Printable Version - Something Is Rotten In The State Of Democrat (Campaigns)

December 7, 2019

 

A Warning From President Obama Ahead Of Tonight's Debate Has Intensified Concerns That "All Is Not Well" With The Democrat Primary As Strategists Become Increasingly Concerned That None Of The Candidates On Stage Tonight Can Defeat President Trump

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The Facts:

IF YOU DON'T FIND TONIGHT'S DEBATE LINEUP PARTICULARLY IMPRESSIVE, YOU'RE NOT ALONE

After one of the largest fields ever, 10 months of campaigning, and 15 hours of nationally televised debates, Democrat experts are " wringing their hands " as anxiety grows that none of their candidates can win a general election against President Trump.

The Washington Post Headline: "Anxiety rises among Democrats worried about party's prospects in 2020."

NPR : "There are undoubtedly vulnerabilities of the current field."

The Associated Press : "All is not well in the Democratic Party's quest for a presidential nominee."

NBC News Headline: "High anxiety: Jittery Democrats fear their candidate won't beat Trump."

The field is so weak that as early primaries loom, that even more candidates are coming out of the woodwork to throw their hat in the ring, even Hillary Clinton has said she is under "enormous pressure" to make a late run.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN'S LACKLUSTER FUNDRAISING HAS EXACERBATED DEMOCRATIC ANXIETY ABOUT HIS FLOUNDERING CAMPAIGN

Months of avoidable missteps, Biden's uninspiring performance on the campaign trail , punctuated by " unimpressive " debate performances, have frustrated donors.

Battling campaign stumbles and stagnant poll numbers, Biden has been forced to confront another " troubling " issue: his " lackluster fundraising ."

Biden's campaign is " bleeding money ," an issue exacerbated by lavish spending including stays at swanky hotels and more than $1 million for private jets .

Biden's missteps have fueled Democrats' anxiety about their chances of unseating President Trump.

Democrats are right to worry, Biden's financial struggles forced his campaign to reverse "longstanding" opposition to Super PAC support, a move his campaign said was necessary to defeat President Trump .

SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN HAS COME UNDER FIRE FOLLOWING THE ROLLOUT OF HER PLANS TO IMPLEMENT A MASSIVE GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF HEALTH CARE, UNDERSCORING CONCERNS THAT HER RADICAL POLICIES WILL ALIENATE GENERAL ELECTION VOTERS

Warren's rise to the top of the 2020 primary field has Democrats concerned that her far-left positions are too radical for general election voters and would hand the election to President Trump.

Even Former President Barack Obama warned that far-left policy proposals on health care and immigration "might have gone further than public opinion."

The considerable backlash following the rollout of Warren's plans to implement a massive government takeover of health care illustrates the political challenge she faces in pushing her radical agenda.

Warren " never wanted " to focus on health care but her inability to avoid the issue " threatens significant harm " to her presidential ambitions.

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS' CAMPAIGN IS IN TURMOIL AS HE STRUGGLES TO MAINTAIN HIS SHRINKING BASE

Instead of expanding his 2016 base, enthusiasm for Sanders' waned considerably since his first presidential bid as his campaign has struggled to retool their 2016 strategy.

Turmoil among Sanders New Hampshire staff has inspired a "clear feeling" of "gloom, doom and frustration."

Sander staffers have also left his Iowa campaign as he lags behind Biden and Warren in the state.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG HAS HAD A TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY SINCE HIS DAYS IN SOUTH BEND AND IT COULD COST DEMOCRATS DEARLY

Buttigieg's abysmal support among African American voters was thrust into the spotlight again after he used a stock photo taken in Kenya to promote his plans for the African American community.

This is not Buttigieg's first stumble, his campaign exaggerated support in South Carolina for his plans for the African American community.

Buttigieg's stumbles have highlighted concerns that he has been unable to shake issues with the African American community stemming from his time as mayor.

SENATOR CORY BOOKER HAS "STRUGGLED NATIONALLY" AND WAS FORCED TO ACCEPT HELP FROM A SUPER PAC JUST TO MAKE TONIGHT'S DEBATE

Booker's campaign has struggled to gain traction and his campaign manager was forced to admit that he "might not be in this race for much longer."

As Booker's struggles became public, a new Super PAC vowed to spend $1 million to help Booker "make the cut for the December debate stage."

SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS' DOWNHILL SLIDE HAS LEFT HER CAMPAIGN BROKE AND OUT OF OPTIONS

Harris' campaign is on its last legs, firing staff and shuttering offices as the campaign is " hemorrhaging " cash.

AFTER HER FELLOW MIDWESTERN DEMOCRAT SURGES IN IOWA, SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR LASHED OUT AT PETE BUTTIGIEG

Klobuchar directed her frustration with lagging poll numbers in Iowa at Mayor Pete, who's inexperience she complained would disqualify any female candidate.

MOST CANDIDATES HAVE TO INTRODUCE THEMSELVES TO THE VOTERS, BUT MONTHS INTO HIS CAMPAIGN EVEN THE MEDIA FORGETS ABOUT ANDREW YANG

For Andrew Yang apparently even "free money" is a tough sell, despite touting his universal basic income across the country Yang is still an afterthought, MSNBC even forgot to include Yang in polling graphics several times and was forced to apologize .

REP. TULSI GABBARD HAS STRUGGLED TO MEET DEBATE THRESHOLDS THAT SHE CALLED "ARBITRARY"

Gabbard will appear in tonight's debate despite complaints about DNC debate thresholds she has struggled to meet .

