2020 Dems: Two Formally Launch, a New Frontrunner, & Hollywood’s Favorite
First quarter fundraising numbers continue to roll in (check out a comprehensive list here), two Democrats held formal campaign “launch” events this weekend, and there’s a new frontrunner nationally (according to one poll, at least). For all these stories and updates on nearly every Democrat in the race, check out AR Intel’s weekly 2020 Movers & Shakers below:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Do we have a new leader? According to the latest Emerson Poll of national Democrats, we do, and Sanders is atop the leaderboard by about a five-point margin. According to the survey, Sanders leads all Democrats with 29-percent support, followed by Joe Biden at 24 percent, and Pete Buttigieg at 9 percent. This is the first poll to show Sanders in the lead on RealClearPolitics’ list of primary polls dating back to October 2018. A previous Emerson poll from March did, however, show Biden and Sanders tied.
Meanwhile, news that Sanders’ best-selling book has made him a millionaire has led some critics to question whether he’ll continue to rail against “the millionaires and billionaires” that he so often lambasted on the campaign trail in 2016. Sanders wrapped up a four-day, five-state tour in Pittsburgh on a Sunday at a rally with about 4,500 supporters. He promised to win the traditionally blue states Hillary Clinton lost Trump in ’16: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden
Far-left liberal Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez landed a blow against Biden on Sunday when she told Yahoo News that the prospect of a Biden campaign did not “animate” her. Her rationale? It would be a nostalgia-filled candidacy, reliant on fond memories of the Obama administration, and she would prefer to focus on the future. Will other Democrats feel the same way?
The former veep headed to South Carolina on Monday to eulogize a former Senate colleague, Fritz Hollings. Biden eulogized Ted Kennedy and more recently John McCain, but it’s his eulogies for one-time segregationists like Strom Thurmond and Hollings that is causing some Democrats to become uncomfortable. At “a time when Democrats are placing greater emphasis on gender and racial diversity,” the Associated Press notes, it’s acts like this by Biden that certain liberals find troubling.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Buttigieg made a formal entrance into the 2020 presidential primary on Sunday with a rally in his hometown of South Bend. About 6,000 attended the event that focused on the economy, climate change, and the government’s role in protecting freedom. Notably, Buttigieg did not mention Vice President Mike Pence, who formally served as the governor of Indiana. The media has fanned the flames of a feud between the two after Buttigieg criticized Pence’s LGBT record.
Buttigieg has seen a steady increase in his polling since March. The Emerson poll cited above showed the mayor with 9 percent support nationally and an average of 7 percent in Iowa.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Like Buttigieg, Booker held a formal rally on Saturday in Newark, where he used to be mayor, for his presidential campaign. Here’s how the Daily Beast’s Gideon Resnick described Booker’s campaign so far: “His position in the polls is solidly middle of the pack. His fundraising is fine but not impressive. He hasn’t had a singular breakout viral moment despite his early use of and comfort with social media.” But, according to Resnick, his campaign is not worried about playing the long game. “We’re not building this campaign to win a poll in April of 2019,” his campaign manager said. “We’re trying to win a primary in February of 2020.”
Booker also unveiled a plan on Monday that he says will cut taxes for more than 150 million Americans. Dubbed the “Rise Credit,” Booker’s proposal would expand on the existing Earned Income Tax Credit designed to help lower-income workers. Read the details of that plan here.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Warren unveiled yet another policy proposal this week, adding to well-informed Democratic voters’ homework load. Her latest focuses on protecting public lands from fossil fuel leasing. Yet despite all of these proposals, Warren continues to tread water in the campaign. She routinely earns high single-digit polling results, and her fundraising haul of $6 million. The problem for Warren, according at least on CNN analyst? Democrats aren’t interested in policy proposals this go-around.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Harris released 15 years of tax returns on Monday, showing she made $1.89 million in 2018 and putting her squarely in the so-called “one percent.” The Mercury News reported: “Since the couple married in 2014, they’ve paid about $2.2 million in federal taxes, with an effective rate of 32.57 over the last five years. They reported giving more than $27,000 to charity in 2018 to organizations like Howard University, Harris’ alma mater, and the Children’s Defense Fund.”
