Polling and Campaign Report – 5/9/19

Harry Enten: “Perhaps surprisingly to some, much of Biden’s newfound supporters seem to have formerly backed fellow 2020 contender Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, even though Biden backers are more likely to be more moderate, nonwhite and older than Sanders.’ Obviously, some of this trend towards Biden and away from Sanders is because Biden is now receiving much of the news attention Sanders had been getting.”

“But something else is at play: Biden does well among whites without a college degree who, as a group, backed Sanders in 2016. This could help Biden given that other Democrats haven’t been able to break through among white Democrats without a college degree in the primary.”

Daily Beast: “When former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz first declared that he was entertaining the idea of running for president, he was ubiquitous on the political scene, sitting for interviews with major outlets, appearing at buzzy conferences, and making various stops for a book tour across the country in which he’d persistently tease his White House ambitions.”

“But in the past two weeks, Schultz has largely disappeared, leaving the impression that the presidential campaign he was flirting with won’t actually come to fruition.”

A new JMC Analytics survey in Louisiana finds Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is leading his Republican gubernatorial challengers by several points in a new poll, but is still well short of the 50% needed to win re-election.

Edwards leads with 38%, followed by Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-LA) at 23% and Eddie Rispone at 7%. Another 32% are still undecided. Edwards is also leading Abraham and Rispone in runoff scenarios, which pollster John Couvillon deems likely.

ABC News: “In 2016, with 100 days until Election Day, the Trump campaign’s ground game in Florida was virtually nonexistent: Zero offices were up and running in the key swing state and little to no strategy was in place to maximize voter turnout. Nevertheless, thanks in part to major last-minute shifts in approach, the president flipped the state red, for the first time since George W. Bush won it in 2004, with just 1.2% more votes than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.”

“This time, the reelection team is getting a head start to ensure Florida, the president’s second home, isn’t such a nail biter. The campaign has key staff already in place nearly a year and half before voters head to the polls in 2020 and thousands of volunteers ready to hit the pavement for the president.”

President Trump’s campaign won’t respond “to numerous inquiries about whether it has implemented a policy about foreign interference — including the use of information stolen or hacked by a foreign power and whether aides must formally report outreach from foreigners,” Politico reports.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) “structures her stump speech around two themes — truth and justice — meant to evoke her career as a barrier-breaking prosecutor and cultivate a reputation as a fearless public advocate,” the New York Times reports.

“But when Ms. Harris swept into Detroit to address an NAACP banquet on Sunday night, she added something new… she replaced her usual recitation of Democratic policies with an attack on President Trump, accusing him of enabling bigotry and divisiveness.”

“With that, Ms. Harris was nodding to a political truth: She is attempting to reset her campaign after stagnating in Democratic primary polls, using her strengths as a prosecutor — which were on display during a recent face-off with Attorney General William Barr — to mount a sharp indictment of Mr. Trump.”

Amy Walter: “While political pros and cable TV talkers are debating the ‘electability’ game, they are mostly making it more than it really is. The debate over ‘electability’ at this stage of the game is still based on what happened in the last one. A lot of Democrats look at Biden and think he would’ve won in 2016 and as such see him as the safest choice for 2020. If however, Biden starts to look like a risky bet (he stumbles in a debate, bumbles on the trail, etc) the rationale on which is campaign is based collapses.”

“The winner of the 2020 primary will be the candidate who can prove he/she is best suited for the unique challenges of the upcoming campaign, not the one who is still fighting over what they should do the same/differently from 2016.”

A new Pew Research survey finds that 47% of white Republicans say it would bother them “some” or “a lot” to “hear people speak a language other than English in a public place.” Just 18% of white Democrats said they would be similarly bothered.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) broke the “home state rule” and endorsed Joe Biden over fellow Californian, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), the Washington Examiner reports.

Said Feinstein: “I’ve known Joe Biden for 20 years. When he was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he made me the first woman. We have a longstanding relationship that dates way back. I love Kamala, I appreciate her, but she has known about this for some time. But that’s what I’m going to do. I feel very loyal to him.”

NBC News: “Climate change has recently shot to the top of polls of issues that Democratic voters care about in the presidential primary, rivaling for the first time longstanding bread-and-butter topics like health care — and a leading environmental group has plans to keep it that way.”

“That’s a big shift from the last presidential election in 2016, when climate change did not get a single question during the debates between Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump, and just 15 percent of Democratic primary voters named it as their top priority.”

Playbook: “Joe Biden was the subject of lots of criticism — including plenty in these pages — for taking his sweet time to get into the presidential race. We said the field was taking shape without him, and we couldn’t understand just what he was doing.”

“But now, it appears that Biden wasn’t as misguided as we thought. The buzz around Beto, Buttigieg and Harris has subsided a bit. The former VP is raising money at a clip many hadn’t expected. He has assembled a top-tier staff, and put together an impressive list of endorsements in early states like South Carolina, while other candidates are still trying to make inroads.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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