The Campaign Report – December 26, 2019

Public support for Donald Trump‘s removal from office is the highest it has ever been, according to a new poll from MSN. Fifty-five per cent of those asked said they were in favour of the US president’s conviction by the Senate, a figure which has shot up from 48 per cent the week before.

Meanwhile, the number of people against Mr Trump’s removal has dropped to an all-time low, according to the MSN poll.  On Christmas Day, 40 per cent were opposed to the Senate voting to convict the president, who has been impeached over his dealings with Ukraine and an alleged subsequent attempt to obstruct congress.

“Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is ending its relationship with a vendor amid reports that the vendor used prison labor for campaign work.  First reported by The Intercept, the campaign, through a third-party vendor, contracted the services of ProCom, a New Jersey-based company that runs call centers out of at least two prisons in the state of Oklahoma,” CBS News reports

“According to the Intercept, incarcerated women in the Oklahoma minimum-security women’s prison, Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, made calls on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign to California voters.”

“President Trump is going to rally his religious supporters in Miami, a move that comes after an evangelical Christian magazine called for him to be removed from office. Trump is rolling out an ‘Evangelicals for Trump’ coalition on Jan. 3 in Miami,” the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.

Washington Post:”The events were part of a high-dollar fundraising program that Warren had embraced her entire political career, from her first Senate run in 2011 through her reelection last year. Warren was so successful at it that she was able to transfer $10 million of her Senate cash to help launch her presidential bid.”

“But in the past year Warren has undergone a transformation, moving from one of the Democratic Party’s biggest draws at high-dollar fundraisers to a presidential candidate who has sworn them off as sinister attempts to sell access.”

John Harris: “This bias is marked by an instinctual suspicion of anything suggesting ideological zealotry, an admiration for difference-splitting, a conviction that politics should be a tidier and more rational process than it usually is.”

David Leonhardt: “The bias caused much of the media to underestimate Ronald Reagan in 1980 and Donald Trump in 2016. It also helps explain the negative tone running through a lot of the coverage of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders this year.”

“Centrist bias, as I see it, confuses the idea of centrism (which is very much an ideology) with objectivity and fairness. It’s an understandable confusion, because American politics is dominated by the two major parties, one on the left and one on the right. And the overwhelming majority of journalists at so-called mainstream outlets — national magazines, newspapers, public radio, the non-Fox television networks — really are doing their best to treat both parties fairly.

Politico: “Together, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have poured nearly $200 million into television and digital advertising alone, with the former New York mayor spending an unprecedented $120 million in the roughly three weeks since he joined the presidential race. That’s more than double the combined ad spending of every single non-billionaire candidate in the Democratic field this entire year.”

Said GOP strategist Jim McLaughlin: “We’ve never seen spending like this in a presidential race.”

“As she slips in state and national polls, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is shaking up her campaign style in Iowa — a move that paves the way for more candid, sometimes personal events,” the Des Moines Register reports. “Instead of a 45-minute stump speech followed by three audience questions, Warren is speaking for fewer than 10 minutes and opening the rest of the hour to questions. The new format gets in at least a dozen audience questions, allowing for more crowd interaction than she’s had in her nearly yearlong campaign in Iowa.”

Washington Post: “Military cyber officials are developing information warfare tactics that could be deployed against senior Russian officials and oligarchs if Moscow tries to interfere in the 2020 U.S. elections through hacking election systems or sowing widespread discord.”

“One option being explored by U.S. Cyber Command would target senior leadership and Russian elites, though probably not President Vladimir Putin, which would be considered too provocative, said the current and former officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. The idea would be to show that the target’s sensitive personal data could be hit if the interference did not stop, though officials declined to be more specific.”

Politico: “Government reports indicate a Florida election technology company was hacked in 2016. There’s plenty the public doesn’t know about the incident—but should—going into 2020.”

Politico: “For months the Vermont senator was written off by Democratic Party insiders as a candidate with a committed but ultimately narrow base who was too far left to win the primary. Elizabeth Warren had skyrocketed in the polls and seemed to be leaving him behind in the race to be progressive voters’ standard-bearer in 2020.”

“But in the past few weeks, something has changed. In private conversations and on social media, Democratic officials, political operatives and pundits are reconsidering Sanders’ chances.”

Colorado Sun: “A decade ago, Colorado voters were evenly split into thirds, but since 2010, the voting populace not aligned with any political party has steadily increased. And at the start of December, Colorado reached a new milestone — 40% of the state’s voters are now unaffiliated.”

“The new number holds huge importance. Not only does it bust the myth about Colorado’s even partisan split, but the unaffiliated voters are poised to define the 2020 election year. The proportion of unaffiliated voters is expected to increase and this segment will receive outsized attention from the campaigns for the White House and U.S. Senate.”

A new Morning Consult poll finds Rep. Tulsi Gabbard surpassed Michael Bloomberg as the most disliked candidate in the Democratic presidential race following her “present” votes on articles of impeachment against President Trump, with 30% of Democratic primary voters viewing her unfavorably (+7% week over week).

Former Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) called on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) to resign from her seat in Congress, Honolulu Civil Beat reports. Said Abercrombie: “I feel very strongly the 2nd District of Hawaii must be fully represented.” Abercrombie emphasized how Gabbard has already said she will not be seeking reelection for her congressional seat.

“Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ), the New Jersey freshman who bolted the Democratic Party after opposing President Trump’s impeachment, faces an uncertain political future — not assured of acceptance by Republican voters while risking backlash from his former party,” Bloomberg reports.

“House party-switchers have a mixed electoral record, with some going on to win re-election while others facing primary defeats by voters unconvinced by their political conversion.”

New York Magazine: “Last week, the first-term conservative Democrat polled his district about his opposition to impeachment. The results were very one-sided. Over 70% of Democratic primary voters would be less likely to support him if he voted against impeaching Donald Trump.”

“Van Drew immediately went silent and was unreachable by allies in the party. The next day, he was meeting with Donald Trump at the White House to discuss switching parties. Within 48 hours, word had leaked out about his decision and, within a week, Van Drew was on cable news pledging his ‘undying support’ to a president whom he voted against 93% of the time.”

Andrew Yang used a question in the last Democratic debate about being the only candidate of color on the stage to tell America that he “missed Cory” and then he made a prediction: “I think Cory will be back,” CNN reports.

“It was a human moment during an otherwise antagonistic debate, and it earned Yang, who has fashioned himself the nice guy in the presidential race, a hearty round of applause and an appreciative text from Booker, who, according to a source, thanked Yang and said he hoped to prove his prediction right.”

“His response also highlighted something deeper: An unexpected but honest friendship between the two presidential candidates, one who has failed to live up to expectations and another who has surpassed his. Yang and Booker have known each other for years, aides say, but their relationship has deepened as they crisscross the country — often times at the same events — to vie for the chance to take on President Trump in 2020.”

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

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