The Campaign Report – February 15, 2020

Mew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose brief presidential campaign failed to get off the ground last year, endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for the Democratic nomination, the New York Times reports.

“His choice is a reversal from four years ago, when he endorsed Hillary Clinton over Mr. Sanders, but it is not entirely unexpected. He said last summer that in retrospect, he believed Mr. Sanders would have won the 2016 election if nominated.”

Russian pranksters claim they called Sen. Bernie Sanders pretending to be climate activist Greta Thunberg and offered Thunberg’s support to his campaign, the Daily Mail reports.

Sanders suggests that ‘Greta’ make a statement in his support and that they do an event together when she next comes to the U.S.

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) says he has already decided who will get his vote in South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary, the Columbia Statereports.

“But he hasn’t decided whether he will tell voters his 2020 choice before the Feb. 29 contest — a move that would be tantamount to an endorsement.”

“His reticence is now causing some serious anxiety among the presidential campaigns eager to know whether the U.S. House majority whip — the highest-ranking black congressman and South Carolina’s most influential Democrat — will intervene with a consequential, perhaps game-changing endorsement in the final days before South Carolina Democrats head to the polls.”

Politico: “Interviews with two dozen South Carolina lawmakers, consultants and voters here suggests there are deep cracks in Joe Biden’s firewall state, where his campaign expects to turn his misfortunes around with a robust victory that highlights his broad-based support — particularly among African Americans.”

“No one denies the state has an affinity for the former vice president to Barack Obama. Biden boasts endorsements from nearly 200 black South Carolina community figures and state and national legislators, a testament to his decades-long relationships with many leaders here. And he’s led in every single public poll in the state over the past year.”

“But his advantage has gradually eroded.”

“Mike Bloomberg may have been a late addition to the 2020 race for president, but the billionaire businessman and former New York City mayor has for years been quietly using his wealth to build what would become a national political network — with a massive scope that’s just now becoming visible,” ABC News reports.

“Bloomberg has pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into political donations and philanthropic urban grants that benefited progressive candidates and mayors.”

Bernie, please know that Tulsi Gabbard and Nina Turner are non-starters. If you are to pick a woman of color from the progressive mindset, you pick Stacey Abrams.

“President Trump will be the guest of honor at a Saturday fundraiser at the palatial Palm Beach estate of billionaire Nelson Peltz,” the Washington Post reports.

“Trump’s fellow guests: donors who gave $580,600 per couple to support the president’s reelection, making it the most expensive such fundraising event since Trump took office.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner endorsed Michael Bloomberg for president, the Texas Tribune reports.

“The backing of the mayor of the fourth-largest city in America is Bloomberg’s most high-profile Texas endorsement yet. It also gives Bloomberg another nod from a prominent black elected official as the billionaire grapples with pushback over his use of ‘stop and frisk’ policies while he was mayor of New York City.”

Associated Press: “Pro-Trump groups raised more than $60 million in January and have more than $200 million on hand for this year’s general election, shattering fundraising records on the path toward a goal of raising $1 billion this cycle. The Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump’s campaign have raised more than $525 million since the start of 2019 together with two joint-fundraising committees.”

“The pro-Trump effort said it has gained more than 1 million new digital and direct mail donors since Democrats launched their push to impeach Trump in September 2019. … The Trump team’s haul and cash on hand were twice that of former President Barack Obama’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee at the same point ahead of his 2012 reelection.”

The Intercept: “Much of the focus on Bloomberg’s historic spending spree has been on the TV ads he’s running in at least 29 states, helping boost him into the top tier in polls and driving up the price of air time for other candidates.”

“Beyond pushing out his competitors, though, Bloomberg’s spending is having a shockingly disruptive effect on Democratic politics throughout the country: He is hiring armies of staffers and canvassers in nearly every state in the country at eye-popping salaries, poaching talent from other campaigns and progressive organizations that are now struggling to fill jobs. In just three months, the Bloomberg campaign has hired thousands of people to staff more than 125 offices around the country.”

David Wasserman looks at Democratic turnout in New Hampshire towns won by the top Democratic candidates:

  • Pete Buttigieg: +26.5%
  • Amy Klobuchar: +25.2%
  • Bernie Sanders: +12.0%

His takeaway: Most of the increase in turnout was attributable to John Kasich/Marco Rubio types crossing over from 2016 Republican primary, not heightened enthusiasm of the progressive/Bernie Sanders base.

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

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