A new Change Research poll finds Joe Biden edging out Sen. Bernie Sanders nationally in the Democratic presidential race, 21% to 20%, with Pete Buttigieg at 17%.
Beto O’Rourke finishes a distant fourth with 9%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 8%, Kamala Harris at 7%, Stacey Abrams at 4%, and Cory Booker at 4%. All other candidates poll at 2% or less.
Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe won’t run for president in 2020, the AP reports. “McAuliffe had flirted with a Democratic presidential run for months, popping up in early voting states late last year and campaigning with candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire, but ultimately decided against mounting a bid.”
Politico: “O’Rourke’s cable absenteeism diverges with the omnipresence of other 2020 candidates, particularly South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose media saturation strategy corresponds with his recent rise in polls and surprise early fundraising successes.”
Said O’Rourke: “We have held more town halls in the month and four days that we’ve been doing this than I think any other candidate, because meeting you eyeball to eyeball, to me, is so much more satisfying than being on cable TV and in a soundbite.” He added: “At some point, I may have to give in and be on your television set, but right now I want to be with you in person.”
John Gruber points out Pete Buttigieg’s distinct individual state brandingfor his presidential campaign. “This is strong identity work. Just check out these per-state graphics, each of them hand-lettered with full credit given to the artists. This work is distinctive, attractive, and strikes me as pitch-perfect for Buttigieg’s personality and tone. It fits, which is a very hard thing to get right.”
New York Times: “Mr. Castro is in need of a breakthrough moment. Once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party — he was the first Latino to give a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention — he has been outshined in the ever-expanding field by brighter stars and nonstars alike. While he has many fans in his hometown, San Antonio, where he once served as mayor, he is not well known on the national stage. And with the sudden rise of the former El Paso congressman Beto O’Rourke, Mr. Castro is not even the most well-known candidate in his own state.”
“Still, during an interview at one of his favorite Tex-Mex restaurants, Mr. Castro seemed relatively unfazed, and maybe for good reason: At age 44, and as the only Latino candidate in the race, he would seem to satisfy the Democratic Party’s desire for youth and diversity, to say nothing of strategists who view Hispanic turnout as an important factor in winning back the White House.”
Charlie Cook: “While there will always be a place in politics for big donors, in this campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination large donors may well play less of a role than any time in modern history. The truth is, they weren’t that important in influencing the Republican nomination in 2016, either.”
“Technological growth has brought new ways for information to flow, and yet reaching voters is harder than in the old days, when TV ads alone could work. These changes mean that major donors are not sufficient, and in some cases not even necessary, to mount a competitive campaign. It’s about scale.”
“Roy Moore is poised to jump into the Alabama Senate race in a bid to earn a rematch with Sen. Doug Jones, the Democrat who handed the former judge a stunning defeat in a 2017 special election,” the Washington Examiner reports.
“Moore this past weekend told a gathering of grassroots Republicans that he would announce his 2020 plans in a matter of weeks.”
“The most vulnerable House Democrats are off to a fast start defending their seats — and their party’s fragile new majority,” Politico reports.
“Nearly three-dozen Democratic freshmen in battleground districts raised more than $300,000 for their campaigns in the first three months of 2019 — a barometer of early momentum in the seats that could determine control of the chamber in the 2020 election.”
Jonathan Capehart: “One of the main driver’s of Buttigieg’s appeal is how authentic he appears in word and manner. But something always — and understandably — happens to the dark-horse candidate who bursts into the top tier. Slowly, but surely, the higher they climb, the more their authenticity gives way to caution. Their answers become more cautious. Their manner becomes more cautious. Their events become more cautious. Their interactions with the press become more cautious until there are no more interactions at all because protecting a hard-fought lead becomes paramount.”
“Buttigieg is already a reserved personality, so it might be hard to detect any kind of shift in his demeanor. But if Buttigieg in the fall is the same Buttigieg we’re talking about today, he will have cleared that last hurdle. Then we’ll see if he can make it through tape for the nomination.”