Harris earned another dubious distinction: Hollywood’s favorite candidate. According to the Los Angeles Times, Harris has raked in more than $1.7 million from the entertainment industry over the past decade. “Jane Fonda, Leonardo DiCaprio, Barbra Streisand, Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Ben Affleck, Kerry Washington, Charlize Theron and a long roster of studio executives gave money to Harris in the years before she launched her campaign for president.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Klobuchar also released her tax returns this week (12 years of them, dating back to 2006). Unlike Harris’s seven-figure income, Klobuchar had a total income of about $338,000 in 2018.
Klobuchar is also planning another swing through Florida this week, stopping in Miami on Tuesday for a health care roundtable and Tallahassee to meet with Democrat state leaders in the Florida legislature. Perhaps recognizing Florida’s importance to securing the nomination, this is Klobuchar’s second trip to the Sunshine State. She met with climate activists in Tampa in March.
Bits & Pieces
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) reported raising just $3 million in Q1 of 2019. That puts her in dead last among her Senate presidential colleagues. She also earned the weakest CNN town hall ratings of any 2020 contender.
Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro (D-TX) reported raising $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2019.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) told CNN’s Jake Tapper that his support for an assault weapons ban would not impact owners of pistols, rifles, and shotguns.
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) delivered an inclusive message during his latest swing through Iowa. “I’m running for president because I think we are in a national crisis of division,” he said.
Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) got his own CNN town hall last week, focusing primarily on climate change, health care, and Donald Trump.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) criticized the Justice Department’s indictment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last week, calling it a “dangerous and slippery slope.”
The Political Edge: 2020 Fundraising Battles Begin
With 14 Democrats (currently) running for president, candidates are scrambling to hire staff, scale their operations, and carve out a path to the nomination. Integral to all of this is fundraising – without financial resources, candidates will find it challenging to get their message out. As more and more Democrats are taking pledges to reject corporate PAC money, the focus is turning to small-dollar fundraising as a way to raise cash.
Creating a network of grassroots support has several strategic purposes. First, in order for a Democrat to qualify for the primary debates, he or she must either earn at least 1 percent support in a series of public polls of Democratic voters or attract 65,000 individual donors from 20 different states. More importantly, however, the volume of small donations is often a measure of enthusiasm about a particular candidate.
This week, The Political Edge takes a look at how small-dollar fundraising has become an integral part of political campaigns and dives into some recent fundraising developments in the presidential race.
Small-Dollar Fundraising Comparisons
A recent article from Roll Call’s Kate Ackley argued that small-dollar donors could hold the balance in the 2020 election. Research shows that small contributions surged in the 2018 elections for competitive House and Senate races, with more than $200 million going to those races in small increments. Looking at data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Ackley found several pieces of information about how campaigns are adapting to the small-dollar trend.
In 2016, about 25% of President Donald Trump’s political money came from donors giving less than $200. His reelection campaign, however, has raised far more from small dollar donors. According to FEC reports, he has raised $18.7 million (67.5%) from small contributors compared to about $9 million raised from individual donations of $200 or more.
For comparison, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez brought in about 60 percent of her 2018 campaign’s $2.1 million in little installments. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) collected almost half of his $79 million Senate haul in 2018 from small donations.
Last cycle, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) were the top two Senate recipients of small-dollar donations as a percentage of their overall donations. Sanders raised 75% in small contributions, while Warren brought in more than 55% from small donations.
2020 Presidential Hauls
On Monday, Beto O’Rourke announced that he had raised a whopping $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of his campaign. AR Intel broke down how O’Rourke’s numbers stacked up against the rest of the Democratic field.
Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) raised $6.1M in online donations during his campaign’s first 24 hours. According to the candidate, he had “more than 128,000 unique contributions” and an average donation size of $47.
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) raised $5.9 million in the first 24 hours after his presidential announcement with an average donation of less than $27.
Kamala Harris (D-CA) raised $1.5M in her first 24 hours.
John Hickenlooper (D-CO) raised more than $1M in less than 48 hours.
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) raised more than $1M in the 48 hours after launching her campaign.
Jay Inslee (D-WA) raised $1M in his campaign’s first three days.
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) did not formally announce how much she raised. However, according to fundraising figures reported by ActBlue, she pulled in at least $300,000 from 8,000 donors on her first day.
Comparing Beto’s Numbers
To put O’Rourke’s $6.1M 24-hour haul into perspective, Roll Call’s Nathan Gonzalez looked back at some competitive races from the last 20 years to see how they stack up.
“In 2000, Democratic Gov. Thomas R. Carper and Republican Sen. William V. Roth Jr. combined to spend $7 million for the entire cycle in a highly competitive Senate race in Delaware that saw the five-term incumbent defeated.”
