The Campaign Report – 8/9/2019

A new Monmouth poll in Iowa finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic field with 28%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 19%, Kamala Harris at 11%, Bernie Sanders at 9% and Pete Buttigieg at 8%.

Other candidates who register at least 2% in the poll include Amy Klobuchar at 3%, Tom Steyer at 3%, Kirsten Gillibrand at 2% and Andrew Yang at 2%.  The remaining 15 candidates included in the poll each earn 1% or less.

Of particular note, Beto O’Rourke, who had 6% support in April, registers less than 1% in the current poll. But I would curious to see his numbers after this past week. I am sure they will rise.

A new Franklin & Marshall poll in Pennsylvania finds 38% of registered voters believes President Trump has done a good enough job to deserve reelection, while 61% voters say it is time for a change.

Here is Donald Trump’s current approval rating in all 50 states converted into Electoral College format, per @Civiqs daily tracking poll. Trump is now underwater in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Iowa & Utah

New York Times: “The cause of Mr. Biden’s weakness in Iowa is fairly obvious: His national edge is mainly attributable to a wide advantage among black voters, and relatively speaking, there aren’t many black voters in Iowa.”

“The state’s Democratic voters are also relatively young, and caucuses tend to favor ideologically consistent, progressive candidates with highly engaged grass-roots support.”

Sean Trende: “It seems a stretch, but remember that Mitt Romney won Texas by 16 points, Donald Trump won by nine, and Cruz won by just three. These are not good trendlines for the GOP. States do shift their partisanship quickly at times. George H.W. Bush won New Hampshire by 26 points in 1988 and New Jersey by 14; in 1996 New Jersey went for Clinton by 18 points, while New Hampshire was a 10-point Clinton win. That same year, West Virginia was a 15-point Clinton win; eight years later George W. Bush won it by 13.”

“We might write off 2018 to the bad GOP year and Cruz’s unpopularity. But that requires ignoring some substantial evidence to the contrary. One has to ignore that John McCain won the state by double digits in a 2008 environment that was probably even worse for the GOP than 2018, while John Cornyn won re-election against a hyped Democratic opponent handily.”

“Most importantly, one has to ignore the nature of political coalitions in the Age of Trump. Trump has generally improved GOP fortunes in rural American and in the towns, and in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio, all of which has generally helped the Republican Party. But there is little doubt that the GOP has suffered substantial losses in the suburban areas that once formed the backbone of the party while doing little to advance its cause in the major cities.”

“Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke both called President Trump a ‘white supremacist,’ an extraordinary charge at an extraordinary moment in American politics,” Axios reports.

“This is a big shift from calling the president a white nationalist. Check out Merriam-Webster’s definition of white supremacist: ‘a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races.’”

A “caravan” of gun control activists will march on Friday through Ohio to Kentucky, led by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) in an effort to push Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to allow Senate votes on House-passed gun control legislation, The Hill reports.

“Tulsi Gabbard’s slashing debate performance is giving her presidential campaign a badly-needed pulse — and stoking a flurry of speculation about what her end game is,” Politico reports.

“Gabbard delivered a piercing, if inaccurate, appraisal of Kamala Harris’ law enforcement record — then turned it into a misleading, yet effective, online ad push. Adding to the intrigue, she had a hushed sideline conversation with Joe Biden — with whom she seems to have little in common politically — after the debate.”

“It’s all triggered a parlor game back in Hawaii, where the four-term congresswoman is at risk of losing a primary for her House seat as she’s stuck at 1 percent in the crowded race for the Democratic presidential nomination.”

ABC News: “Since lacing up his running shoes for the 2020 race less than a month ago, billionaire, liberal activist Tom Steyer has outpaced every single other candidate in his campaign ad blitz — scrambling to make up for lost time as he competes with rivals who are months ahead of him.”

“Sen. Kamala Harris is increasingly pitching herself as the presidential candidate who can bridge the growing divide within the Democratic Party by focusing more on kitchen-table issues than ideological labels,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Competing against fellow top-tier Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose campaign slogan is ‘big structural change,’ and Sen. Bernie Sanders who has been promising a ‘political revolution,’ Ms. Harris has in recent appearances tried to distinguish herself by laying out a vision that is still liberal, but less far-reaching than those of the two prominent progressives.”

“She has also sought to be more aggressive on issues like health-care reform and climate change than former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner in the primary contest who has accused Ms. Harris of lacking clear positions.”

Sen. Kamala Harris “will make the first television advertising purchase of her presidential campaign Thursday, investing in a six-figure TV and digital buy across the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa,” CNN reports.

Alan Abramowitz: “I find no evidence that Russian attempts to target voters in key swing states had any effect on the election results in those states. Instead, the results were almost totally predictable based on the political and demographic characteristics of those states, especially their past voting tendencies, ideological leanings, and demographics. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Russians weren’t trying to influence the results or that they might not succeed in the future. Nor does it speak to Russian efforts to hack into U.S. voting systems and potentially alter voter registration data or even election results themselves.”

“There are plenty of grounds for real concern here. Indeed, the Electoral College system used to choose the president almost invites efforts to interfere in the election. Whereas trying to affect the national popular vote results would probably be prohibitively expensive, efforts to target a few key swing states could be much more cost-effective and harder to detect.”

“Andrew Yang became the ninth Democratic presidential candidate to qualify for the next debates on Thursday after a new poll of Iowa voters showed him earning 2 percent support,” the New York Times reports.

“News of an upcoming fundraiser for President Trump at the swanky Hamptons home of billionaire Stephen Ross drew swift backlash Wednesday from prominent customers of Ross’s luxury fitness brands and a player on the Miami Dolphins, the National Football League franchise Ross owns,” the Washington Post reports.

“Some high-profile LGBTQ activists and celebrities took to social media to call for a boycott of Equinox fitness clubs and SoulCycle over the fundraiser, which was organized to support Trump’s reelection and comes with a price tag as high as $250,000 for an audience with the president.”

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

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