The Campaign Report – 9/30/19

A new CNN poll in Nevada shows Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders leading the Democratic pack with 22% each, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 18%.

A new CNN poll in South Carolina finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic presidential race with 37%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 16% and Bernie Sanders at 11%.

“House Democrats are plotting an all-out offensive against President Donald Trump as they pursue an impeachment inquiry, announcing plans on Sunday to streamline their messaging operation and aid vulnerable lawmakers as they face potential blowback in their districts,” Politicoreports.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top deputies laid out the strategy during a private conference call Sunday afternoon. The plan reflects a deepening sentiment among Democrats that Trump’s latest scandal involving Ukraine could persuade the public to support impeachment.”

Gabriel Debenedetti: “The big-picture strategic concern for every campaign now is that no one has any clue how long the impeachment process will take, what kind of attention it will command, or which way its politics will break…. But the more immediate problem for almost everyone in the still-massive field not named Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or Pete Buttigieg is money. Specifically, having enough of it to maintain real campaigns for the next few months.”

“That’s because impeachment, for this crowd, couldn’t have come at a more delicate time: The end of the final quarter before most pols believe the race gets serious, and therefore the exact moment they were banking on generating as much coverage and attention as possible, to raise as much money as possible — to keep afloat for as long as possible, or to finally make much-needed campaign hires and investments just as voters start paying serious attention.”

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign contacted top television anchors and networks on Sunday to “demand” that Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, be kept off the air because of what they called his misleading comments about the Biden family and Ukraine, the New York Times reports.

Some of Joe Biden’s supporters are voicing growing concern that his campaign is not prepared to weather the dual political rip currents suddenly reshaping the 2020 race — an onslaught of attacks on his family from President Trump and a tightened contest for the Democratic nomination,” the Washington Post reports.

“Several allies, including top financial backers, are weighing whether to create a super PAC to independently defend Biden and go after the president…”

“Other supporters caution that a more aggressive approach could cut against Biden’s above-the-fray appeal and warn him against losing sight of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA.), whose steady march in popularity has eroded Biden’s standing and given her narrow leads over him in several recent polls in early-voting states.”

Joe Biden presidential campaign has sharply scaled back his online advertising, cutting spending so severely since August that he is now investing only a fraction of what his top rivals are on Facebook and Google, the two dominant internet platforms,” the New York Timesreports.

“In a race where many voters are following politics on their smartphones, Mr. Biden’s pullback is an unusual and potentially worrisome sign about his appeal among the Democratic activists, young people and donors who are especially engaged on social media. Candidates rarely withdraw so much money from their online campaigns unless they are seeing weak results in online fund-raising, according to interviews with digital strategists.”

Politico: “Senate Democrats are growing increasingly giddy at the prospect of seeing a half-dozen vulnerable senators squirm for weeks and months about Trump’s behavior before eventually being forced to go on the record to convict or acquit Trump if he’s impeached by the House.”

“While conventional wisdom holds that trying to remove the president could cost House Democrats in battleground seats that Trump won in 2016, there’s a sense in the party that it could improve Democrats’ bid to seize the Senate.”

Politico: “With just four months until the first-in-the-nation caucuses, Bernie Sanders is in trouble. As he delivered his populist gospel to large crowds of camouflage-clad high schoolers, liberal arts college students, and trade union members across Iowa last week, a problematic narrative was hardening around him: His campaign is in disarray and Elizabeth Warren has eclipsed him as the progressive standard-bearer of the primary. He’s sunk to third place nationally, behind Warren and Joe Biden, and some polls of early nomination states show him barely clinging to double digits. He’s shaken up his staffs in Iowa and New Hampshire. He’s lost the endorsement of the Working Families Party, a left-wing group that backed him in 2016, to Warren.”

Jay Sekulow, a private lawyer for President Trump, tells Mike Allen that the White House doesn’t plan a “war room”-like structure of legal and communications rapid response like President Bill Clinton deployed during the last impeachment fight.

Said Sekulow: “We have just handled a major investigation that was multifaceted and multi-jurisdictional. There was no war room. We responded as appropriate. We won that battle.” Sekulow said the impeachment inquiry “will be handled the same way.”

Peter Wehner: “Month after month, with one outrageous, norm-shattering comment or action giving way to another, Republicans who in the past could never have envisioned being Trump acolytes, have been ground down. Accommodation has kicked in, which is a psychological relief to many of them. For those who view Mr. Trump as a model politician who voices their grievances and fights with a viciousness they have long hoped for from Republicans, the accommodation is not just a relief but a source of delight.”

“As the psychologist I spoke to put it to me, many Republicans ‘are nearly unrecognizable versions of themselves pre-Trump. At this stage it’s less about defending Trump; they are defending their own defense of Trump.’”

“‘At this point,’ this person went on, ‘condemnation of Trump is condemnation of themselves. They’ve let too much go by to try and assert moral high ground now. Calling out another is one thing; calling out yourself is quite another.’”

According to the Washington Post, the Biden plan so far to deal with Trump in 2020 and Impeachment is to employ a tactic used to great effect by Democrats in the 2018 midterms: ignore President Donald Trump and focus on the bread-and-butter issues voters care most about. The Biden campaign is also hoping that juxtaposing the former Vice President as statesmanlike and above the fray will make the bombastic and pugilistic Trump seem even smaller by comparison.

By sticking to issues like healthcare, Biden ensures that he can keep focusing on his primary run, instead of having to take on the other Democrats and Trump at the same time.

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

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