“Former Democratic Gov. Tony Knowles ($5.8 million) and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski ($5.4 million) each spent on their entire Senate campaigns in Alaska in 2004.”
“O’Rourke’s hall is also greater than what GOP Sen. Susan Collins ($4 million) and Democrat Chellie Pingree ($3.7 million) spent in their 2002 matchup in Maine. That same cycle, Republican Sen. Gordon H. Smith needed $5.5 million to get re-elected in Oregon.”
Gonzalez “could only find two House races in which both nominees combined to spend more that cycle than O’Rourke raised in 24 hours: Texas’ 32nd District (where Democratic Rep. Martin Frost and GOP Rep. Pete Sessions combined to spend $9.2 million in a redrawn district) and Pennsylvania’s 13th District (where Democrat Allyson Y. Schwartz and Republican Melissa Brown combined to spend $6.5 million).”
The Week Ahead for Mar. 18, 2019
The House and Senate are in recess this week. President Trump will welcome the Brazilian president to the White House later in the week. And 2020 Democrats are barnstorming the early voting states.
For these and much more exciting events coming up, check out AR Intel’s Week Ahead below:
Monday, March 18
Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) will speak on legislative priorities at the New England Council at The Grand at Bedford Village Inn in Bedford, NH
DNC Chair Tom Perez will speak at The Joukowski Forum at Brown University in Providence, RI
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-NJ) will speak at an event against seismic testing for offshore oil at the Cape May Convention Center in Cape May, NJ
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO) will stump for H.R. 1 and H.R.4 at the Ferguson Community Empowerment Center in Ferguson, MO
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) will attend a meet and greet at the Three Cats Cafe in Clawson, MI and will appear on an MSNBC Town Hall at Rochester Mills Production Brewery and Taproom in Auburn Hills, MI
Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) will host a town hall meeting at the St. Phillips Baptist Church in Staten Island, NY
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) will speak at a town hall meeting at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, VA
Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) will attend a campaign fundraiser at a private residence in Hastings, MN
Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) will attend a book tour stop at The Strand’s Rare Book Room in New York, NY
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will attend a town hall at Rose E. McCoy Auditorium at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS
Tuesday, March 19
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) will attend a coffee at Hawley Silk Mill in Hawley, PA
Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) will attend a Canada-Montana conference addressing the opioid crisis at Carroll College in Helena, MT
Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY) will attend an interactive Federal Budget workshop at the Professional Academic Center at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, NY
Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) will attend a meet & greet at Feldman’s Deli in Salt Lake City, UT
Warren will attend an organizing event at The Boutwell Auditorium in Birmingham, AL
Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) will hold a town hall at the Bass Room in Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, ME
Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) will attend a benefit for the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) will attend a fundraiser in Coral Gables, FL
Stacey Abrams will attend a moderated discussion at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN
Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA) will attend a problem-solving workshop on taxes at Modesto City Hall, in Modesto, CA
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will appear on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live
Wednesday, March 20
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will appear on The Ellen Show
Doug Jones & Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) will appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Harris will attend a fundraiser hosted by J.J. Abrams and Katie McGrath in Los Angeles, CA
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) will speak at the Louisiana Labor Summit at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, LA
Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) will attend a “Java with Joe” event in Fort Collins, CO
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will attend a union rally at a TBA location in California
McAdams will attend a town hall meeting at Mount Pleasant City Hall in Mount Pleasant, UT
Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV) will host a town hall at Silverado High School in Las Vegas, NV
Harder will attend Latino community town hall at the Salvation Army Modesto Red Shield Center in Modesto, CA
Fmr. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) will attend a CNN Town Hall in Atlanta, GA
Thursday, March 21
Ocasio-Cortez will appear on Late Night With Seth Meyers
Gov. John Bel Edwards will speak at the Louisiana Labor Summit at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, LA
Richmond may attend a fundraiser at Ohm Lounge in New Orleans, LA
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) will hold a town hall at Oakland University’s Oakland Center in Rochester, MI
Jones will attend a book tour event at BOOKS-A-MILLION in Huntsville, AL
Friday, March 22
