The Campaign Report – 8/15/19

A new Iowa Starting Line-Change Research poll shows Elizabeth Warren opening up a commanding lead in the Iowa Caucus with 28%, followed by Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at 17% each. They are followed by Pete Buttigieg at 13%, Kamala Harris at 8%, Cory Booker at 3% and Beto O’Rourke at 3%.

“The horserace numbers reflect a shake-up that those of us on the ground in Iowa have been seeing for a while.”

A new Fox News Poll finds Joe Biden continues to lead the Democratic presidential race with 31%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 20%, Bernie Sanders at 10%, and Kamala Harris at 8%.

They are followed by Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, and Andrew Yang stand at 3% apiece, and Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke are each at 2%.

“Beto O’Rourke plans to present himself to the country as a changed candidate on Thursday, with his presidential campaign recast as a moral crusade against President Trump in the aftermath of a mass shooting in El Paso, his hometown,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. O’Rourke, who represented the city in Congress until the start of this year, said he would abandon the relatively traditional approach he has so far taken — with limited success — and largely detach his travel from a primary calendar that tethers most candidates to a handful of early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire.”

“Instead, Mr. O’Rourke said he would now plan his political activities around confronting Mr. Trump in direct and personal terms, and highlighting what Mr. O’Rourke views as the injustices of Mr. Trump’s administration. He intends to seek out immigrant-rich towns to campaign in, and to make gun control a central issue.”

“Allies to Joe Biden have been floating the idea of altering the former vice president’s schedule in an effort to reduce the gaffes he has made in recent days,” The Hill reports.

“The allies, growing increasingly nervous about Biden’s verbal flubs, have said it’s an approach that’s been suggested to campaign officials on the heels of the former vice president’s stumbles.”

Worst advice ever. He needs to be making more media appearances and events, not less. If he cannot handle a campaign, then he needs to end his campaign.

Walter Shapiro: “If this were a typical political comeback story (the kinds that are immortalized in best-selling campaign books that later become HBO docudramas), Warren would rescue her campaign at this critical juncture with a dramatic gesture or bold decision. You could imagine the overheated prose: ‘Elizabeth Warren was angry. Her White House dreams were as bankrupt as her campaign treasury. In just a few hours, she….’”

“The ensuing campaign narratives could take any number of forms. Here’s a brief hypothetical sample: Maybe Warren would use the first debate to puncture the pretensions of a pesky rival, as Walter Mondale did in 1984 when he belittled Gary Hart’s ‘new ideas’ with a line stolen from a hamburger-chain commercial: ‘Where’s the beef?’ Or Warren might emulate a floundering Bill Clinton in 1992 by placing an unorthodox figure like James Carville in charge of every aspect of the campaign. She could even go the full John McCain route—jettisoning, as he did in 2007, the entire structure of his consultant-heavy operation to run a bare-bones, seat-of-the-pants campaign for the nomination.”

“But now for the dramatic revelation: Absolutely nothing changed with the Warren campaign. Like a sailboat caught in a summer squall, the good ship Liz’s Luck righted itself as soon as the winds died down.”

New York Times: “Even as she demonstrates why she is a leading candidate for the party’s nomination, Ms. Warren is facing persistent questions and doubts about whether she would be able to defeat President Trump in the general election. The concerns, including from her admirers, reflect the head-versus-heart debate shaping a Democratic contest increasingly being fought over the meaning of electability and how to take on Mr. Trump.”

“Interviews with more than three dozen Democratic voters and activists in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina this summer, at events for Ms. Warren as well as other 2020 hopefuls, yield a similar array of concerns about her candidacy.”

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has declared that he could beat President Trump at any challenge—mental or physical—because the president “is so fat,” the Daily Beast reports.

Said Yang: “I challenge Donald Trump to any physical or mental feat under the sun. I mean, gosh, what could that guy beat me at, being a slob?”

He continued: “Like, what could Donald Trump possibly be better than me at? An eating contest? Like something that involved trying to keep something on the ground and having really large body mass? Like, if there was a hot-air balloon that was rising and you needed to try and keep it on the ground, he would be better than me at that? Because he is so fat.”

John Hickenlooper has just posted a video announcing he is suspending his presidential bid, confirming earlier reports that he would drop out.

He sidestepped whether he would seek the state’s Senate seat: “I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought.”

Jennifer Rubin: “The punditocracy has picked up a new nugget of conventional wisdom: The Democrats have to choose between a candidate (implying a nonwhite candidate) who could win Sun Belt states such as North Carolina, Arizona, Texas and Georgia or someone who could win back the three critical states — Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — that used to make up the so-called Blue Wall, until Hillary Clinton lost them all in 2016. This is fool’s gold…”

“There are many paths to 270 electoral votes, and many Democratic candidates who have wide appeal. We should stop the false choice school of analysis and recognize a political truism: Good candidates beat bad candidates most of the time. And a good Democratic nominee (think Bill Clinton in 1992 or Barack Obama in 2008) almost always beats the incumbent party during an economic downturn.”

“President Trump retweeted a pair of posts from his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski ahead of an evening rally in New Hampshire — where state Republicans fear Trump will promote a potential Senate run by his divisive ex-aide,” Politico reports.

“President Trump’s Thursday evening rally in Manchester, N.H., is ostensibly about ginning up support for his reelection campaign,” Politico reports. “But the state’s establishment GOP class is worried he’ll use the event to do something else: Talk up Corey Lewandowski’s potential 2020 Senate bid.”

“Dave Carney, a longtime New Hampshire-based strategist who’s worked on an array of statewide Republican campaigns, called the idea of a Lewandowski candidacy a ‘joke.’”

“Marianne Williamson once gave a platform to the unfounded theory that vaccines are linked to autism and called on her audience to “be awake” and “do your due diligence” before making the decision to vaccinate their children,” CNN reports.

In a January 2012 episode of her radio show, Williamson said she “agonized” as a mother over the decision to vaccinate her children and that she could see “both sides” of the issue.

“Republican political donors have been told to hold off contributing to the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Kansas in the expectation that Secretary of State Michael Pompeo may decide to run,” Bloomberg reports.

“A Pompeo ally has been advising potential contributors to wait until after the secretary of state makes his decision, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private message communicated to donors. The top U.S. diplomat and former CIA director, who served as a congressman in Kansas’s 4th district from 2011-2017, has until June to enter the race.”

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

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