The Campaign Report – December 11, 2019

NATIONAL — A new Quinnipiac poll finds Joe Biden is in the best position that he has been since the end of the summer with 29%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 17%, Elizabeth Warren at 15%, Pete Buttigieg at 9%, Michael Bloomberg at 5%, Andrew Yang at 4% and Amy Klobuchar at 3%. No other candidate tops 2%. Last month, Biden was at 24%, Buttigieg at 16%, Warren at 14%, and Sanders at 13%.

Said pollster Tim Malloy: “This is the first time Biden has had a double-digit lead since August, and Sanders’ best number since June. While Warren’s numbers seem to have stabilized, Buttigieg’s numbers have dipped.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE — A new WBUR poll in New Hampshire finds Pete Buttegieg leading the Democratic field with 18%, followed by Joe Biden at 17%, Bernie Sanders at 15%, Elizabeth Warren at 12%, Tulsi Gabbard at 5% and Andrew Yang at 5%.

IOWA — Biden and Sanders are leading the 2020 Democratic primary field in the crucial caucus state of Iowa as Warren falls, according to a Emerson College poll released Tuesday.

Biden and Sanders are neck-and-neck at the top of the survey, garnering the support of 23 percent and 22 percent of Democratic caucus-goers, respectively. Buttigieg comes in third at 18 percent and Warren sits at fourth with 12 percent. Klobuchar comes in fifth place in the poll at 10 percent, while no other candidate breaks double digits.

Bloomberg Donates $10M to Defend House Democrats — That number should be the $100 million Bloomberg has spent on ads for his vanity campaign. “Mike Bloomberg will donate $10 million Thursday to defend vulnerable Democratic House members against paid Republican attacks on their support for impeachment proceedings against President Trump,” the Washington Post reports.

“The money, which is meant to even an arms race on the 2020 congressional battlefield, was cheered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who has been fielding concerns from some of her members over a costly Republican advertising offensive as the House moves toward an impeachment vote next week.”

One Term Biden? Ryan Lizza: “Former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers and prominent Democrats outside the Biden campaign have recently revived a long-running debate whether Biden should publicly pledge to serve only one term, with Biden himself signaling to aides that he will serve only a single term.”

“While the option of making a public pledge remains available, Biden has for now settled on an alternative strategy: quietly indicate that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital.”

The Buttigieg McKinsey Affair — “Pete Buttigieg released the names of nine clients for whom he worked while employed as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, a period of his life that has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks,” the New York Times reports.

“The list shows Mr. Buttigieg worked on projects in the health care and retail industries, along with federal government projects relating to the environment and the economies in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as nonprofit environmental groups.”

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign also said that it will make future fundraisers open to the public, including reporters, and that the names of people raising money for the campaign will be released to the public, Axios reports.

CNBC notes the move follows days of criticism by rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who challenged Buttigieg to be more transparent.

The Red Exodus David Wasserman: “When President Trump was inaugurated in 2017, there were 241 Republicans in the House. Since then, 104 of them (43%) have either retired, been defeated, or are forgoing reelection in 2020.”

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) told WSKY that he would not run for reelection in 2020, honoring a pledge that he would not seek more than four terms in Congress.

How Impeachment will play in 2020 Playbook: “The Democratic majority came into power looking to avoid this at all costs. And here we are. Trump, who once said he would not do business with the Democrats if they were investigating him, is now getting impeached and will get his top trade deal passed at the same time. Trump won in 2016 in part because he dumped all over NAFTA. Now he’s just cut a new deal that experts say is not dissimilar to NAFTA.”

“There’s a lot of talk about how all of this will affect the election. Fair enough — but the election is 11 months away. A lot will happen between now and then. Anyone who tells you they know how the politics of all this will play in 2020 is selling you something.”