Bullock will attend a meeting with NH Dem activists followed by a fundraiser with Dan Feltes at a TBA Location in NH; and he will attend the Snowflake Reception with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen at the Pappas Room Puritan Backroom in Manchester, NH
Mark Kelly (D-AZ) will attend the Tentable Edge Conference at TBA in Atlanta, GA
Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA) will attend a fundraiser in Des Moines, IA
Jones will attend a book tour event at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, GA
Saturday, March 23
Rep. TJ Cox (D-CA) will hold a town hall meeting at Hanford West High School in Hanford, CA
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) will attend “VOICES” Women’s History Month event at Maloof Auditorium in Decatur, GA
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) will host a town hall at the Roy W. Smith Theater at Union County College in Cranford, NJ
Rose will host a town hall at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, NY
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) will attend a town hall meeting at Cazenovia High School in Cazenovia, NY
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX) will speak at a town hall at a location TBA in Houston, TX
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) will attend the CAIR Annual Valley Banquet at Hilton Woodland Hills in Woodland Hills, CA
Hickenlooper will speak at “Conversations with Gov. Hickenlooper” at Flynn Center Main Stage in Burlington, VT
Fmr. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) will hold a town hall at the International Longshoreman’s Association in Charleston, SC
Harris will attend a rally at a location TBD in Houston, TX
Sunday, March 24
Harris will attend a campaign rally at a location TBA in Atlanta, GA
Booker will attend a fundraiser at the home of a personal home in South Orange, NJ
Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS) will attend a town hall at Saint Andrew Christian Church in Olathe, KS
Abrams will attend a book tour event at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, CA
The Political Edge: The Democrats’ Tax Plan Farce
In the first few months of the year, Democrats across the country began offering new tax proposals. These proposals, they say, will be used to pay for a litany of new liberal initiatives like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, or universal childcare. This week, presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) came out as a cosponsor of a new bill that would levy a 0.1 percent tax on sales of stocks, bonds and derivatives. In an interview with Vox, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), the bill’s primary sponsor, argued, “The government has a revenue problem,” and his bill would be “among the most popular ideas to generate significant revenue.”
If Democrats want to enact Medicare for All, which is estimated to cost $32 trillion over 10 years, or the Green New Deal, which could cost $93 trillion over 10 years, generating “significant revenue” will be an absolute necessity. The problem for Democrats, however, is that none of their tax plans will come close to generating enough money to pay for their policies. Take a look at the revenue estimations below:
Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) financial transaction tax is estimated to raise $777 billion over ten years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) proposed wealth tax could raise $2.75 trillion over ten years, according to her campaign.
Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) federal estate tax would raise $315 billion over ten years, according to his campaign.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) proposed 70-percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million could generate $700 billion over 10 years, a Politico analysis shows.
Ignoring the economic repercussions that would surely follow, even if every one of these tax plans were enacted, it would only raise $4.54 trillion over ten years – not even 15% of the total cost to implement Medicare for All. Democrats argue that implementing a single-payer health care system will cut down on overall costs to the tune of $2 trillion over ten years. Even so, that still leaves taxpayers on the hook for over $25 trillion.
Democrats like to talk about raising taxes on the rich because it polls well. Medicare for All has also gained in popularity – that is until people are told it would raise their taxes. To make up for the $25 trillion revenue deficit, Democrats advocating for Medicare for All have a choice: they can either drastically cut federal spending, or they will need to raise taxes for all Americans. Either way, they should consider ending the farce that somehow taxing the wealthy will pay for their pipedream policies.
The Week Ahead for Mar. 4, 2019
A pair of governors jumped into the 2020 presidential race, but can they find traction with so many other, better known candidates in the mix? The Senate is positioned to reject President Trump’s national emergency at the border. They will also vote on four nominees this week. The House has a busy week as they will vote on H.R. 1, the Democrats’ good government bill. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary committee is continuing its investigation into Trump, and on Wednesday they will go behind closed doors to listen to Michael Cohen testify. The president will welcome 2018 FCS Division I Football National Champions, the North Dakota Bison, to the White House. Trump also has lunch with Mike Pence and addresses the National Association of Attorneys General. On Wednesday, he will attend the first meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting.
