ChrisWeigant.com

Democratic Field Warms Up For The Debates

[ Posted Monday, June 10th, 2019 – 17:43 UTC ]

The field has been set, the cattle calls have begun, and the first debate round is looming on the horizon. In other words, the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination contest has moved into a new phase. If the polls can be believed, the people of Iowa are once again taking their "first in the nation" status seriously, and have begun examining the candidates much more closely than voters in other states. That should come as no surprise, since almost all the candidates are now investing heavily in doing well out in corn country. At least, the ones who have raised enough money to invest heavily in any state, that is.

 

Campaign News

The big news over the weekend was a new Des Moines Register poll, which showed only seven of the 24 candidates getting any sort of traction at all with Democratic voters. Joe Biden led the field with 24 percent, while three others were neck-and-neck in the battle for second place: Bernie Sanders (16 percent), Elizabeth Warren (15), and Pete Buttigieg (14). The other three who moved the needle at all were: Kamala Harris (7), Beto O'Rourke (2), and Amy Klobuchar (2). The other 17 candidates all registered at a single percentage point or worse.

These results are slightly different than the candidates' national poll standings, but not all that different. The national polls all show Biden comfortably out front, Bernie in second place, and a handful of others forming a pack of candidates who can reliably get more than 1-in-100 voters to support them. Or even remember their names.

What is different about the Iowa poll is that more voters are beginning to take a serious look at all the candidates and at least tentatively make up their minds. If you add up the top four numbers in that Iowa poll, it comes out to 69 percent of the electorate choosing what they consider a viable candidate. Add in the next three who managed better than one percent, and you get 80 percent of the poll's respondents backing a popular candidate. In the national polling, this just isn't true yet -- "undecided" still polls higher than virtually every other candidate. Most people outside of Iowa (and New Hampshire) simply aren't paying all that much attention yet, and the national polling is still heavily reliant on name recognition alone.

Two other recent polls were also of interest, one showing both Sanders and Biden beating Trump in Michigan by a whopping 12 points. The other poll showed Biden (but no other Democrat) beating Trump by four points in Texas. Now, turning Texas blue has long been a dream of Democrats, but one poll certainly doesn't guarantee it's going to happen. But the Michigan poll is much more interesting. Trump is not popular in Michigan. Democrats made huge gains there in the midterms, in fact. But Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are all key states that Trump won in order to gain an Electoral College majority.

Team Trump has noticed, apparently, and they are desperately searching for other states which might shore up his Electoral College total in 2020. The word is they've been eyeing New Mexico, Nevada, and New Hampshire as possible pickups. But Politico noted that this may be a rather steep uphill climb:

Still, there's considerable skepticism that Trump can make a serious play in the states -- especially Nevada and New Mexico. Republicans have not won a presidential race in Nevada or New Mexico since 2004, and the last time they carried New Hampshire was in 2000. Democrats won every statewide race in New Mexico last year; in Nevada, they seized a Senate seat as well as the governorship. In New Hampshire, Democrats won control of both state legislative chambers.

Trump's unpopularity was a big factor in that success, Democrats say.

The article also points out that the math isn't all that great for Trump, either: "Trump aides acknowledge they start at a disadvantage in each of the three states, which total 15 electoral votes. (By comparison, Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes, Michigan has 16 and Wisconsin 10.)" So even if Trump managed to flip all three newly-targeted states but also lose Michigan, he'd still be down one elector. If he loses Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well, he'd be down 31 electors. Which might just hand the White House to a Democrat.

But let's get back to the Democratic race. One area where Democrats are fighting hard rather than taking things for granted is in courting Labor. Bernie Sanders appeared at a Walmart shareholders' meeting last week, trying to shame them into upping their minimum wage to $15 (hey, it worked for Amazon, right?). He was unsuccessful in the attempt, but he wasn't the only one appearing shoulder-to-shoulder with workers. McDonald's employees are also pushing for a $15 minimum, and several Democratic candidates are visibly supporting their efforts. Democrats have not shied away from taking on giant corporations by name this election cycle, which is a big difference than years past.

