A new Focus on Rural America poll in Iowa finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic presidential race with 24%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 18%, Pete Buttigieg at 16%, Bernie Sanders at 14%, Amy Klobuchar at 11%, Tom Steyer at 4% and Andrew Yang at 3%.
Natasha Korecki: “There’s some indication in this survey that both Warren and Sanders suffered blowback from last week’s debate in Des Moines.”
SurveyUSA has a new national poll that shows Joe Biden leading with 32 percent of the vote, followed by Bernie Sanders at 21 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 14 percent and both Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg at 9 percent. As compared with SurveyUSA’s previous national poll in November, Biden is up 2 percentage points, Sanders is up 4, Warren is down 1, Buttigieg is down 2, and Bloomberg is up 6.
SurveyUSA also published a new California poll that has Biden leading there at 30 percent, with Sanders and Warren tied for second at 20 percent and Buttgieg in fourth at 8 percent. Biden and Sanders are both up 2 percentage points since the SurveyUSA November California poll, when Sen. Kamala Harris of California was still in the running, while Warren has gained 7 points since polling at 13 percent in November.
New York Magazine: “In the final days before the Iowa caucuses every four years, it’s typical for campaign aides and reporters, and baristas and taxi drivers, and any Iowan who’s ever turned on a television or heard a radio ad, to try predicting which presidential candidates will win and which ones will fall flat.”
“But this year is different. Just two weeks out, as the outcome of the race should be taking shape, almost no one in the state — much less the campaign operatives paid to project confidence to anyone who’ll listen — is comfortable even hazarding a shadow of a guess about the Democratic caucuses.”
Vice: “New findings from The Economist show that women under 45 make up a larger share of Bernie Sanders’ base than do men in their same age group, contradicting a popular narrative that says the 2020 Democratic candidate’s supporters are overwhelmingly white and male, to the virtual exclusion of other groups.”
Quad City Times: “Amy Klobuchar earned our endorsement.”
“She won it from an editorial board that, like much of the electorate just two weeks away from the Iowa caucuses, has struggled with how to assess the large field of candidates vying for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination.”
Gallup: “As the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump begins, 44% of Americans approve of the job he is doing as president. Trump’s approval rating has been steady in the past three polls — between 43% and 45% — slightly above the 39% to 41% ratings he received as the impeachment inquiry started in the fall.”
New York Times: “The history of the editorial board would suggest that we would side squarely with the candidate with a more traditional approach to pushing the nation forward, within the realities of a constitutional framework and a multiparty country. But the events of the past few years have shaken the confidence of even the most committed institutionalists. We are not veering away from the values we espouse, but we are rattled by the weakness of the institutions that we trusted to undergird those values.”
“There are legitimate questions about whether our democratic system is fundamentally broken. Our elections are getting less free and fair, Congress and the courts are increasingly partisan, foreign nations are flooding society with misinformation, a deluge of money flows through our politics. And the economic mobility that made the American dream possible is vanishing.”
“Both the radical and the realist models warrant serious consideration. If there were ever a time to be open to new ideas, it is now. If there were ever a time to seek stability, now is it.”
“That’s why we’re endorsing the most effective advocates for each approach. They are Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.”
Des Moines Register: “Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen is endorsing Elizabeth Warren for president, moving off the sidelines in the final weeks of the caucus cycle after previously saying she did not plan to endorse anyone.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), an influential liberal, is backing Sen. Bernie Sanders as the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, “strengthening his already robust support among some of the most liberal members of Congress,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“As someone who has been very lucky in life, I often say my story would only have been possible in America, and that’s true. But I also know that my story might have turned out very differently if I had been black, and that more black Americans of my generation would have ended up with far more wealth, had they been white.” — Michael Bloomberg, quoted by The Hill.
“Two of the first three states to vote in the Democratic presidential race will use new mobile apps to gather results from thousands of caucus sites — technology intended to make counting easier but that raises concerns of hacking or glitches,” the AP reports.
“Democratic Party activists in Iowa and Nevada will use programs downloaded to their personal phones to report the results of caucus gatherings to the state headquarters. That data will then be used to announce the unofficial winners. Paper records will later be used to certify the results.”
“In the final weeks before the Iowa caucuses, the two leading female candidates remaining in the Democratic primary are embracing their gender as an asset, decisively pushing back against concerns that a woman can’t be elected president,” the New York Times reports.
“Yet, the sisterhood may stop before the White House. In interviews with nearly two dozen female voters in Iowa this week, the symbolism of breaking what Hillary Clinton called ‘that highest, hardest glass ceiling’ in politics seemed to be less resonant than ever before, particularly for older voters, who were subsumed by anxiety about defeating Mr. Trump.”
“Pete Buttigieg is not touching the he-said-she-said between two of his chief primary rivals. In fact, he’s going to great lengths not to talk about any opponents at all, after spending the fall drawing contrasts with them,” Politico reports.
“Instead, Buttigieg, who has dropped 5 to 7 points in the polling averages here in a few months, is trying to regain the first-place position he once held in Iowa, closing out on a message of party unity. He’s staying outside of the conversation dominating cable news, campaigning miles away from the impeachment proceedings that called his opponents in the Senate away to jury duty.”
Politico: “The ‘Never Trump’ movement had once hoped to embarrass President Donald Trump in 2020 with a primary challenge that would expose the president’s weaknesses within his own party. But Trump’s GOP opponents are failing to even get on the ballot in many states, let alone gain traction with Republican voters.”
“With the start of primary season just weeks away, Trump rivals Joe Walsh and Bill Weld are ceding an array of key battlegrounds. Walsh won’t be competing in more than half of the 30 states and territories whose filing deadlines have already passed, while Weld won’t be contending 12 of them. The latest blow came Wednesday, when the two missed the deadline to make the Virginia ballot, making Trump the sole contender.”