The New Debate — “Andrew Yang has qualified for next week’s Democratic debate, bringing the lineup to seven and ensuring that the candidates onstage will not all be white, though the lineup still does not include any black or Latino candidates,” the New York Times reports.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said that she won’t participate in the December debate even if she qualifies, The Hill reports. Said Gabbard: “For a number of reasons, I have decided not to attend the December 19th ‘debate’ — regardless of whether or not there are qualifying polls. I instead choose to spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

The UK Election is tomorrow — “U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to be steaming toward the parliamentary majority he desperately desires to pass his Brexit deal and end the gridlock in Westminster,” Axios reports. “Thursday’s vote is the culmination of three years of intense efforts to deliver Brexit, and to block it. The rocky road Johnson has plodded along since replacing Theresa May in July would become much smoother with a resounding electoral mandate.”

A new YouGov poll in the U.K., using the same model that accurately predicted the election outcome two years ago, suggests the Conservatives are on course to win 339 seats, Labour 231, the Lib Dems 15 and the SNP 41. Although that would give Prime Miniater Boris Johnson a majority of 28, the poll’s range of possible outcomes stretches from 367 Tory seats to only 311.

Said pollster Anthony Wells: “Based on the model we cannot rule out a hung parliament.”

Bloomberg attacks all Democratic candidates — Michael Bloomberg told CNN that he thinks President Trump would “eat alive” his fellow Democratic primary candidates, citing what he says is their lack of relevant experience and preparation for the race.

Said Bloomberg: “I think Trump is getting stronger and I think he would just eat alive the candidates. Because they don’t have plans that I think are practical, that can be implemented. They don’t have management experience and the President’s job is a management job.”

He added: “This is not a job where you take training wheels, this is the future of the world — the free world. And you need people with experience.”

Bloomberg is wildly unpopular Washington Post: “Electability is a central pillar of former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg’s newly launched presidential campaign, but a poll released Tuesday finds he is deeply unpopular with voters nationwide.”

“A Monmouth University poll found about twice as many registered voters rated Bloomberg negatively as positively — 54% unfavorable, 26% favorable. That margin was significantly worse than for five other Democratic candidates, as well as for President Trump. That same measure hampered Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016.”

There will be more battleground swing states in 2020 Reid Wilson: “After decades in which a small handful of states in the industrial Midwest sat at the fulcrum of American political geography, the epicenter has broadened substantially. As he seeks reelection, President Trump will play defense in Sun Belt states that have been the foundation of the Republican Party and offense in the Great Plains and the Northeast, more regularly Democratic territory.”

“Though Democrats have not yet settled on a nominee, initial polls show reliably red states like Arizona, Texas and North Carolina are in play. At the same time, Trump’s unique coalition gives Republicans the chance to compete for states like Minnesota, which last voted Republican in 1972, and New Hampshire, which hasn’t turned red since George W. Bush won it in 2000.”

Impeachment hasn’t moved the polls on Trump — A new Monmouth poll finds 43% of American voters feel that President Trump should be reelected, while 54% say it is time to have someone new in the Oval Office.

“These numbers have not really budged in the past month (42% reelect and 55% someone new in November). The current results are statistically similar to late September when news broke about the Ukraine call (39% reelect and 57% someone new) and August when the House impeachment inquiry was just getting started (39% reelect and 57% someone new).”

Said pollster Patrick Murray: “The impeachment hearings over the past month have not moved the reelection needle in either direction.”

The New Blue Deal — “Elizabeth Warren is out with new plans to speed up offshore wind projects, expand marine sanctuaries, and bolster use of oceans to soak up carbon emissions,” Axios reports.

“Those are three pillars of the far wider ‘Blue New Deal’ — a riff on the ‘Green New Deal’ concept — on ocean policy that the Democratic White House hopeful unveiled Tuesday.”

Warren looks for her Second Act — “Faced with questions about her viability in a general election and ceding ground to opponents in the primary, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is abandoning her above-the-fray approach and delivering her most forceful and direct criticism yet of her Democratic opponents,” the New York Times reports.

“That is one of a series of adjustments Ms. Warren is implementing as she seeks to recapture the energy and excitement of the late summer and early fall, when she emerged as a top contender for the nomination.”

“Now Ms. Warren and a Boston-based campaign team that has long resisted snap reactions to the day-to-day developments of the primary is nodding to the reality of a reshuffled race with no true front-runner. Her campaign is leaning into her role as the leading woman in the race and she is directly engaging with Mr. Buttigieg, after months of preferring to pick fights with the billionaire critics of her populist proposals.”

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