Democrats almost across the board are making an economic case that Trump's economy is hurting Main Street America -- from farmers to factory workers, Trump has not made good on his promises. In fact, things are getting worse for them with Trump's trade wars raging. As a voting demographic group, they've so far been mostly willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, but this is the second straight year that farmers will have to plant while knowing that China isn't buying their products any more. If that rolls over into a third year, though, this may change. China famously takes the long view, and may just decide to wait Trump out in the hopes that he won't get re-elected -- which means a third uncertain planting season in a row. Giving Trump the benefit of the doubt is one thing, but skirting the edge of bankruptcy and losing the family farm is quite another.

Of course, we're all waiting with bated breath to hear who will make the first Democratic debates, and which night everybody drew. With only 20 slots, four candidates are going to get shut out. There will be squabbles about the two nights' lineups as well, most likely. These "working the refs" complaints are going to get much louder in the third round of debates, but that's months away. For the time being, all the candidates except the frontrunners are going to be striving for that magic "breakout moment" during the first debates that catapults their campaign into the limelight.

Which is why it's worth taking another look at the field, before any of those breakout moments happen.

 

First Tier

The first tier of Democrats hasn't changed since the last horserace article I wrote. Joe Biden is way out front of Bernie Sanders, who is likewise leading the rest of the pack.

As the race has sharpened up, more and more Democrats are realizing that they've got to come up with a way to eat into Biden's current dominance in the polling. This is a tricky tightrope to walk, because Biden is so personally likeable. Democratic voters think pretty highly of Biden as a general rule, even if he was on the wrong side of some issues decades ago. His avuncular affability is tough to fight against, because of the risk of a backlash from the voters. And so far Biden has trained all of his attention on beating Donald Trump, which is a near-universal goal among Democrats.

But while it is too early to say that the knives have come out for Uncle Joe, the other candidates are beginning to directly challenge him on the issues. Well, maybe "directly" is too strong a word, as every single other Democrat running is hewing to the rule of thumb that you should never actually utter your opponent's name, because that just helps him get more name recognition. So all of Biden's challengers have been using dog whistles rather than just dropping Biden's name. Bernie gave a speech last weekend in California which heavily leaned on a sort of call-and-response theme: there could be "no middle ground." This, for those in the know, was a direct attack at Biden, since one of his campaign staff was reported to have used that phrase a few weeks ago to describe Biden's "middle ground" stance on climate change. Bernie applied it to many other subjects dear to him, though, as he takes on Biden from the left.

He's not the only one doing so, either. Biden stumbled last week in his stance on the Hyde Amendment, first answering a question from a voter by indicating that he was against the Hyde Amendment. His campaign then issued a clarification: Biden had misunderstood the question and did, in fact, support banning the use of federal money to pay for abortions. This sparked an uproar among the other Democratic candidates, led by the women. They all decried the Hyde Amendment and condemned Biden for supporting it. Within a few days, Biden flip-flopped and announced in a speech that -- now that Roe v. Wade was under such fervent attack from Republicans -- he could no longer support the Hyde Amendment.

This was an early stumble, so it's certainly possible that Biden will get over it and it will be long forgotten by the time people vote. But it certainly didn't show any sort of principled leadership -- quite the opposite, in fact. It wasn't the subject matter or the flip-flop, but the rather inept and amateur way it was handled by both Biden and his team. If that particular problem persists, it could hurt Biden on other issues.

Biden, for now, seems content to coast. He has skipped the first three major cattle calls of the season (in California, Georgia, and Iowa), which made it all that much easier for the other candidates to attack him for being (literally) out of touch. Sooner or later Biden is going to have to get up to speed in this race, although it may take a dip in the polls to spur him to this point. Until that happens, though, Biden continues to act like he's already the nominee and he's training all his fire on Donald Trump. It's a good strategy for a frontrunner with such a solid lead, at least for the time being.

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, continues to hold his own in second place. In the Real Clear Politics rolling averages of national polls, Biden stands at 33.6 percent (down a couple points) while Bernie is slightly up, at 17.0 percent. Once again, Bernie is only pulling roughly half the support of Biden. It should also be mentioned that most of the movement in the RCP chart over the past week was due to one poll from Economist/YouGov, which may or may not prove to be an outlier. We'll see, after the next few polls get posted, in other words.