Monday, March 4
Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) hosts House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy for a discussion with YWLA Principal Tamara Albury on the school’s success in ‘inspiring and nurturing young, diverse, female leaders within the community’
Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK) will speak at CAIR Muslim Day at the Capitol at Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City
Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ) will speak in opposition to the rollback of America’s clean care standards at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix, AZ
Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) tours Muscatine Water and Power in Muscatine, IA; he will also visit the Iowa Workforce Development Region 16, in Burlington, IA; and he will host an ‘Investing in Rural Iowa’ event with local farmers and rural community leaders at Central Lee High School in Donnellson, IA
Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV) celebrates Nevada Reading Week by reading to Las Vegas students
Tuesday, March 5
Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) will attend a meeting with local Democratic leaders, a campaign event for a state senate special election and a meet and greet at Parlor City Pub in Cedar Rapids, IA
Stacey Abrams will speak at an event at The Oxford Union, in Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will speak at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC
Wednesday, March 6
The Middle Eastern Women’s Coalition will hold a rally to call on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to resign at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) will speak on the challenges & opportunities that women face in politics at the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, DC
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) will attend the NALEO gala at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC
Thursday, March 7
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) will attend his 2020 campaign announcement celebration at Civic Center Park in Denver, CO
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will attend a fundraiser in Morristown, NJ
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will hold a campaign rally at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, IA
Friday, March 8
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will attend the Economic Club of Washington Luncheon at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC
Spanberger will speak at The Metropolitan Business League Awards Dinner and Reception in Richmond, VA
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will host an organizing event at The Arc (Kaufman Arts District) in Long Island City, NY
Saturday, March 9
Doug Jones will attend a conversation, Q&A and signing at The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society in New York, NY
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) will host a housing resource fair at Wheat Ridge Rec Center in Wheat Ridge, CO
Klobuchar will speak at SXSW: Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, TX
Warren will speak at SXSW: Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater in Austin, TX
The Colorado Democratic Party will host the Obama Dinner at the Sheraton Denver Downtown in Denver, CO
Bullock and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) will attend the 41st Mansfield Metcalf Dinner at Lewis & Clark County Fairgrounds in Helena, MT
Hickenlooper will attend a meet and greet in Linn County, IA
Sunday, March 10
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) will speak at Skullduggery Live in Austin, TX
Warren will attend an organizing event at The Granada Theater in Dallas, TX
Castro Gets Almost Official, Klobuchar on the Rise, & Warren Slips Further
As 2018 winds to a close, there’s no shortage of news coming from Democrats who want to run for president. Polls, particularly those among liberal special interest groups, are giving early indications about the direction Democrats may choose to go. And some candidates are already forming exploratory committees and planning official announcements in the coming days and weeks.
For the latest updates on what 2020 Democrats are up to, check out the rundown below:
Julian Castro (D-TX)
The former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary under President Obama announced this week he’s forming an exploratory committee for a White House campaign. Castro told the Associated Press that he plans to make a formal decision by January 12.
To be clear, Castro will face enormous hurdles if he becomes a candidate. He’s the former mayor of San Antonio, but he’s never run statewide in Texas (or anywhere else). In 2016, he appeared to audition for the VP spot for Hillary Clinton but fell short. To make matters worse, the 44-year-old Castro has spent the past year watching fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke capture the hearts and imaginations of liberals across the country. In all likelihood, Castro is announcing early to try to get ahead of “Betomania,” should O’Rourke decide his time to run is now.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
After weeks of speculation, Warren saw her stock plummet when Democracy for America (DFA) released a poll of its members showing her coming in 4th place among 2020 Democrats. She trailed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Vice President Joe Biden, and O’Rourke in the poll that showed her in first place in 2016. The results reinforce the Boston Globe editorial that argued Warren missed her chance to run last time and the notion that a recent string of bad headlines have become setbacks to her campaign. DFA Executive Director Charles Chamberlain said the poll results indicate that Warren’s team has “some work to do” to win back disenchanted liberals.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
The midwestern Democrat earned double-digit support in Iowa, according to a Focus on Rural America poll released this week. At 10 percent, Klobuchar led Warren at 9 percent, and fellow Senate colleagues Kamala Harris (D-CA) at 7 percent, Cory Booker (D-NJ) at 6 percent, and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) at 3 percent.
That should give Klobuchar reason to be cautiously optimistic, but it is important to note that Iowa is losing some of its influence in the 2020 cycle thanks to states like Texas and California moving their primary dates up to early March. With early voting, voters will be picking candidates in California and at the Iowa caucuses on the same day.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Gabbard’s trial balloon from a couple weeks ago has turned into a full-fledged effort, according to BuzzFeed News. “Her team is actively seeking to staff senior roles on a potential presidential campaign, according to a person briefed on the outreach, and has indicated that an announcement could come as soon as this week,” BuzzFeed’s Alexis Levinson wrote Monday.
