New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that he is dropping out of the Democratic presidential race after failing to gain traction in the crowded field, the Washington Post reports.
Said de Blasio: “I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election.”
Beto O’Rourke escalated his feud with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, asserting that his fellow Democrat has accomplished “absolutely nothing” on gun control, the Washington Post reports.
Said O’Rourke: “Ask Chuck Schumer what he’s been able to get done. We still don’t have universal background checks. Didn’t have them when he was in the majority, either. So, you know, the game that he’s played, the politics that he’s pursued have given us absolutely nothing and have produced a situation where we lose nearly 40,000 of our fellow Americans every year.”
Politico: “Ten candidates participated in September’s DNC debate and 11 have qualified for the October edition, but the DNC has yet to spell out the thresholds it will use to ration debate participation in November and December with time running short. Even small changes in the criteria could have far-reaching effects: When the DNC set its thresholds at 65,000 donors or 1 percent in polls earlier this year, 20 candidates made the stage.”
“But merely increasing the polling threshold to 2 percent in four DNC-approved surveys, and doubling the donor threshold, capped the September debate at one night. Even a modest increase for November could spell the end of several campaigns that are just hanging on to the debate stage, and while we know the criteria are likely to keep going up, no one knows exactly how it will affect the 2020 field. And in a nationalized presidential election, the debates have proven to be the most important opportunity for candidates to introduce themselves to large audiences and try to change the direction of their campaigns.”
“Contest Every Race, a new coalition of Democratic groups, is launching a seven-figure campaign to challenge Republican incumbents in 26,849 down-ballot local races,” Axios reports.
“2020 is more than just the presidential election. Democrats are getting serious about trying to gain more power at the local level, whether through city council seats, school boards, or state legislatures.”
“There are 520,000 elected offices in the country. As many as 75% go uncontested, per the group, ceding many of those seats to Republicans.”
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball updates its Electoral College ratings by making one slight adjustment, moving New Hampshire from Toss-up to Leans Democratic. “The Granite State is almost always competitive, but Trump’s approval there has generally been weak. Throughout 2018, Gallup measured Trump’s approval in New Hampshire at 35% approve, 58% disapprove; more recently, Morning Consult found his approval rating 20 points underwater.
The University of New Hampshire’s Granite State poll (42% approve/53% disapprove) and Gravis Marketing (44%/54%) from earlier this summer are better but still weak for the president. So this trend isn’t really new, but in reassessing our ratings, we thought it was more appropriate to list New Hampshire as Leaning Democratic.”
President Trump is now an underdog in every state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.
Aaron Blake: “The divergence in Iowa polls highlights a challenge for observers early in the 2020 election: While we have an abundance of national polls, early-state polls have been few and far between, and that makes it incredibly difficult to draw conclusions about whose organization and message are appealing to the voters who matter most. It’s not clear yet whether we have a true and accurate picture of the race, even as it stands now.”
“The pace of early 2020 polls is significantly slower in Iowa and in New Hampshire than it was four years ago. The poll Wednesday was just the second live-caller poll released in Iowa since the beginning of August, compared with six over the same period in 2015. In New Hampshire, there have been just two over the same span in 2019, compared with four in 2015.”
“If you expand the universe to all quality polls and stretch it further back in the race, the pattern holds. There have been just seven quality polls, including automated and online surveys, in Iowa since the start of May, compared with 14 over the same period in 2015.”
Washington Post: “College students across the United States more than doubled their rate of voting between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections, according to a study published Thursday by Tufts University — a dramatic spike in political engagement that could draw unprecedented attention to these voters in next year’s presidential election.”
“The study found that 40% of students who are eligible to vote cast ballots last year, up from 19% in 2014.”
“Kamala Harris ’s campaign says she is focusing her efforts on Iowa in the hopes of reviving her struggling campaign,” the Wall Street Journalreports.
“The California senator isn’t the first to try this. Virtually every election cycle, faltering presidential candidates go all in on the first state to hold its nominating contest, hoping that a strong showing there will give them a boost.”
Amy Walter: “Biden has set himself up as the ‘most electable’ candidate in the race. If he loses in Iowa and New Hampshire, well, the rationale for his candidacy also goes up in smoke. The best way for Warren to prove that she can beat Trump in November is to win in those early states. Obviously, winning a primary or caucus is not the same as proving that you can beat the sitting incumbent president. But, voters like winners. Once a candidate starts to win, it gets harder and harder for the ‘but can he/she win in November?’ to get much traction.”
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) confirmed that he is seeking to be appointed to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), who is slated to vacate his seat at the end of the year, The Hill reports.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) will pick Isakson’s successor, who will then face an election in November 2020.
Bloomberg: “As the U.S. presidential campaign heats up, Democratic candidates may want to look at two Rust Belt states that narrowly helped deliver Donald Trump’s victory in 2016: Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”
“The two swing states lost the most manufacturing jobs in the past 12 months, bucking the national trend. In Pennsylvania, home to steel mills, the number of factory positions fell by about 8,000 and in Wisconsin the loss was just over 5,000.”
Results of a new Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll on Democratic presidential candidates will be released online at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, the Des Moines Register reports.