Bernie has a hardcore fanbase among the voters, obviously, but he hasn't gained much traction with everyone else. Even among progressives, there are now more candidates to choose from than just Sanders. But even though Warren and Buttigieg have made some gains, they cannot yet be included in the frontrunner category.

 

Second Tier

The second tier of candidates lost one name this time around, as Amy Klobuchar continues to fade into the background. This leaves five candidates in the pack, or at least "the pack with any hope of catching the frontrunners." While there has been some tiny movements in the polls for some of these candidates, they really haven't budged much at all in the past few weeks.

Leading the wannabe-frontrunner pack is Elizabeth Warren, with 7.8 percent in the RCP poll-of-polls. This, however, is down two points from where she was a few weeks ago. Warren has very slowly been moving up, so this reversal of the trend should be worrisome for her. Warren's campaign has a new slogan: "She's got a plan for that," which is an excellent way for her to differentiate herself from the rest of the field. More than any other candidate, Warren has been rolling out position papers on all sorts of issues, and staking out some very progressive ground in doing so. She is earning some respect for the depth of her platform, both among the voters and among her fellow candidates (who are now scrambling to catch up). But while she may be enticing former Bernie supporters over to her side, she still has a long way to catch up -- her poll numbers are still only half of Bernie's.

That's nationally, of course. In Iowa, she's doing much better, and has pulled within a single point of Bernie in that recent Iowa poll. Warren had an advantage in Iowa, since she had a Senate campaign chest with $10 million in it, which has allowed her to hire a whole bunch of staffers in the state -- but Warren has also been throwing herself into the "retail politics" campaign as well. She's holding as many town halls as she can squeeze in, and she's apparently connecting with the voters more than she's yet managed nationally. The excitement factor seems to be on her side in Iowa, at least for now.

There are two other candidates neck-and-neck with Warren nationally: Kamala Harris at 7.2 percent, and Pete Buttigieg at 7.0 percent. Buttigieg is also outperforming his national standing in Iowa, where he is polling at twice his national level. He is still somewhat of a media darling, and he has used this to his advantage perhaps better than any other candidate in the field. Free media is free media, and Buttigieg has accepted just about every offer to appear on the airwaves, to good effect. A few months ago, nobody even knew how to pronounce his name, and now he's arguably in fourth place -- that's a pretty good track record, at least for the moment.

Harris, on the other hand, is concentrating more on South Carolina than Iowa, it seems, and her polling in Iowa seems to reflect this (she's polling about the same in the state as she is nationally). Harris could be angling for an upset in South Carolina, which could be key to breaking the hold that Biden so far has over African-American voters. The black vote didn't break for Obama right away, either, please remember -- it wasn't until he had won a few primaries that he was taken seriously as a possible contender. Harris is obviously hoping the same thing will happen for her.

There are really two "packs" within the second tier. Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg are all polling between 7.0 and 8.0 percent. Then there are two others: Beto O'Rourke at 3.8 percent and Cory Booker at 2.8 percent. Both of these candidates are holding steady for the moment, but that's after they saw an initial bump fizzle. Neither is currently close to slipping back into the third tier, but they've got to be worried about the prospect.

 

Third Tier

The only news here was that Amy Klobuchar fell from the second tier to join the horde which are all polling at a single percentage point or worse. Klobuchar is even doing pretty dismally in Iowa, which may finally prove that just being from a state that touches Iowa doesn't mean you have any sort of home-field advantage (more like a field of dreams, to keep the metaphor local). To put this another way, Klobuchar is walking the same path pioneered by Michele Bachmann, who was supposed to do well in the state next door to Minnesota. But that Minnesota magic may be vastly overstated, as Klobuchar is also finding out.

Klobuchar becomes the third sitting senator to join the bottom ranks. Michael Bennet is going nowhere and Kirsten Gillibrand is scraping bottom. Bennet and Klobuchar are trying to win the nomination by being the most centrist -- scolding the party for "going too far to the left," which isn't really what the typical primary voter wants to hear right about now. Gillibrand has her own set of problems with hardcore Democrats as well.

At least Klobuchar managed to get a full 1.0 percent, though. Bill de Blasio was the only other candidate to do so in the third tier. That means 15 candidates are polling at less than a single percent. Here's the full list of the bottom tier, just in case you've forgotten them all: Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mike Gravel, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Wayne Messam, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.

