Coming off a trip the Iowa State Fair, 2020 Democrats are continuing to work in early primary states to build their coalitions. While former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead in national polls, recent gaffes are causing supporters to rethink his campaign strategies. Sen. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, is pushing back against claims that his 2020 bid has peaked, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren is surging in the polls but concerns remain about her general election viability.
Catch up on the major 2020 developments with this week’s 2020 overview.
Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden
The gaffes continue to pile up for the former vice president, which has caused donors and advisors to consider dialing back Biden’s public appearances. A little over a week ago, Biden was in Des Moines and said “poor kids” are just as smart as “white kids.” Shortly after, Biden slipped up again and inaccurately said he was vice president during a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The gaffes are piling up and supporters are taking notice, with one candidly pointing out that “he keeps saying stupid stuff.”
In response, allies to Biden have been reportedly floating the idea of altering the former vice president’s schedule in an effort to reduce the gaffes he has made in recent days. The allies, growing increasingly nervous about Biden’s verbal flubs, have said it’s an approach that’s been suggested to campaign officials on the heels of the former vice president’s stumbles.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Warren has seen her position in national polls surge over the last several weeks. A Fox News poll released last Thursday showed her in second place behind Biden and with a 10-point lead over her next closest opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In the last week, Warren has also released several new policy proposals, including one focused on legal reform, helping Native Americans, as well as new proposals to address gun violence. Warren has gained support from liberals across the country for the numerous proposals she and her campaign have rolled out, but concerns remain about Warren’s ability to defeat President Trump.
Sen. Bernie Sanders
In 2016, Sanders was somewhat of a folk-hero: a truth-to-power progressive who was able to reinvigorate the left’s liberal base. Despite what the Vermont Senator was able to accomplish in 2016, the media has begun to question how effective he will be in 2020. Sanders has been unable to overtake Biden in the polls, and his own numbers seem to have stalled while other candidates have seen their stocks rise.
Sanders’ team has been aggressively pushing back against the narrative that he’s lost “the liberal magic.” In a bizarre exchange last week, Sanders singled out The Washington Post as a part of the “corporate media” working to take him down. “If you look at The Washington Post, which is owned by the wealthiest guy in this country, a guy named Jeff Bezos, we fought with the workers at Amazon to get them 15 bucks an hour,” Sanders said. “We have pointed out over and over again that Amazon made 10 billion dollars in profit last year, you know how much they paid in taxes? You got it, zero! Any wonder why the Washington Post is not one of my great supporters?”
Sen. Kamala Harris
Throughout the 2020 primary, Harris has had trouble articulating her position on health care. She initially supported “Medicare for All” before walking it back, adding additional caveats to her position. This week, Harris continued to muddy the waters when she told donors she was uncomfortable with the “Medicare for all” plan introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, despite the fact that she co-sponsored the bill earlier this year.