Pew Research: “Today, roughly two-thirds of Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters (65%) say they have an excellent (23%) or good (42%) impression of the Democratic candidates as a group. By comparison, in September 2015, only about half of Democratic voters (51%) said the same.”
“The current positive evaluations of the 2020 field are roughly on par with levels expressed at a similar point in the 2008 election cycle, when 64% of Democratic voters said they had a positive impression of the field.”
Politico: “Big-money Democratic donors have jumped off the sidelines of the presidential race, and three candidates are the clear winners of their support: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris.”
“Each of those three candidates received more than 220 donations from top fundraisers who helped raise at least $100,000 (and sometimes many multiples more) for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign or at least $50,000 for Barack Obama in 2012.”
Politico: “The Democratic National Committee and CNN are making sure both nights of the July 2020 presidential debates have their fair share of top-tier candidates, insuring that there won’t be a pileup of leading candidates on one night that could hurt ratings.”
“The network and the DNC announced Wednesday that candidates will first be split into three tiers, before being randomly split across the two nights. The tiers are based off public polling.”
Matt Bai: “OK, at least seven in 10 Republicans approve of Trump, whatever that really means. That’s marginally impressive. Except that we don’t know what those voters would do when faced with an actual choice — not between Trump and Democrats, or Trump and the media, but between Trump and a thoughtful conservative who doesn’t tweet insults in the middle of the night.”
“We don’t know how Trump would fare with Republicans in a field of two (or three), rather than in a field of 17, where all the more established candidates fractured their vote into tiny shards last time around.”
“We don’t know what Trump is going to say or do in the intervening months, or on the eve of the primaries, that could tip the balance very quickly toward a Republican alternative.”
“And we don’t know yet where independent voters are going, especially in New Hampshire, where they make up the largest bloc and can vote in primaries.”
Associated Press: “Not since George Wallace’s campaign in 1968 has a presidential candidate — and certainly not an incumbent president — put racial polarization at the center of his call to voters. Though Trump’s comments generated outrage and even a resolution of condemnation in the House, the president and his campaign believe the strategy carries far more benefits than risks.”
“Educated suburban voters, especially college-educated women, and minorities in key states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin were already threatening to revolt against the Republican president. Trump believes his inflammatory rhetoric will strengthen his support among the white working class and attract a new group of disaffected voters who fear cultural changes across America.”
CNN: Trump’s ugly plan to get re-elected.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) “revved up his fundraising in the second quarter of this year, hauling in far more money than any other incumbent in a district on the opposing party’s top target list for 2020,” McClatchyreports.
“Nunes has about $5.6 million in cash on hand, another number that blows most candidates out of the water.”
“So who is contributing to Nunes’ campaign? A small portion of Nunes’ donations come from within his district. About 4.3%, or just less than $80,000, came from his constituents this quarter.”
Said Sanford: “I’m frustrated with many things in Washington these days. But on the top of my list is the way people there have seemingly forgotten that debt, deficits and spending really do matter.”
First Read: “Remember, modern incumbent presidents who have avoided credible primary challenges have gone on to win re-election (Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama).”“And those who received credible primary challenges have lost (Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush).”
Gallup finds an average of 42.7% of Americans approved of President Trump’s job performance last quarter — his best to date, edging out the 41.9% he received during his sixth quarter in office.
“Elizabeth Warren is teaming up with a slate of fellow congressional Democrats who are calling for greater federal regulation of private-equity firms, which the presidential candidate likened to ‘vampires’ in a policy proposal that would alter the way the funds acquire other companies,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Ms. Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, unveiled legislation Thursday that would require private-equity funds to assume responsibility for the liabilities of companies under their control—including debt and pension-related obligations.”
CNN: “The proposal is red meat for the Democratic party’s liberal base, which has zeroed in on Wall Street speculation as a root cause of growing economic inequality. Backlash from the financial industry would be an added bonus for Warren’s campaign.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg told the Kansas City Star that Republicans will tag even the most middle-of-the-road Democratic nominee as a scary radical. He notes Democrats found that out after co-opting the Republican-born plan that became the Affordable Care Act.
Said Buttigieg: “That was the most conservative intervention you can think of, and as soon as it was adopted, they started calling it socialism.”
He asked, “Why should Democrats feel they have to choose either x or y on the ideological spectrum when the current president doesn’t even have an ideology?”