NewsOne’s Politicker blog tackles some of the most important topics in politics: Election 2016, moves by the Obama administration, voting rights, lawmaking, and the way that elected officials represent our communities. Three times a week, we will go beyond the mainstream media’s “pack” coverage of politics to highlight the underreported aspects of how politics and policy affect you and the people you care about. In between, follow the conversation on Twitter at #Politicker.

Updated Monday, July 20, 2015 at 6:14 p.m. ET —

Will Joe Biden Run For President? New Poll Says 1-In-4 Voters Likely To Cast Ballots For Him

Barack Obama & Joe Biden

Source: Getty

While Hillary Clinton has long been considered the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, people close to Vice President Joe Biden say he is seriously weighing a bid for the White House, which could upset Clinton’s numbers. Biden will likely make a decision in September if he does decide to run.

“He has said he would announce his decision at the end of the summer,” Ted Kaufman, a longtime Biden aide who briefly filled his Senate seat when he was elected vice president, recently told The Huffington Post.

But Biden’s spokesperson, Kendra A. Barkoff, immediately dismissed the claim, saying, “The Biden family is going through a difficult time right now. Any speculation about the views of the vice president or his family about his political future is premature and inappropriate.” Biden’s son, Beau, who encouraged him to run for president, died in May after a long battle with brain cancer.

Draft Biden 2016, a super PAC, also wants him to run and has been quietly laying the groundwork for a potential campaign in early voting states. On Monday, the site announced that supporters had collected 150,000 signatures to back the effort.

The group’s site also touts the results of a Monmouth University Poll (pdf) released last week, showing that Biden could siphon off some of Clinton’s support if he decides to throw his hat in the ring.

“Our main goal is persuade the vice president to run for president,” William Pierce, executive director of Draft Biden, told NewsOne Monday. “We’re really encouraged by the Monmouth poll numbers.”

Monmouth poll results show Biden enjoying 13 percent support among Democratic voters, which is similar to past results. But his support could grow if he enters the race. The poll results show that an additional 12 percent of Democratic voters say they would be very likely to support Biden if he jumps into the race and another 31 percent say they would be somewhat likely to do so, meaning 1-in-4 voters would very likely support Biden, and more than half would be at least somewhat likely to support him, the results show.

“[T]he bigger threat to Clinton may come from a Biden candidacy, where the two would be fighting for the same voters,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey, said in the release.

Here are the poll numbers: Hillary Clinton currently enjoys 51 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters nationwide, which is down from 57 percent in June and 60 percent in April, Monmouth states. Bernie Sanders rates second at 17 percent, but his support has steadily grown from 12 percent in June and 7 percent in April. Martin O’Malley earns just 1 percent support and Jim Webb, who threw his hat into the ring earlier this month, also garners just 1 percent. Lincoln Chafee registers no support in the poll. Another 15 percent are undecided.

If Biden decides to run for president, he may have an easier time overcoming criticism for supporting former President Bill Clinton‘s tough-on-crime policies that have resulted in many thousands — if not millions (PDF) — of African-Americans being locked up behind bars under stiff sentences over the last two decades. As a member of the Obama administration, Biden could be seen as helping to reform the criminal justice system, making up for his support of the measure as a senator back in 1994.

Indeed, President Clinton has apologized for the morass as his wife Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State, campaigns for president, absolving her of blame for his mistake before campaign season heats up.

What do you think, should Biden run and would you vote for him? Sound off in the comments.

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#BlackLivesMatter Takes Bernie Sanders To School; Then Hillary Clinton Jumps In

Bernie Sanders

Source: Getty / Getty

After presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (Independent -Vermont) was shut down by Black Lives Matter activists at Netroots Nation on Saturday for failing to respond to protesters during a talk, he took to social media himself on Sunday to voice specific support for Black lives.

His comments came after progressives used the #BernieSoBlack hashtag to debate his civil rights legacy on Twitter after he and Gov. Martin O’Malley tried to ignore efforts by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patriss Cullors to raise awareness about state-sanctioned violence against Black people in the United States.

A self-described “democratic socialist,” Sanders has been hit hard for avoiding issues of race, instead forwarding economic inequality as the explanation for inequity. But #BlackLivesMatter is forcing the conversation, while taking a seat in the political arena.

After declining to appear at Netroots Nation, Hillary Clinton jumped into the fray, with a Facebook message that Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery posted to his Twitter account on Monday. Her statement that “racial inequality is not merely a symptom of economic inequality” appeared to be a swipe at Sanders.

 

Meanwhile, Sanders continues to rise in the opinion polls and draw crowds.

Do you think his tweet is a step in the right direction after his Netroots fail? Do you think any policy prescriptions will follow? Let us know in the comments.

PHOTO CREDITS: Getty

SEE ALSO:

Obama’s Prison Visits Sheds Light On A Reason So Many Black People Can’t Vote

Does Hillary Have A Camille Cosby Problem? Plus Pols Wear Red To #BringBackOurGirls

Voting Rights On The Chopping Block In North Carolina, Baltimore Mayor Attacked, & More

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