What Now?! – February 24, 2020

President Trump made a veiled threat toward House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, claiming without evidence that the California Democrat had leaked information from a classified briefing in which a senior U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers that Russia wants to see Trump reelected, the Washington Post reports.

Tweeted Trump: “Somebody please tell incompetent (thanks for my high poll numbers) and corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff to stop leaking Classified information or, even worse, made up information, to the Fake News Media. Someday he will be caught, and that will be a very unpleasant experience!”

FiveThirtyEight: “Our model had already anticipated a pretty good showing for Sanders in Nevada; we expected him to win, 39 percent of the final vote, on average — exactly what he won. So there isn’t a huge change in how the model sees the race. But Sanders’s outlook still meaningfully improved: His chances of winning a majority of pledged delegates are up 6 points, to 46%.”

“Joe Biden did see a small uptick in our overall forecast thanks to a good CBS/YouGov South Carolina poll released on Sunday that put him at 28%, and 5 points ahead of the rest of the field.”

“But perhaps the biggest wildcard after Nevada is that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the biggest hit of any candidate, dropping more than 4 points in our forecast, even though he wasn’t on the ballot in Nevada. That’s because we’re starting to get some post-debate polls, and they do not have good numbers for Bloomberg.”

Chicago Tribune: “In his winding ‘homecoming’ speech and various media interviews since having his sentence commuted Tuesday by President Donald Trump, Blagojevich has woven a web of half-truths and, to critics, hypocrisies around his newly found freedom. He has promoted unfounded conspiracy theories, attacked his former prosecutors and downplayed his own criminal behavior.”

“And as he has been since the moment of his arrest, Blagojevich remains unrepentant. If anything, a lengthy incarceration has only strengthened his belief that he is the victim of political corruption and not the perpetrator.”

“He also seems emboldened by Trump’s bombastic style, which drastically changed the political and cultural landscape while Blagojevich was behind bars. That new reality allows for hurling allegations regardless of their veracity, excoriating perceived opponents in the media and often shouting down the truth.”

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on Fox News that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it “false information” that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

Joe Biden blamed his drop in African American support ahead of the South Carolina primary to billionaire Tom Steyer’s spending in the state, The Hill reports.

Said Biden: “What’s happening is you have Steyer spending millions of dollars out campaigning there, so I think a lot’s happening in terms of the amount of money being spent by billionaires to try to cut into the African American vote.”

A new CBS News poll in South Carolina finds Joe Biden leading the Democratic primary race with 28%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 23%, Tom Steyer at 18%, Elizabeth Warren at 13%, Pete Buttigieg at 10% and Amy Klobuchar at 4%.

Politico notes this poll allows Steyer to return to the debate stage this week.

Washington Post: “Internal polling and analytics completed last week by former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg’s campaign projected that Sanders may be the only presidential candidate to win delegates in every state and district on March 3, delivering him a lead of 350 to 400 out of 1,357 delegates set to be awarded unless race dynamics change.”

“Because of Democratic rules that give no delegates to candidates who scores less than 15 percent of the vote in a state or congressional district, Sanders could build a delegate lead far greater than his advantage in the popular vote.”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey tells Mike Allen that according to his models, if the current field remains on Super Tuesday, Sanders would win about 30% of the vote — and 45% of the delegates.

Said Sheekey: “The next candidate would have less than half that number — and little or no ability to catch up before the convention”

Whether or not they’re voting for him, a new CBS News poll finds 65% of registered voters nationwide think President Trump will definitely or probably be reelected, including more than a third of Democrats who think so.

Republicans are especially optimistic: more than nine in 10 expect him to win.

“Pete Buttigieg’s campaign, in a letter sent to the Nevada State Democratic Party just before midnight, is alleging numerous errors in how early vote totals were folded into the Caucus Day process,” the Nevada Independentreports.

“The campaign is asking the party to provide early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct, correct any early vote and second alignment errors identified by campaigns and explain other anomalies in the data before releasing any final caucus results.”

Washington Post: “Sanders’s advantage in Nevada was overwhelming, with substantial leads in nearly every demographic group, allowing him to set down a marker in the first state with a significant share of nonwhite voters. Sanders expanded the electorate by attracting relatively large numbers of first-time caucus-goers, providing momentum as the race shifts into a critical stretch over the next 10 days.”

“He prevailed among those with college degrees and those without; those living in union and nonunion households; and in every age group except those over 65. He won more than half of Hispanic caucus-goers — almost four times as much support as his nearest rival, former vice president Joe Biden — and even narrowly prevailed among those who identified as moderate or conservative. Despite attacks on his health proposal by the powerful Culinary Union, he won in caucus sites filled with union members.”

Politico: Sanders eviscerates conventional wisdom about why he can’t win.

New York Times: “Mr. Sanders’s success, and the continued uncertainty over who his strongest would-be rival is, makes it less clear than ever how centrist forces in the party can organize themselves for a potentially monthslong nomination fight. The moderate wing is still grappling with an unusually crowded field for this late in the race, the lack of an obvious single alternative to Mr. Sanders and no sign that any of those vying for that role will soon drop out to hasten a coalescence.”

Washington Post: “As Sanders builds what could eventually be an insurmountable delegate lead, many Democratic House and Senate candidates are approaching a dramatic shift in their campaigns, as they recalibrate to include praise of capitalism and distance themselves from the national party. Top campaign strategists from both parties view Sanders’s success as a potentially tectonic event, which could narrow the party’s already slim hopes of retaking the Senate majority and fuel GOP dreams of reclaiming the House, which it lost amid a Democratic romp in 2018.”

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

3 comments on “What Now?! – February 24, 2020

  1. cassandram

    “That new reality allows for hurling allegations regardless of their veracity, excoriating perceived opponents in the media and often shouting down the truth.”

    Because the 4th Estate is broken — reduced to recording untruths rather than figuring out what that truth is and telling us.

  2. cassandram

    And then there’s this hilarious bit of journalism — providing the best reason why a source needs to be anonymous I have ever seen. (read to the end)

    • Good communication is the key to a good marriage. So is knowing when not to communicate.

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