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.
How 4 House Races In Minnesota Explain The 2018 Midterm Election
More than a week after the 2018 midterm election, the vast majority of races have been called. Final results are being certified and more data about the electorate is being released. As this information is released, several trends about the election have begun to emerge. Nowhere are those trends more apparent than in the four Minnesota House races that flipped parties. Today, AR Intel will take a dive into these four races, breaking down what happened and noting how they are a microcosm of the larger political swings happening across the country.
To read this story and others like it, sign up today for a free trial of AR Intel by clicking here.
Senate Poll Round-Up: Republicans Ahead in AZ, MO, Close in NJ, MN
Polls are rolling in at an incredibly rate this week. With officially less than two weeks to go until Election Day, pollsters are eager to get their final surveys in the field in time to report the results, and some of those are beginning to pop up in the press now.
Republicans are up in states like Arizona, Florida, Indiana, and Missouri, but some polls also show Democrats leading in a couple of those races, too. Essentially these polls show that voters can expect a late night and some close races comes November 6th.
In somewhat surprising news, Republicans trail Democrats by five- and six-point margins respectively in New Jersey and Minnesota. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) continues to be plagued by his 2017 federal corruption trial, while Democrat Tina Smith was a no-show at a Senate debate in Minnesota earlier this week.
To get access this week’s state-by-state breakdown of polls, sign up for AR Intel today!
The Top 5 Debate Moments from the Past Week
Political debates are some of the most pivotal and poignant moments during any campaign. In some cases, it’s two individuals and a moderator in a room, debating the issues. In other scenarios, there’s more than two candidates and an enthusiastic audience in the room. No matter the breakdown, there’s always excitement in the air when the individuals who have stated their visions to voters, come face to face with each other.
AR Intel tracked the five most interested debate moments from the past week and compiled them here for you to see. If you can’t view the list, sign up for a free trial of AR Intel today!
AR Intel Week Ahead: 10-15-18
With just three weeks until Election Day, debate season is in full gear in House and Senate races. Senate debates for Arizona, Missouri, Nevada, and Wisconsin are all taking place this week, along with key House races in Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, and Nebraska, among many others.
Meanwhile, President Trump is hitting the road on behalf of candidates across the country. He’s in Florida Monday, surveying damage done to the panhandle coast by Hurricane Michael, and then handing out the medal of honor on Wednesday. He’ll hold rallies in Montana and Arizona later in the week.
For further details on these updates and much more, sign up for a free 7-day trial of AR Intel!
AR Intel’s 2018 Midterm Debate Look Ahead
It’s officially debate season! House and Senate candidates across the country are taking the debate stage, looking into television camera lenses, and telling voters what exactly it is they will do in office.
Given the sheer number of closely-watched races, let alone the number of debates for each race, AR Intel compiled a list of debates in some of the most critical races this fall. Take a look below of October’s “Must See TV” debates, and let us know in the comments section if we missed one important to you!
To view the AR Intel debate look ahead, sign up for a free 7-day trial of AR Intel today!
How Democrats Spent Their Time on Day 1 of Questioning Brett Kavanaugh
Watching the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh can be an exhausting exercise for some. Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are given 30 minutes to ask questions of the nominee, but many of the Democrats are using their time to express their displeasure with the president, his administration, how the committee is being run, and what they believe is Kavanaugh’s “evasiveness” on certain topics.
These Democrats would do well to remember, of course, that now-Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, when asked to share their beliefs on a topic that could have come before the Supreme Court, opted to bypass answering hypotheticals, as well.
AR Intel did the dirty work of breaking down the first day of Kavanaugh questioning to determine how much time each Democrat senator gave to individual topics – some of which have nothing to do with his jurisprudence. To see that breakdown, sign up for a free 7-day trial of AR Intel!
America First Gives Spending Boost to Key Races in Minnesota, Michigan & More
America First Action PAC, the super PAC closely associated with President Trump and his reelection campaign, announced its first wave of campaign spending for the 2018 midterms on Tuesday.
Key races in Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania are among those receiving added financial help from America First Action PAC.
To see the full list, plus read an excerpt from an earlier post in which America First President Brian Walsh laid out the group’s 2018 priorities, sign up for a 7-day free trial by clicking here.
Primary Recap: What Happened in Connecticut, Minnesota, & Wisconsin
Tuesday night marked yet another busy primary day across the country, as voters flocked to the polls in states like Connecticut, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Leah Vukmir defeated Kevin Nicholson in an at-times contentious Republican primary for Senate in Wisconsin. For details on that race, along with the Minnesota Senate race, and house races in all three states, become an AR Intel Insider and gain full access to analysis pieces just like this one!
OFA Just Announced 27 “Priority” Districts for 2018. How Does That Stack Up to CLF?
Organizing For Action (OFA), the remnants of former President Obama’s campaign operation, announced this week that it is “prioritizing 27 districts” currently held by Republicans.
“OFA volunteer teams will organize in each district to amplify support on the ground for candidates who will actually fight for their constituents,” a statement from OFA read.
The full list of districts includes several where Donald Trump did better than Hillary Clinton. It does not include all the seats held by Republicans in districts where Clinton beat Trump, which Democrats tend to see as their best opportunities for pick-ups in November.
What exactly “prioritizing” means is unclear. What’s clearer is what’s happening on the other side of the aisle. Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), the super PAC closely associated with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), appears to be beating the Democrats at their own game.
To learn in which districts each group is operating and how they compare, become an AR Intel Insider today!