A new 7 News/Emerson College Poll in New Hampshire finds Bernie Sanders maintaining his lead with 23% of the vote, followed by Pete Buttigieg at 18%, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren at 14% each and Amy Klobuchar at 10%.
A new Marquette Law poll in Wisconsin finds very close general election matchups between Trump and four Democratic candidates. Joe Biden would beat Trump 49% to 45%, while Bernie Sander would top him 47% to 46%. However, Trump would beat Elizabeth Warren 48% to 45%, and would top Pete Buttigieg 46% to 44%.
Nate Silver: “More nuanced analyses of the Sanders-Warren conflict suggest that maintaining a nonaggression pact would be mutually beneficial because otherwise Biden could run away with the nomination. But the word ‘mutually’ is debatable. I’d argue nonaggression toward Warren is pretty clearly in the best interest of Sanders, who was in the stronger position than Warren heading into the debate and who would probably prefer to focus on Biden. But it’s probably not beneficial to Warren. Any scenario that doesn’t involve Warren winning Iowa will leave her in a fairly rough position — and winning Iowa means beating Sanders there.”
Politico: “Warren and Sanders’ presidential campaigns are publicly taking steps to move on from the feuding of the past week, after trading accusations of calling the other a ‘liar’ in a tense hot-mic conversation following Tuesday’s debate.”
“But it’s proving more difficult than either would like, thanks to months of quietly escalating tensions that suddenly boiled over this week. Even as Sanders and Warren mostly laid off each other earlier this year, many in Warren’s orbit privately seethed over escalating, thinly veiled criticism from Sanders top aides and surrogates, while some Sanders supporters have viewed Warren with disdain since she declined to join their cause in 2016.”
Politico: “Alarmed by the burgeoning feud between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, a coalition of progressive groups moved Thursday to de-escalate tensions between the two candidates’ supporters, encouraging them to instead rally against moderate Democrats.”
Peter Enns and Jonathon Schuldt: “Does the standard presidential approval question actually capture what voters think of Trump’s job performance? There are several reasons it might not tell the full story. For one, in this hyper-partisan era, presidential approval numbers have become increasingly polarized and don’t move around all that much, so they may now say more about which “side” people are on (pro-Trump or anti-Trump, Republican or Democrat) than voters’ actual evaluation of how the president is doing.”
“So we have worked to develop a hopefully more nuanced approach to measuring presidential approval, where we ask respondents how favorably they feel toward Trump relative to other notable Republicans.”
“A Georgia election server contains evidence that it was possibly hacked before the 2016 presidential election and the 2018 vote that gave Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp a narrow victory over Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams,” Politico reports.
“The incident, which occurred in late 2014, long before either of those elections, not only calls into question the integrity of Georgia’s voting machines during critical elections, but raises new questions about whether attackers were able to manipulate election data and voter information through the compromised server.”
A new Morning Consult survey shows Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) retained his spot as the most popular senator in the country among his or her constituents.
On the opposite side, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) unseated Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as the most unpopular.
“In what’s shaping up to be one of the most expensive U.S. Senate campaigns of 2020, and the costliest in Arizona history, Mark Kelly (D) continues to dominate incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R) on the fundraising front,” KTAR reports.
“Kelly’s campaign on Tuesday touted a 2019 fourth quarter total of over $6.2 million, more than 50% higher than McSally’s announced total of around $4 million.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is atop polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, said Thursday he is worried about losing valuable time on the campaign trail while sits through an impeachment trial that could last for weeks, The Hillreports.
Said Sanders: “I would rather be in Iowa today. There’s a caucus there in two-and-a-half weeks. I’d rather be in New Hampshire and Nevada and so forth. But I swore a constitutional oath as a United States senator to do my job and I’m here to do my job.”
Joe Biden told the Dallas Morning News that he would consider former presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Julián Castro to be a running mate or a member of his Cabinet if he is elected president.
Said Biden: “My plea to both of them is that they stay engaged. They are talented, talented people.”
Biden also told the Sacramento Bee that he would consider Sen. Kamala Harris for “anything that she would be interested in,” including vice president.
Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (R), who served under President Obama, told the Springfield State Journal-Register he did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016 and will “absolutely not” vote for him in 2020.
He also said he backs former Vice President Joe Biden.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) told the Casper Star Tribune that she will not be making a bid for the U.S. Senate, “initiating a reelection campaign some predict could one day lead to her becoming speaker of the House.”
Wall Street Journal: “The flow of cash—dubbed the Bloomberg effect by media-measurement firm Advertising Analytics LLC—has upended the financial dynamics of the election. Television ad rates jumped 45% in Houston after the Bloomberg campaign bought $1 million worth of ads in November, Advertising Analytics said. The campaign paid as much as double the going rate for staff and promised jobs to workers through November, whether or not Mr. Bloomberg stays in the race. The candidate now has 1,000 campaign staffers.”
“It’s a big part of the reason roughly $20 billion is expected to be spent on political advertising this election cycle, dwarfing the previous record of $12 billion in 2016.”
“The conservative political network affiliated with billionaire Charles Koch intends to launch its widest election effort in 2020 and could engage in nearly 200 federal and state races this year,” CNN reports.
Associated Press: “For the first time, the Iowa Democratic Party will report three sets of results from the party’s presidential caucuses. And there is no guarantee that all three will show the same winner.”
“Each set of results represents a different stage of the caucus. The new rules were mandated by the Democratic National Committee in a bid to make the process more transparent.”
Politico: “For the first time in the history of Iowa’s Democratic caucuses, the party will report the raw vote count for each candidate. And because of idiosyncrasies in the caucus process, the person with the most votes at the beginning won’t necessarily be the one with the biggest delegate haul at the end.”
Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) will endorse Pete Buttigieg in the 2020 Democratic primary, WMUR reports.
Amy Walter: “The other important reality of this era is the degree to which national polls have become less helpful in assessing Trump’s electoral college strength. A president sitting at 42% approval, with ‘strong disapproval’ outweighing ‘strong approval’ by 10-12 points is not going to win the national popular vote. But, that doesn’t mean he can’t win the Electoral College.”
“And, in assessing the Electoral College reality, there’s no better place to check into than Wisconsin. It is ground zero for 2020. And, for a good reason. Trump won the state by a little over 22,000 votes. In 2018, Democrat Tony Evers defeated GOP Governor Scott Walker by just 29,000 votes. And, while President Obama had little trouble winning the state in 2008 (12 points) or 2012 (7 points), then-Senator John Kerry carried the state in 2004 by just 11,000 votes.”
“Even if the Democratic nominee manages to hold all the states Hillary Clinton won, and win back Pennsylvania and Michigan, they can’t get to 270 without adding Wisconsin (or picking up Arizona, a state Clinton lost by almost four points). Trump can’t afford to lose Wisconsin either — unless he’s able to pick up neighboring Minnesota — a state where he came within 44,000 votes back in 2016.”