“The governor of Montana, a Massachusetts congressman and the mayor of a midsize Florida city failed to qualify for the first presidential primary debates of the 2020 cycle, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday,” the Washington Post reports.
“Twenty other candidates will take the stage June 26 and June 27 in Miami for a sprawling set of debates spread over two nights, formally kicking off a nomination process 222 days before the first caucus is scheduled in Iowa.”
The first night, Wednesday June 26, will feature Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), former HUD director Julian Castro, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), former Rep. Beto O’Rouke (D-TX), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
The day after, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-NY), tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and self-help author Marianne Williamson will take the stage.
Aaron Blake: “The biggest takeaway is obviously that the two leading candidates in most polls — Biden and Sanders — will be featured on that same night. That’s also interesting because Sanders has telegraphed more of a desire to take on Biden directly than most of the other top candidates. Both men possibly see the other as their biggest obstacle to the Democratic nomination, and the interplay between the two will be theearly focus.”
“But also consider what this means for Warren. She has been rising in the polls more than anybody, and now she can be the focal point of the debate on June 26. If we lump her in with Biden and Sanders in the top tier, the middle-tier candidates in her debate also seem less likely to go after her. Booker has always focused on running positive campaigns, and Klobuchar is hardly a brawler.”
FiveThirtyEight: “What implications will these lopsided lineups have for the debates and the candidates in them? We don’t really know right now, but it may mean the Thursday debate, with more heavy hitters, will get higher ratings. On the other hand, being in the Wednesday debate might be advantageous for a less-popular candidate because they will now have more of a chance to step out of the front-runners’ shadows.”
Pete Buttigieg doubled down on his support for getting rid of the Electoral College, calling the institution “undemocratic,” The Hill reports. Said Buttigieg: “Twice in my young lifetime I’ve seen the American people overruled by the Electoral College. It’s time for that to go because it’s undemocratic.”
ABC News obtained internal polling from the Trump campaign conducted in March showing the president trailing Joe Biden in key battleground states.
“The polling data showed a double-digit lead for Biden in Pennsylvania 55-39 and Wisconsin 51-41 and had Biden leading by seven points in Florida. In Texas, a Republican stronghold, the numbers showed the president only leading by two points.”
“The Trump campaign did not provide the results of the full 17 state poll, matchups against other candidates nor any updated polling figures.”
Maggie Haberman: “ABC got the data that we reported on that POTUS denied existed and then told aides to deny existed and denied the denial.”
Perry Bacon: “In the runup to the 2016 presidential election, this same question came up, and FiveThirtyEight analyzed general election polls from 1944 to 2012 that tested the eventual nominees and were conducted in the last two months of the year before the election (so for 2012, that would be November and December of 2011). On average, these polls missed the final result by 11 percentage points.”
“The last presidential election featured one of the more accurate sets of early polls for this point in the cycle: Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump 46.2 percent to 41.2 percent in an average of all polls conducted in November and December 2015, missing the eventual national popular vote margin by about 3 points. (The actual result was Clinton 48.0 percent, Trump 46.0 percent.)”
Anita Hill told NBC News that “of course” she would vote for Joe Biden over President Trump in 2020.
Washington Post: “Hill said her criticisms of Biden do not mean she sees any moral equivalency between him and President Trump, who has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual assault — allegations the president has denied.”
Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), “one of only 13 Republican women in the House as well as the head of GOP recruitment for 2020, found someone she could not convince to run: herself,” the Indianapolis Star reports.
Said Brooks: “While it may not be time for the party, it’s time for me personally. This really is not about the party. It’s not about the politics. It’s just about, ‘How do I want to spend the next chapter of my life?’”
President Trump said that if Vice President Pence runs for president in 2024, he wouldn’t automatically have his endorsement, the Washington Post reports.
Said Trump: “You’re talking about a long time. You can’t put me in that position.” Because he wants Donald Jr. and/or Ivanka to be in successor, that is, if he declare himself El Jefe for Life before then.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, who is leaving her role at the end of the month, has floated the possibility of running for Arkansas governor in recent private conversations, CNN reports.
“Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was re-elected just last year, so unless he steps down early — or is appointed to something — the governor’s office in Little Rock isn’t open until January 2023.”
Ezra Klein: “I’ve seen a lot of nervous Democrats compare Elizabeth Warren to Hillary Clinton. After all, Clinton had plans too. Clinton was the most prepared candidate on the stage, too. And look how that ended.”
“I think the analogy is flawed. Clinton had a lot of plans but no clear message. Warren’s genius has been to turn a lot of plans into a clear message. Clinton’s plans couldn’t dispel the sense that she was complicit in the status quo. Warren’s plans underscore her longstanding loathing of what American capitalism has curdled into.”
Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D) is expected to formally announce in the coming weeks that she’s running for Sen. Susan Collins’ (R-ME) seat in 2020, five Democratic sources confirmed to HuffPost.
“ABC’s digital news operation is helping the Trump re-election campaign build its email list,” the Daily Beast reports.
“Some of the network’s largest affiliates posted an identical piece of content on their websites on Friday promoting a ‘birthday card’ for President Trump. The card is actually a petition website created by the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee to harvest email addresses that can be used during the 2020 campaign.”
A new EPIC-MRA poll in Michigan finds Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in a presidential matchup, 52% to 41%.
“Beto O’Rourke established a dominant presence on social media during his nail-biting run for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas last year. So far, though, his 2020 presidential campaign has lagged behind major Democratic rivals in Facebook ad spending,” CNBC reports.
“Political strategists said this could be a sign that O’Rourke is focusing more on the ground game than digital tactics because of potential trouble attracting donors – even after his campaign against GOP Sen. Ted Cruz grew into a fundraising juggernaut.”