Gabbard is a full-fledged liberal who has not shied away from bucking her party. She criticized President Obama, campaigned hard for Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary, and has an unusual (at best) relationship with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, who has killed thousands of his own people with toxic gas. She is also a veteran who served in a field medical unit of the Hawaii Army National Guard, with tours of duty in Iraq and Kuwait.
At only 37 years-old, Gabbard’s campaign would no doubt be “unconventional,” as Levinson notes. Keep an eye on an announcement in the coming days or weeks.
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
Betomentum continues as the Texas Democrat topped a MoveOn.org poll of its members last week. In an early straw poll of the liberal group’s membership, O’Rourke narrowly defeated Biden, 15.6 percent to 14.9 percent. Sanders earned 13.1 percent in the poll. In 2016, 78 percent of MoveOn members chose Sanders over Clinton in a similar poll.
Democrats supportive of O’Rourke launched a “Draft Beto” campaign Tuesday, according to Politico. The group’s goal, for now, is simple: raise $1 million for his future political campaign. But O’Rourke was the best fundraising Senate candidate in 2018, so the move is likely more about keeping the Texas congressman’s name in the news than it is about money.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Booker became the second likely 2020 Democrat to back the so-called “Green New Deal” last week. It’s the brainchild of liberal groups the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats, and the Huffington Post describes it as “the radical plan to zero out greenhouse gas emissions in a decade and reduce poverty with federally backed clean-energy jobs.” Sanders has already endorsed the plan, which was a regular part of Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s stump speech on the campaign trail.
Further adding to Booker’s liberal bona fides, Vox.com founder Ezra Klein defended the New Jersey Democrat against criticisms of moderation, saying “his policies are extremely liberal and his message is spiritually radical.” That may be a good thing for Booker right now, but it won’t if he makes it out of the primary.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Women of color are very strong supporters of Harris’s potential 2020 bid. According to BuzzFeed News, a recent poll conducted by She The People found that Harris was among the top three choices of a whopping 71.1 percent of the group’s respondents. The next best candidate in the survey, O’Rourke, was in the top three among just 38.3 percent.
The survey was conducted among just 264 women across the country, but it should serve as a wake-up call to all 2020 Democrats that Harris will be a force to be reckoned with among this constituency, should she decide to run.
In other Harris news, her office announced that she just returned from Afghanistan in a likely attempt to increase her national security profile.
Politico: Is This The Next Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?
A few weeks before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her New York congressional primary, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley spoke to roomful of young Democrats at the Bell-in-Hand, a Boston tavern that dates back to 1795. She was explaining why she should unseat a congressman who, she suggested, might as well have been in office for that long.
It wasn’t that her opponent in Massachusetts’ 7th District, 10-term Rep. Michael Capuano, had a voting record that was objectionable, or had neglected the district for a national profile—the standard complaints you hear in a primary challenge. Instead, it was a question of approach, of personal history translated to legislative priorities, of the value in filling Massachusetts’ only majority-minority district—currently served by a 66-year-old white man—with a 44-year-old black woman who has experienced the struggles of the inner city. Pressley talked, with a lyrical lilt, about growing up in Chicago with a single mother; her father’s incarceration; her survival of sexual assault. She said she’d draw renewed attention to the economic and social disparities within the district, the way income and life expectancy vary precinct by precinct.
“Voting the right way is one thing,” Pressley told the group. “But I want to lead, and I want to legislate our values.”
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GOP Wins in Ohio, Socialists Lose Across the Map in August 7 Primaries
The results of Tuesday’s special and primary elections produced interesting results for commentators to break down. Democrats failed in a bid to take a heavily-Republican district in Ohio, when Republican candidate Troy Balderson defeated Democrat Danny O’Connor in the OH-12 special election.
For more on these races, sign up for a 7-day free trial of AR Intel today!
VIDEO: Ocasio-Cortez Continues Her Rage Against the Democratic Machine Tour
Socialist candidate for Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is traveling the country and spreading her message to audiences in Kansas, Delaware, Florida, and Michigan. In some cases, Ocasio-Cortez is doing interviews on behalf of candidates, but in others, she’s actually showing up.
The one thing that ties all of her endorsements together is she’s backing the most out-of-touch liberal candidate in every race. Many times that means backing a candidate who is challenging an incumbent Democrat. And that’s not sitting well with many Democrats.
At an event in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Ocasio-Cortez ripped into a nameless, faceless Democratic establishment right from the start of her prepared remarks. To watch video of her speech, become an AR Intel Insider today and sign up for a 7-day free trial!