 

Conclusions

I wrote an article last week that summed up the state of the race in more detail than space allows here. It basically boils down (at the current moment -- things could always change) to whether anyone can dethrone Biden or not.

Joe Biden is the clear favorite. You can call it a love affair from the media or the establishment of the Democratic Party, but the voters also clearly prefer him over the field right now. Perhaps this is a result of his near-universal name recognition, but then again perhaps not. Joe Biden is an easy guy to like, and a lot of Democratic voters seem to like him just fine.

The other candidates are taking note and training some broadsides against the inevitability of Biden. They're doing so cautiously, never once bringing personality into it, in the hopes of not alienating Democrats who right now are in Biden's camp. These attacks will likely get sharper, but they will also likely remain in the realm of policy debates rather than personal attacks.

Biden, meanwhile, is shoring up his support when forced (as on the Hyde Amendment), but mostly just riding the wave. He's trained all his attacks against Donald Trump, and he's trying to make the case that he'd be the best candidate to go toe-to-toe with Trump in the general election.

Direct competition between the candidates has begun... well, sort of. They are now regularly appearing on the same stage in front of the same audience, but not simultaneously. The D.N.C. rules are clear -- there must be no multicandidate appearances because they've staked out this ground for their own debates. So instead, the candidates all appear in series, one after the other. Last weekend, 19 of them took the stage at an Iowa event, and that followed a similar appearance in California by 14 of them. They (obviously) only get limited time to make their cases -- if they got even 10 minutes apiece, that would take over three hours (if 19 candidates appeared). But this will hopefully be good practice for the first round of debates, which will also feature very limited time on camera for each candidate.

So far seven Democrats (eight, if you still count Klobuchar) have risen to the level of having more than 1-in-100 voters behind them. That's a decent field all on its own, really. In a normal year, people would be saying: "There's just too many to choose from between all eight of them." This year, however, that is the stripped-down field, as there are 16 (or 17) others trying to make the grade.

Of course, this is unsustainable. Within three or four months, the total field will shrink -- perhaps drastically. Candidates who don't make the first two debate rounds are likely going to be toast. Candidates who turn in poor debate performances are also likely to go the way of the dodo.

We're still in the phase where any hopeful candidate can plausibly write off all the bad polls as "just name recognition." But starting with the first debate, that argument is going to crumble. If the nation's voters see a candidate perform and still look away, then it should become obvious that that candidate has virtually no chance of winning the nomination. So while we've just concluded the season of "who else will jump in?", what will come next will be the start of the winnowing. With 24 in the field, this winnowing may become just as frenzied as the rush to jump in the race has been for the past few months.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

25 Comments on “Democratic Field Warms Up For The Debates”

  1. [1] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    What I keep wondering about is: so who's the unlikely candidate to catch fire here?

    'Cause you know that's what's gonna happen. Democrats do it all the time. The original Clinton wasn't even a thing until AFTER New Hampshire.

    But the inevitability of such a thing happening is just maddening. A month from now we could be talking about Amy Klobuchar and Andy Yang.

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "Of course, this is unsustainable."

    If only that were true.

    It would be so nice if you would spend this time when everything is uncertain and often irrelevant in the presidential race covering issues that are always ignored due to feeble excuses of other priorities and not the right time, etc.

    But it's probably a safe bet to say that we will instead keep getting useless horse race articles and other nonsense and non-issues aboot the presidential election and candidates on a regular basis right on through November 2020.

    What a waste of time and potential.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Still, there's considerable skepticism that Trump can make a serious play in the states -- especially Nevada and New Mexico. Republicans have not won a presidential race in Nevada or New Mexico since 2004, and the last time they carried New Hampshire was in 2000. D

    Yea?? And how many decades was it since a GOP'er won Pennsylvania..

    Once again, Democrats are taking comfort in the past....

    2016 repeats itself..

    One would think you people would learn...

