A new CBS News poll in New Hampshire finds Bernie Sanders in front with 27%, followed by Joe Biden at 25%, Elizabeth Warren at 18%, Pete Buttigieg at 13% and Amy Klobuchar at 7%.
A new CBS News poll in Iowa finds Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg tied in the Democratic presidential race with 23% each. They are followed by Elizabeth Warren at 16% and Amy Klobuchar at 7%.
Key takeaway: Sanders leads the field on two key measures: 43% have definitely made up their minds, and 67% feel enthusiastic in a state where enthusiasm can be an important motivator for voters to go out and caucus.
Harry Enten: “We have less than a month until the primary season, and it’s becoming more apparent that former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont are the candidates to beat. It’s not just that they are Nos. 1 and 2 in the national polling. It’s that each holds a lead on the two most important metrics beyond the polling: fundraising and endorsements.”
A new HuffPost/YouGov survey found that 43% of voters said they supported President Trump’s order to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Among that pool, 30% said they strongly approved of the decision. Thirty-eight percent of voters said they disapproved of the military action.
“Julián Castro, the former housing secretary whose progressive presidential candidacy did not make significant inroads with Democratic voters but earned plaudits from the party’s left wing, has endorsed Sen. Elizabeth Warren, offering a lift for her candidacy less than one month before the Iowa caucuses,” the New York Times reports.
Nate Silver ranks the most important dates on the Democratic primary calendar, weighted in his model by delegates awarded and the bounce candidates have typically received winning the early states:
March 3 – Super Tuesday
February 3 – Iowa Caucuses
April 28 – NY, PA, MD, DE, RI, CT
March 17 – FL, OH, IL, AZ
February 11 – New Hampshire
March 10 – MI, MO, MS, WA, ID, ND
February 22 – Nevada (tie)
February 29 – South Carolina (tie)
June 2 – NJ, MT, NM, SD, DC
New York Times: “Four years ago in Iowa and New Hampshire, a political circular firing squad erupted during nearly every prime-time commercial break. Republican presidential candidates and their allied super PACs unleashed a cacophony of personal, caustic attack ads as they sought to break through in a historically large field.”
“This year, with an even larger field on the Democratic side, the tone on televisions in Iowa and New Hampshire is decidedly different. Almost universally, the Democratic ads seek to address and quell a source of national anxiety — be it about President Trump, prescription drug costs, corruption, foreign policy or a changing economy.”
“And they’re doing it politely.”
Politico: “Democrats are now beginning to confront a very real scenario where the nomination — and the winnowing — will not be decided in states where campaigns have been plowing ground for more than a year, but in places and calendar dates so deep into primary season that until recently they’ve received almost no attention at all.”
“The Iowa field is bunched together with little daylight between a handful of well-funded candidates. Each of the four early voting states continues to present the prospect of a different winner. And, at the end of that gauntlet on Super Tuesday, a free-spending billionaire — Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor — is waiting to challenge whichever candidate or candidates emerge.”
“It’s a unique set of circumstances that has the campaigns — and party officials — scrambling to make sense of the reconfigured landscape. Looking at the possibility of a still-contested nomination even after Super Tuesday’s massive delegate allocation on March 3, Washington state Democratic Party chair Tina Podlodowski said mid-March will ‘probably matter more than ever before.’”
Atlanta Journal Constitution: “Kelly Loeffler is replacing U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, whose last day was Dec. 31. Loeffler will serve in the Senate through the end of the year, at least. She is expected to run in a November special election to fulfill the remainder of Isakson’s term, which expires in 2022.”
Amy Kennedy announced she is running for the Democratic nomination in Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s (R-NJ) southern New Jersey seat. Kennedy is the wife of Patrick Kennedy, who represented Rhode Island in the House for 16 years and retired in 2011.
“Michael Bloomberg is wasting no time building out his campaign’s ground game, with 500 organizers and staff in more than 30 states, including all 14 of the delegate-rich Super Tuesday states,” his campaign told NBC News.
“The ramp-up — both in staff and in spending on TV ads — has been quick. Just six weeks after he announced his candidacy, the former mayor of New York now boasts more than 800 staffers on his payroll and over $100 million spent on advertising.”
Judge Judy Sheindlin, the star of the popular court show “Judge Judy,” announced in an advertisement that she is endorsing Michael Bloomberg in the Democratic presidential race. Forbes notes the Judge Judy show has more than 10 million daily viewers.
First Read: “Here’s the most important number to consider when thinking about the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses: 15 percent.”
“That’s the minimum support a candidate must get at an individual caucus site to achieve viability in order to earn delegates. If a candidate doesn’t meet that 15 percent threshold, his or her supporters must realign with a different candidate who has achieved viability – or go to the ‘uncommitted’ part of the room.”
“So for the candidates who are touting rising poll numbers or buzz in the Hawkeye State, if you’re not within striking distance of 15 percent, you’re simply not a player.”
Michael Bloomberg said that he had no regrets over supporting the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Los Angeles Times reports. Said Bloomberg: “I don’t live in a regret world, and I didn’t make the decision.”
He added: “America wanted to go to war, but it turns out it was based on faulty intelligence, and it was a mistake. But I think the people that made the mistake did it honestly, and it’s a shame, because it’s left us entangled, and it’s left the Middle East in chaos through today.”
He is aware that he is running as a Democrat, yes?
“A Democratic super PAC focused on flipping state legislatures is set to pour at least $10 million into four states it wants to turn blue ahead of political redistricting in 2021,” Politico reports. “Forward Majority is focusing on 50 legislative seats in Florida, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina that Democrats nearly won in 2018.”
The Arizona Mirror obtained audio of Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) pleading for outside support during a meeting with Republicans, supposedly saying that while her campaign can’t coordinate with outside groups, “we pray for them every day.”
Said McSally: “We don’t have the resources to fight. If I went up on TV right now, my campaign coffers would be empty. If we’re going to fight back with a TV ad, it’s going to cost us millions of dollars.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Mitch McConnell “that he does not plan to run for Senate in 2020, most likely ending Republicans’ hopes of securing a potentially dominant candidate for the open seat in his home state of Kansas,” the New York Times reports.
Daily Beast: “Less than a month before voting begins, Obama has declined to offer a preferred pick to take on President Trump in 2020, only occasionally waxing philosophical about the perils of moving too far left and reminding voters to be ‘rooted in reality’ when exploring nominee options. But as Sanders gained new flashes of traction in recent weeks, the former president’s lack of official guidance to halt his momentum, and the scattering of his inner circle to rival campaigns, have hampered any meaningful NeverBernie movement.”
“Indeed, the most striking aspect of Obamaworld’s response to Sanders on the rise—flush with cash, an uptick in the polls, and unusually frequent hat tips about the merits of his character from his rivals—is the lack of a cohesive one.”
David Leonhardt: “If you’re like a lot of Democrats, you worry that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are too liberal — or at least that other voters think so. You’re also not buying the Pete Buttigieg hype. And you get nervous every time Joe Biden opens his mouth.”
“So where are you supposed to find a comfortably electable, qualified candidate who won’t turn 80 while in office?”
“Senator Amy Klobuchar has become an answer to that question in the final month before voting begins. She has outlasted more than a dozen other candidates and has two big strengths: A savvy understanding of how to campaign against President Trump and a track record of winning the sorts of swing voters Democrats will likely need this year.”