Now it’s a race

A new CNN poll conducted after first Democratic debate finds 22% of backing Joe Biden for the party’s presidential nomination, followed by Kamala Harris at 17%, Elizabeth Warren at 15% and Bernie Sanders at 14%. No one else in the 23-person field tested hits 5%.

That represents a 10-point decline in support for Biden since the last CNN poll in May, while Harris has posted a 9-point increase and Warren has boosted her support by 8 points. No other candidates have seen significant movement since the last poll.

And the race is down to the top three candidates who will be there in the end: Biden, Warren and Harris.

Politico: “For months, the Democratic presidential primary has been dictated by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. That primary is now over.”

“After an eventful month and the conclusion of the first round of Democratic debates, there is a new top tier — and a sense among many campaigns and Democratic operatives that Biden and Sanders are suddenly within reach in a race that has broken wide open.”

A new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds 59% of Democratic voters who watched at least highlights of the first night’s debate said Elizabeth Warren did the best job, with Julian Castro a distant second at 16%, and the remaining candidates all in the single digits.

The second night’s debate saw a similar divide, with 59% saying Kamala Harris did the best, 16% naming Joe Biden, 11% naming Bernie Sanders, and everyone else polling below 10%.

A new Associated Press-NORC poll finds the solid economy is doing little to bolster support for President Trump.

“Nearly two-thirds describe as ‘good’ an economy that appears to have set a record for the longest expansion in U.S. history, with decade-long growth that began under Barack Obama. More people consider the economy to be good today than did at the start of the year.”

“But significantly fewer approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, even as it remains a relative strength compared with other issues. The survey indicates that most Americans do not believe they’re personally benefiting from his trade policies. And only 17% said they received a tax cut, despite government and private sector figures showing that a clear majority of taxpayers owed less after the president’s tax overhaul passed in 2017.”

New York Times: “Privately, people close to the White House said they viewed Ms. Harris as ‘very dangerous’ and the hands-down winner of the debate on Thursday. Others said they hoped the debate would serve as a warning for Republicans — including those in the president’s inner circle — who have been too dismissive of Mr. Biden’s less seasoned rivals.”

Rachel Bitecofer’s Negative Partisanship Model — which nailed the 2018 midterm elections — predicts Democrats will win the presidency in 2020.

“The leaking of the Trump campaign’s internal polling has somewhat softened the blow of this forecast, as that polling reaffirms what my model already knew: Trump’s 2016 path to the White House, which was the political equivalent of getting dealt a Royal Flush in poker, is probably not replicable in 2020 with an agitated Democratic electorate. And that is really bad news for Donald Trump because the Blue Wall of the Midwest was then, and is now, the ONLY viable path for Trump to win the White House.”

“Start with the numerical fact that Trump ‘won’ Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan with 47.22%, 48.18%, and 47.5% of the vote, respectively, after five times the normal number in those states cast their ballots for an option other than Trump or Clinton. This, combined with the depressed turnout of African Americans (targeted with suppression materials by the Russians) and left-leaning Independents turned off by Clinton (targeted with defection materials by the Russians) allowed Trump to pull off an improbable victory, one that will be hard to replicate in today’s less nitpicky atmosphere.”

Playbook: “The Buttigieg campaign announced this morning that it raised more than $24.8 million from more than 294,000 donors in the second quarter. The campaign has more than $22.6 million cash on hand.”

“President Trump’s re-election campaign is developing an aggressive, state-by-state plan to mobilize even more evangelical voters than supported him last time,” campaign officials tell Axios.

“Trump captured 81% of the evangelical vote in 2016, a huge accomplishment considering they make up roughly a quarter of the electorate and play a prominent role in swing states like Florida.”

“The goal: Paint Trump as a champion of socially conservative issues and warn evangelical voters that his defeat could destroy the progress he’s made.”

A new Monmouth poll finds that just 20% of Americans have heard anything about President Trump’s planned speech on July 4th on the Washington Mall.

Among those who have heard about it – and are presumably aware of the controversy surrounding this decision – just 37% approve and 56% disapprove.

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

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