    He's not the only one doing so, either. Biden stumbled last week in his stance on the Hyde Amendment, first answering a question from a voter by indicating that he was against the Hyde Amendment. His campaign then issued a clarification: Biden had misunderstood the question and did, in fact, support banning the use of federal money to pay for abortions. This sparked an uproar among the other Democratic candidates, led by the women. They all decried the Hyde Amendment and condemned Biden for supporting it. Within a few days, Biden flip-flopped and announced in a speech that -- now that Roe v. Wade was under such fervent attack from Republicans -- he could no longer support the Hyde Amendment.

    That's what's so bad about what Biden did..

    If he had changed his mind on Hyde on his own, it would be defensible..

    But he changed his mind on Hyde UNDER PRESSURE (cue Queen/David Bowie song)...

    And that looks bad..

    Party Purity is rearing it's ugly head (as I predicted it would) and it's only going to grow...

    Expect a Party Pure candidate to win the Dem nom..

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    One would think you people would learn...

    Of course, I meant "you people" as in Democrats in general...

    :D

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    The article also points out that the math isn't all that great for Trump, either: "Trump aides acknowledge they start at a disadvantage in each of the three states, which total 15 electoral votes. (By comparison, Pennsylvania has 20 electoral votes, Michigan has 16 and Wisconsin 10.)" So even if Trump managed to flip all three newly-targeted states but also lose Michigan, he'd still be down one elector. If he loses Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well, he'd be down 31 electors. Which might just hand the White House to a Democrat.

    "You keep dreaming..."
    -Paul McCartney/Michael Jackson, THE GIRL IS MINE

    Just remember one fact.. The Democrats believed all the polls that said Hillary was going to win..

    And all the polls were wrong...

    Why set yerselves up to be horribly disappointed again??

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not be outdone by his supposed competition for moderate Democratic-primary voters, former vice president Joe Biden raised the ante when he addressed the same group on Friday. Biden claimed that voter-integrity laws — which Kemp was legally bound to enforce — were direct descendants of Jim Crow regulations aimed at preventing African Americans from voting.”

    Interesting...

    So, if the voter integrity laws are a "direct descendant" of the Jim Crow laws as Joe Biden claims..

    That means it's DEMOCRATS who are responsible for the voter integrity laws in Georgia...

    Day follow night...

  7. [7] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I think it's worth pointing out that Joe Biden is the ONLY candidate with a lead outside the polling margin of error. All candidates below Kamala Harris are attracting a lower percentage of voters than the polling margin of error! So, Joe Biden has a commanding lead. In Iowa.

    For readers wondering WHY IOWA First? I recommend NPR's 2016 explanation:

    https://www.npr.org/2016/01/29/464804185/why-does-iowa-vote-first-anyway

    "Because Iowa has one of the more complex processes — precinct caucuses, county conventions, district conventions, followed by a state convention — it had to start really early. (The Democratic Party held Iowa caucuses first in the nation in 1972; the GOP followed suit in 1976.)"

    For practical purposes you can boil this answer down to just "Because."

    And that is how the sausage is made.

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    But by continuing to swear to the lie that the election was stolen, Biden, Buttigieg, and every other Democrat who repeats that claim while paying court to Abrams and hoping to win African-American votes are poisoning the well of American democracy.

    Abrams has damaged her cause with repeated statements both before and after the midterms that can be interpreted as favoring voting rights for non-citizens. That reinforces Republican suspicions that Democratic opposition to voter-integrity laws is rooted in a desire to commit fraud.

    18
    In this way, Republicans and Democrats aren’t merely disagreeing but talking past each other in a dialogue of the deaf in which both sides think their opponents are seeking to steal elections.

    Abrams and the Democratic presidential candidates seeking her support are setting the country up for a 2020 election in which neither side trusts the system. Under those circumstances, we can expect that the tradition in which losing candidates graciously accepted their losses will soon be a relic of a bygone America that no longer exists.
    https://tinyurl.com/y4f8qte9

    In other words.. The Democrat hysteria in the aftermath of the 2016 election, where Democrats freely, fairly and legally LOST the election, is now the new norm...

    Thanx Dumbocrats.. :eyeroll:

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    "I don't need to watch the sausage getting made."
    -Stig, 10 Jun 19

    "And that is how the sausage is made."
    -Stig, 11 Jun 19

    Hell, even yer sausage fetish is Party loyalty based...

    heh :D

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think it's worth pointing out that Joe Biden is the ONLY candidate with a lead outside the polling margin of error.

