The Campaign Report – 11/3/19

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic field nationally with 28%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 23%, Bernie Sanders at 17% and Pete Buttigieg at 9%.

No other candidate gets more than 2% support.

A new Fox News poll shows Joe Biden leads the nomination race with the backing of 31% of Democratic primary voters, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 21%, Bernie Sanders at 19%, and Pete Buttigieg at 7%.

Biden performs best against Trump (51% to 39%). Sanders has an 8-point lead (49% to 41%). Warren’s 5-point advantage over the president (46% to 41%) is within the poll’s margin of sampling error, and Buttigieg and Trump tie (41% to 41%). 

Vox looks at the recent New York Times/ Siena poll in Iowa and finds Joe Biden pulled only 2% of his support from 18- to 29-year-olds, and only 3% from 30- to 44-year-olds.

His support came almost exclusively from voters older than 45.

“Bristling at Elizabeth Warren’s suggestions that he’s a milquetoast moderate with small ideas, presidential candidate Joe Biden countered Saturday that he offers a ‘bold’ vision for the country and warned that Democratic primary voters should not get distracted by the party’s increasingly tense battle over ideological labels,” the AP reports.

“It was a departure from Biden’s usual campaign speech and signaled perhaps a new phase of Democrats’ search for a nominee to take on President Trump, with Warren, the leading progressive candidate, and Biden, the top choice for most moderates and establishment liberals, ratcheting up the intensity three months ahead of the Iowa caucuses.”

Elizabeth Warren swatted back at Joe Biden’s criticism of her $21 trillion Medicare-for-All plan, accusing him of running in the wrong presidential primary, Bloomberg reports.

Said Warren: “Democrats are not going to win by repeating Republican talking points. So, if Biden doesn’t like that, I’m just not sure where he’s going.”

“Warren’s unusually direct attack on her campaign rival came after she released a long-awaited explanation of how she to planned to pay for her $20.5 trillion proposal to create a government-run health care system. The Biden campaign called that plan ‘mathematical gymnastics’ intended to hide the fact that it would result in tax increases on middle-class workers.”

The Hill: “As the clock ticks toward the February 3 caucuses, a culling season has descended on the Democratic field. The candidates outside of the top tier are taking steps to preserve resources, redeploy staff and place their fates in the hands of Iowa voters, sacrificing the national organizations they had hoped to build in favor of a longer-odds bet on breaking out in a single state where voters have a reputation for carefully considering their choices.”

“And while the candidates who have left the race so far were largely little-known to begin with, some of the contenders who started off with hopes of being in the top tier are now feeling the heat.”

Harry Enten: “The average of polls show Warren at 22%, Biden at 18%, Buttigieg at 16% and Sanders at 16%.”

“Mess is the only word I’d use to describe the current state of affairs in Iowa. There is no clear front-runner, and the closer we get to the caucuses, the hazier the crystal ball seems to be getting. With three months to go until Iowa, any of the top four candidates have a real shot of winning because the race has only become tighter.”

New York Times: 5 takeaways from the latest Iowa poll.

“Beto O’Rourke is dropping out of the presidential race, ending a campaign in which he struggled for months to recapture the energy of his insurgent 2018 Senate candidacy on a national stage full of other big personalities and liberal champions,” the New York Times reports.

“He is not expected to run for any other office in 2020, despite persistent efforts by party leaders and political donors to coax him into another bid for the Senate.”

Washington Post: “In one of the most hyper-charged political rises and dramatic collapses in recent times, O’Rourke on Friday evening became the highest-profile candidate to drop out of the 2020 presidential campaign, amid financial strains and lagging popularity. His abrupt exit capped a week in which Sen. Kamala Harris significantly curbed her own ambitions, laying off most of her New Hampshire staff and reorienting her campaign toward Iowa. In the same week, a super PAC set up to benefit Joe Biden began operating, a reflection of his struggle to gain ground in Iowa even as he maintains a position at the top of what is now a 16-candidate field.”

“O’Rourke’s departure demonstrated the winnowing of what began as a historically large and diverse presidential field and now is largely controlled by four candidates, all of them white, most of them in their 70s, and two of them far to the left ideologically. His decision, coupled with Biden’s and Harris’s difficulties, leaves establishment moderates worried about the shape of the race three months before the Iowa caucuses.”

Politico: “Andrew Yang’s shoestring campaign staff has multiplied along with his fundraising, giving the unconventional businessman the trappings of a conventional, well-resourced presidential campaign in the months before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.l

“In the second quarter — from April to June — the campaign had under 20 staff members on its payroll, according to Yang’s Federal Election Commission filings. But a quarter later, it nearly quadrupled to include 73 staff members, as well as several experienced and well-respected strategists in Democratic politics.”

Politico: “Joe Biden dropped to fourth place in Iowa, according to a new poll released Friday, his worst showing to date in the pivotal early state. A few hours later, at the largest gathering to date for any 2020 event, it was clear why.”

“While Biden delivered a solid performance on stage before a crowd of 13,500 Democrats at the state party’s Liberty & Justice dinner, he was overshadowed and outshined by the candidate who just passed him in the polls — Pete Buttigieg. At the massive state party event known for its catalytic effect on campaigns — it’s widely remembered as a turning point for Barack Obama’s Iowa fortunes in 2007 — Buttigieg captured the audience’s imagination, articulating a case for generational change.”

The Des Moines Register has more on the dinner.

Dan Balz: “The Iowa Democratic Party’s fall fundraising dinner has often been the tone-setter for the stretch run ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. If the speeches and demonstrations here Friday night were any indication, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg now see themselves on a collision course.”

“Other candidates continue to be factors, former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders the most obvious. People also talk about the possibility that someone well down in the polls could suddenly emerge. Right now, however, the focus increasingly is on Warren and Buttigieg.”

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi is issuing a pointed message to Democrats running for president in 2020: Those liberal ideas that fire up the party’s base are a big loser when it comes to beating President Trump,” Politico reports.

“Proposals pushed by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders like Medicare for All and a wealth tax play well in liberal enclaves like her own district in San Francisco but won’t sell in the Midwestern states that sent Trump to the White House in 2016, she said.”

Sen. Kamala Harris has qualified for the December Democratic presidential primary debate, the fifth candidate to do so, Politico reports.

She joins Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg as candidates who have made the stage for the December debate.

“A polarized nation is dividing even further into its hardened partisan corners, with Republicans firming up opposition to the House impeachment investigation of President Trump and support growing among Democrats for removing him from office,” a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

“Some 53% of Americans in the survey said they approve of the Democratic-run House impeachment inquiry, with 44% disapproving. Nearly half—49%—said that Mr. Trump should be impeached and removed from the White House based on what they have heard so far, with 46% opposing impeachment and removal.”

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