The Campaign Report – 11/22/2019

A new Iowa State University poll finds Pete Buttigieg leading the Democratic field with 26%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 19%, Bernie Sanders at 18% and Joe Biden at 12%.

Warren has dropped by nearly 10% over the past month.

Said pollster Dave Peterson: “Warren has seen heightened scrutiny this past month, while Buttigieg has received mostly positive attention. A little over 60% of the people who supported Warren in October still support her now, and those who switched went to Buttigieg.”

A new Siena poll in New York finds Joe Biden has opened a 10-point lead in the Democratic presidential race with 24%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 14% and Bernie Sanders at 13%. Among Democrats, 35% say Biden has the party’s best chance to win the 2020 election, followed by Warren at 12% and Sanders at 11%.

Mike Bloomberg filed federal papers Thursday declaring himself a Democratic candidate for president, a potentially disruptive move that could upend the party’s nomination fight this spring, the Washington Postreports.

“The filing, coming just eight months after Bloomberg ruled out a bid because he believed it would be too hard to win the Democratic nomination, reflects his view that the field of Democratic contenders was not well positioned to win next year and that a candidate with his experience, political moderation and deep pockets would have a better chance of defeating President Trump in a general election.”

New York Times: “The South Bend, Ind., mayor has surged to first place in some Iowa polls and has built a big-money fund-raising operation that is the strongest in the Democratic presidential field.”

“But as his campaign has grown exponentially beyond the small band of loyalists who began it in January, Mr. Buttigieg has failed to demonstrate even minimal support among African-Americans and Hispanics, critical voting blocs that will have a much larger say after Iowa and New Hampshire, and their nearly all-white electorates, begin the presidential nominating calendar.”

Cook Political Report: “Last Friday, North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature passed a new congressional map on a party line vote that would effectively convert the GOP’s current 10-3 seat advantage in the state to an 8-5 advantage (North Carolina’s governor doesn’t have veto power over redistricting plans). But it’s far from over: most strategists in both parties believe courts will draw their own map that could net Democrats even more seats.”

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “The 2018 House election cycle was defined by an unusually large number of open seats. The 2020 cycle almost certainly won’t feature as many, but there are still more than two dozen so far. And just like in 2018, the open seats that cover competitive turf provide more opportunities for Democrats than Republicans.”

“The open seats have a decidedly Republican lean: Of the 28 open seats, more than two-thirds (20) are currently held by Republicans, while just eight are held by Democrats. Most of these open seats will be easy holds for the incumbent party: 20 of the 28 are rated as Safe Republican or Safe Democratic.”

“However, eight of the open seats are competitive to at least some degree in our ratings, and all but one of those are currently held by Republicans. This gives Democrats more of an opportunity to net seats from the list of open seats, at least so far.”

John Harris: “As voting gets closer, the candidates are getting closer to voters. Closer, that is, to power as it really exists in the contemporary Democratic Party—a coalition in which African-Americans and women and working-class voters matter very much, and liberal commentators and social media warriors may not matter as much as it sometimes seems in the daily rumpus.”

“This debate was not a competition, as the first debate outings last summer were, over who could sound most unhesitantly progressive, or most flamboyantly impatient with conventional politics or the incremental liberalism of Barack Obama. Instead it was a competition over who could sound most credibly in touch with the political, policy, and even psychic needs of a country they see as ready to move beyond the traumas of the Trump era.”

“When Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin came to Washington in January for two nights — one of many visits the Republican had made to the nation’s capital — he stayed at President Trump’s D.C. hotel. Kentucky taxpayers initially footed the $686 bill,” the Washington Post reports.

“Although Kentucky’s Republican Party reimbursed the state for Bevin’s stay two months later, the transaction may still run afoul of an anti-corruption provision of the Constitution barring the president from receiving any ’emoluments,’ or payments, from the states.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is resisting pressure from President Trump on who to appoint to an interim U.S. Senate post, the Wall Street Journalreports.

“In recent days, the president has spoken to Mr. Kemp at least twice—once face-to-face in Atlanta and once on the phone—urging him to pick Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), a vocal supporter of the president in Congress… Mr. Collins, a white conservative from north Georgia, has pushed for months to get the seat that Sen. Johnny Isakson, 74 years old, is leaving at the end of the year because of health problems.”

“But the governor is leaning toward appointing a female or minority candidate to improve the GOP’s chances in Atlanta’s burgeoning suburbs, key battlegrounds in the 2020 elections.”

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

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