    {cough, cough} Bernie Sanders {cough, cough}

    Of course I don't know what poll you are looking at (ya have soo many to choose from) but it seems to me that, by definition, Sanders would have to have a lead over the rest of the pack outside the polls margin of error...

    Unless the poll you have chosen has a huge margin of error.. But that would render the poll useless...

  11. [11] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    "you people" sounds so condescending and is like fingernails down a blackboard … yikes

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    "you people" sounds so condescending and is like fingernails down a blackboard … yikes

    Apologies...

    It came out wrong.. Hence my clarification.. :D

  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Being or remaining for too long on the wrong side of an issue is a no win situation.

    You are condemned for not changing, criticized for only changing due to pressure by those that are already agaionst you, but only given credit for changing by those that already supported you.

    But what if Biden's change was due to pressure, even if pressure was only part of what made him change his position?

    If pressure can be a factor on this issue, then why not find out if pressure to run a small donor campaign could also be effective?

    Why couldn't just one out of eight of citizens in the over eighty percent of citizens that want the big money out of politics work together to put pressure on candidates to run small donor campaigns in 2020 to make candidates earn our votes with concrete action now instead of empty promises of future solutions?

  14. [14] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Just to clarify my comment 7

    I am not unhappy that Biden is the favorite. On the basis of his relevant experience, political positions, temperament and chances of winning I rank him my first choice at this point. Age counts a bit against him.

    I like Sanders' social and economic agenda better than Biden's. Sanders is a seasoned politician, but I rank him less electable than Biden.

    I like Warren's agenda as well, but she is still more a technocrat than a politician, and I rank her least electable among the three.

    Any in the announced pack (herd? covey?) is better than Trump, so I rank the ability to beat him very highly. Given an electable monkey on a rock versus Trump, I'd vote the Monkey/Rock ticket. I Like OOK!

  15. [15] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Harris-13

    So what is stopping a potential small money candidate from announcing? Is it because 20% of the electorate is not enough to win? Is it because viable potential candidates know there aren't enough people in the USA who are single issue small donor-ites to push said candidate to victory? Most Americans are not single issue voters. The minority who are back different single issues.

    Suppose Rocky Joe Suhayda, current American Nazi Party Leader takes up your challenge, but nobody else does? Are you going to vote RJS?

    Virtually everybody but you seems capable of working your small money savior scenario out.

    Announce, run and prove us all wrong.

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    Any in the announced pack (herd? covey?) is better than Trump, so I rank the ability to beat him very highly. Given an electable monkey on a rock versus Trump, I'd vote the Monkey/Rock ticket. I Like OOK!

    So, basically, you don't care about Ideological purity.. You just want to beat Trump.. If Hitler was running against Trump, you would vote for Hitler..

    Glad to hear you putting your principles in the back seat over assuaging your sore luserism.. I mean that sincerely.. You are not the TOTAL Party slave I have made you out to be.. There is something that's a bigger priority...

    Congrats.

    I knew ya had it in ya!! :D heh

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Suppose Rocky Joe Suhayda, current American Nazi Party Leader takes up your challenge, but nobody else does? Are you going to vote RJS?

    Why not?? If RJS was running against President Trump YOU would vote for him???

    Why try to shame DH about doing something that you yourself would do??

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trump vs. Biden in Iowa: Septuagenarian rivals try to demonstrate vigor in head-to-head stops

    President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden head to Iowa Tuesday, marking the first time during the 2020 election cycle that the two will campaign in the same state on the same day.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/06/11/trump-biden-campaign-iowa-same-time/1341262001/

    That already happened in Pennsylvania...

    President Trump's rally had 10,000 in the arena (Max Capacity) and another 5-7K outside looking on by monitors...

    Biden's rally was clocked at an impressive 230 souls... :D

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    'Trump is an existential threat to America!'
    -Joe Biden

    If that is factually accurate, then Democrats have a DUTY to impeach the President...

    No politics, No Party Uber Alles....

    IMPEACH

    Since Democrats are putting Party before Country then the **ONLY** logical and rational conclusion is that it's NOT factually accurate that President Trump is a threat to this country..

