russian government ran $100,000 worth of ads on Facebook promoting “divisive” causes like Black Lives Matter.

“Things happened on our platform that shouldn’t have happened,” she said during the interview with Axios’s Mike Allen.

Later Thursday, Facebook Chief Operating Officer is set to meet with Congressional investigators who are looking into what role the advertisements which began running in 2015 and continued through this year may have played in the 2016 presidential election.

The $100,000 worth of ads represent a very small fraction of the total $2.3 billion spent by, and on behalf of, President Donald Trump and losing-candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaigns during the election.

Multiple congressional investigations have been launched, seeking to determine what effect alleged Russian meddling may have played in the election.

In addition, Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is conducting a criminal probe, including whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian operatives during the election season. Trump has denied working with the Russians.

Facebook had previously agreed to disclose the thousands of Facebook ads to congress. Sandberg said Thursday she thinks “it’s important that [the investigators] get the whole picture and explain that to the American people.”

In response to the Russian ad buys, Facebook Chief Operating Officer said that company is hiring 4,000 new employees to oversee ads and content. She said the company is also using “machine learning and automation” to target fake accounts that spread fake news.

She defined fake news as “things that are false hoaxes” and said Facebook is working to stamp out the bad information by teaming up with third-party fact checkers and warning users before they share news deemed fake by Facebook.

She said it is important to be cautious when going after fake news because “a lot of what we allow on Facebook is people expressing themselves” and “when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people.”

“We don’t check the information posted on Facebook before people post it, and I don’t think people should want us to,” she said.

Hundreds of fake accounts were used to distribute the Russia-linked advertisements, Sandberg said. But had those ads been posted by legitimate users, “we would have let them run,” she said.(VOA)