A new Firehouse Strategies poll finds Joe Biden has boosted his early lead in the first three states to vote in the Democratic race for president.
Biden’s best state is South Carolina, where he has 48% support (36% in February), followed by Iowa with 35% (25% in February), and New Hampshire at 34% (22% in February). This represents a double-digit boost in all three states over the past three months.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders in second in all three states, in the low double-digits. Pete Buttigieg, who was not included in the February survey, finished third in all three states with support ranging from 5% in South Carolina to 11% in Iowa. Elizabeth Warren comes in fourth and has not changed in her levels of support since February.
Kamala Harris, on the other hand, had a steep drop since February, and now comes in fifth place. Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, and Cory Booker failed to break 5% in any of the three states.
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that “53% of Americans support a move to a popular vote, while 43% believe the country should continue to elect its presidents using the Electoral College.”
“But an overwhelming 78% of those who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 believe the country should adopt a national popular vote… And an equally overwhelming 74% of those who voted for Donald Trump say the existing system should stay in place.”
Amber Phillips: “Recent polling suggests Democratic primary voters, skittish about what happened to Clinton in 2016, are skeptical a woman can beat President Trump in 2020. It fits neatly into research that demonstrates female politicians are held by voters to a much higher standard than men, forcing women to work harder to prove everything from their policy chops to likability.”
“But gender bias is entrenched. A recent study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that 13 percent of Americans still think men are more emotionally suited for politics than women. That’s way less than in decades past, but throw this stat on the pile of evidence that shows when it comes to gaining voters’ trust, women have more to overcome than men. Executive offices — as opposed to more collaborative legislative offices — in particular are difficult for women. That’s one reason the presidency has been, to date, unobtainable for women.”
First Read: “In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 75% of Republican registered voters say they have high interest in the 2020 presidential election – registering a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale – versus 73 percent of Democratic voters who say the same thing.”
“That’s quite a change from the 2018 cycle, when Democrats held a double-digit lead on this question until the last two months before the election, when the GOP closed the gap but still trailed the Dems in enthusiasm.”
“Overall enthusiasm for 2020 is sky-high, with 69% of all voters expressing a high level of interest in the upcoming election. That’s just 3 points shy of the 72 percent who said the same thing in October 2016. And we are still more than 500 days away from the 2020 general election. So, yeah, turnout in 2020 is going to be through the roof.”
“The Massachusetts Republican Party is aiming to protect President Trump from primary challengers such as former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld by approving a new winner-takes-all delegate plan,” Politico reports.
“A political organization run by David Bossie, President Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, has raised millions of dollars by saying it’s supporting Trump-aligned conservative candidates — but has spent only a tiny fraction of that money supporting candidates,” Axios reports.
“Instead, federal records suggest the Presidential Coalition has spent nearly all its money — raised mostly from small-dollar donations — on more fundraising, as well as administrative costs, which include Bossie’s salary, according to a new report produced by the Campaign Legal Center.”
More from Axios: “About two-thirds of the contributions… came from donors giving less than $200 in a single year. And of the donors identified in its tax forms, most said they were retired.”
Beto O’Rourke told the Dallas Morning News that he now supports impeaching President Trump.
Said O’Rourke: “We’re finally learning the truth about this president. And yes, there has to be consequences. Yes, there has to be accountability. Yes, I think there’s enough evidence now for the House of Representatives to move forward with impeachment. This is our country, and this is the one chance that we get to ensure that it remains a democracy and that no man, regardless of his position, is above the law.”
Politico: “The unconventional, often gimmicky fundraising arms race is part of a desperate scramble to make it past a new threshold set by the DNC, 65,000 individual donors… The requirement has reshaped the strategy of candidates struggling to cross the donor mark, changing spending priorities and altering the path of their campaigns.”
“Such is the importance of the debates that some presidential campaigns have decided to prioritize Facebook advertising over hiring staffers in early states, several campaign aides said. Others noted that the rules prioritize chasing viral moments early in the campaign over building traditional vote-getting infrastructure in Iowa and New Hampshire. But defenders of the new rules say that they have just forced campaigns to prove they can compete in the 21st century before the election year.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) has drawn a Republican challenger in 2020, the Raleigh News & Observer reports.
“Garland Tucker III, the retired chairman and CEO of Triangle Capital Corporation and an author, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Committee to run in the Republican primary on Monday. Tucker wrote Conservative Heroes: Fourteen Leaders Who Changed America — Jefferson to Reagan and has served on the board of the John Locke Foundation and the Raleigh-based Civitas Institute.”
A new Monmouth poll finds 57% of Americans say that socialism is not compatible with American values, while just 29% say it is compatible.
Key finding: 42% have a negative opinion of socialism in general, with another 45% having a neutral opinion and just 10% holding a positive view of socialism.
Meanwhile, 39% of Americans have a positive opinion of capitalism in general, while 40% have a neutral opinion and another 17% hold a negative view of capitalism.