    It's nothing but hysterical baseless Party slavery fear-mongering..

  20. [20] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stig-
    What is stopping a potential small donor candidate from making the commitment?

    They are getting away with pretending to be small donor candidates when they are not and the media has not exposed the lie.

    And because the media has not exposed the lie and informed citizens how they can fight back citizens have not organized to demand they run small donor campaigns.

    It's not because 20% is not enough to win. 20% is more than enough to swing an election with the other citizens who are voting for different reasons.

    It's doubtful than there was more than 20% on the single that got Biden to change his mind on the Hyde Amendment.

    And participants in One Demand will not be voting on a single issue no matter how much you want that to be true because you can argue against that.

    The reality is that being a small donor candidates is a starting point to establish a basic minimum requirement for support before considering other issues.

    And if no suitable small contribution candidate is on the ballot citizens write in their own name to register a vote against the big money candidates and to create and demonstrate demand for small donor candidates in the next election as opposed to continuing to repeat the mistake of choosing between big money candidates which validates big money candidates and perpetuates the problem in future elections.

    I have announced the formation of and am running One Demand.

    I have demonstrated how many parts of it have worked that I said would work when conventional political wisdom said it wouldn't.

    So it's up to people like CW to do their job of informing citizens aboot things like One Demand because citizens can't decide if they want to participate if they don't know aboot the opportunity.

    And since CW claims to run a reality based blog and One Demand is a real idea with a real website that the evidence available clearly suggests can work, CW has an extra responsibility to address this reality.

    But you know all this and choose to make nonsensical and previously refuted claims and comments aboot One Demand anyway.

    If you had a rational argument against what One Demand actually is you would have used it by now instead of repeating nonsensical and previously refuted claims and comments.

  21. [21] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Michale-
    Don't worry. I am never ashamed for being right when someone demonstrates how stupid they are or are pretending to be because they have no valid rational argument to defend their position.

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    "As I know you know, but others should know, too, I truly enjoyed working with you when you were attorney general. You were one of the best I have ever worked with, and there have been a lot of attorneys general since I have been here, and I mean that sincerely."
    -Joe Biden speaking to William Barr, 1995

    But after the onset of Hyper Hysterical President Trump Derangement Syndrome??

    All of the sudden, William Barr is Mark Pellegrino incarnate..

    :eyeroll:

  23. [23] 
    Paula wrote:

    Really really good piece about Elizabeth Warren:

    https://thebulwark.com/why-elizabeth-warren-matters/

    "For thoughtful Americans across the political spectrum, Warren’s candidacy raises a fundamental question: What version of democracy and capitalism do you want? Warren speaks to the inclusive ideal of fairness, opportunity, and a government responsive to all. She posits a future in which we have a genuine democracy and a market which is truly free."

  24. [24] 
    Paula wrote:

    In the piece above the writer clarifies that while both Bernie & Liz recognize the need for structural change, Bernie's solution is socialism and Warren's solution is well-regulated capitalism.

    And while they both have plans, Liz has way more and they are specific.

    When she first launched my analogy was that Warren is tackling the disease while everyone else is trying to mitigate symptoms.

    To me, Bernie is inbetween. He recognizes there is a disease at work. But his response is "you need medicine" - while Warren's response is "you need this exact antibiotic..."

    Bernie believes in socialism because unregulated capitalism isn't good. But he, it seems to me, sort of waves the word around as though the concept, itself, is enough.

    Warren agrees unregulated capitalism isn't good but says it can be fixed, here's how. Specifically.

  25. [25] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Sorry Paula, but both Bernie and Warren are not treating the disease.

    Both are proposing specific plans that may differ a little, but they are both proposing plans for future legislation while not taking action now that would prevent the need for the future legislation when it comes to big money campaign financing which is the first step that needs to be taken to make it possible to pass any legislation that will solve every other problem.

    The specific plan that addresses the first step in solving every other problem is One Demand.

    Politicians financing their campaigns with big money is not only not good it is the root cause of our inability to solve every other problem, but One Demand, not Bernie, Warren or any of the Democratic presidential candidates, is saying it can be fixed with concrete action now and here's how. Specifically.

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