Gabbard has cried foul against the DNC debate thresholds calling them "arbitrary" and accuseing the DNC of "rigging" the primary against outsiders.

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IF YOU DON'T FIND TONIGHT'S DEBATE LINEUP PARTICULARLY IMPRESSIVE, YOU'RE NOT ALONE

Democrat Experts Are "Wringing Their Hands" As Anxiety Grows That Despite One Of The Largest Primary Fields Ever, None Of Their Candidates Has What It Takes To Beat President Trump

NBC News Headline: "High Anxiety: Jittery Democrats Fear Their Candidate Won't Beat Trump." NBC News , 11/16/19)

NPR: "There Are Undoubtedly Vulnerabilities Of The Current Field." NPR , 10/24/19)

The New York Times Headline: "Anxious Democratic Establishment Asks, 'Is There Anybody Else?'" The New York Times , 10/22/18)

The Washington Post Headline: "Anxiety Rises Among Democrats Worried About Party's Prospects In 2020." The Washington Post , 10/22/19)

The Associated Press : "All Is Not Well In The Democratic Party's Quest For A Presidential Nominee." Real Clear Politics , 11/9/19)

After 10 Months Of Campaigning And 15 Hours Of Nationally Televised Debates, Democrats Are Growing Increasingly Anxious About Their Primary Field. "When the 2020 Democratic presidential contest kicked off earlier this year, the massive field was hailed as the most diverse in history, with candidates who spanned the ideological spectrum and offered enough in a broad buffet of options to excite any voter. But after 10 months of campaigning and 15 hours of nationally televised debates, another emotion is rising: anxiety." ( The Washington Post , 10/22/19)

In Conversations With 17 State And National Party Leaders, Nearly All Expressed Some Level Of Unease With Where The Field Stands And A Deepening Concern That The Leading Presidential Contenders Would Struggle Mightily In A One-On-One Contest With Him. "In conversations with 17 state and national party leaders, nearly all expressed some level of unease with where the field stands and a deepening concern that, even as Trump suffers through one of the darkest phases of his presidency, the leading presidential contenders would struggle mightily in a one-on-one contest with him. For all of his challenges, Trump commands a gigantic operation that has vacuumed up unprecedented sums of money, an unparalleled megaphone to lure in voters and a lock on most of the Republican Party. Democrats face the possibility of a long primary fight that could cleave the party along ideological and generational lines and leave the nominee campaigning against an incumbent whom Democrats see as simultaneously weak and hard to beat." ( The Washington Post , 10/22/19)

Even Former President Obama Warned Primary Candidates To Avoid Leading To Far Left And "Embrace A Message That Will Keep Them Competitive Across All Parts Of The Country." "Obama said candidates should 'push past' his achievements as president, but embrace a message that will keep them competitive across all parts of the country." ( CNBC , 11/16/19)

John Coale, A Major Donor To Both Bill And Hillary Clinton: "They Don't Have Anybody Who Can Win The General." "John Coale, a major donor to both Bill and Hillary Clinton, was more blunt. 'They don't have anybody who can win the general [election],' he said." ( NPR , 10/24/19)

As They Look At The 2020 Primary Field Democrats Are "Wringing Their Hands" Wondering If There Are Any Other Options. "It's happening again. Democrats are wringing their hands, wondering who else might be out there? Michelle Obama? Sherrod Brown? Mike Bloomberg? Hillary Clinton? Oprah? Democrats do this mental gymnastics nearly every election cycle - is there anyone not running for president who is better than who is running and can definitely win in a general election?" ( NPR , 10/24/19)

A Former Obama Administration Official Voiced Concern About Candidates Tendency To "Lurch Outside The Mainstream" Pushing To Decriminalize Border Crossings, Abolish Private Insurance And Pack The Supreme Court, All Stances "Unpopular" With General Election Voters. "'My one concern is this trend to lurch outside the mainstream on a handful of issues,' this Democrat said, pointing to policies like decriminalization of border crossings, 'Medicare for All' as a replacement to private health insurance and packing the Supreme Court. All are unpopular with a general-election electorate." ( NPR , 10/24/19)

Elaine Kamarck, A Longtime DNC Member, Voiced Concern That The Democrat Candidates Are Out Of Touch With Places Like Ohio That Will Be Critical In The General Election. "You can imagine much stronger candidates," Elaine Kamarck, a longtime DNC member, told the Post. She prefers a more moderate figure like Brown, who has said being in favor of Medicare for All as a replacement to private insurance is a bad idea, because it's unpopular in a place like Ohio." ( NPR , 10/24/19)

The Anxiety Is Palpable To Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu: "I Can See It, I Can Feel It, I Can Hear It." "The anxiety is palpable to former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu: 'I can see it, I can feel it, I can hear it,' he noted in the Times." ( NPR , 10/24/19)

As Early Primaries Loom, The Democrat Field Is So Weak That Even More Candidates Are Coming Out Of The Woodwork To Throw Their Hat In The Ring

As Early Primaries Loom Democrats Are Still Without A "Dominant" Frontrunner, Prompting Two New Candidates To Hop Into The Fray. "No dominant front-runner. Sky-high stakes in the 2020 election against President Trump. Fast-approaching filing deadlines and looming votes in early states. Those factors are converging in the topsy-turvy 2020 Democratic presidential race, prompting former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to consider making late entries into the crowded primary field." ( The Wall Street Journal , 11/12/19)

Clinton Said That While It Is Unlikely She Joins The Race She Is "Under Enormous Pressure From Many, Many, Many People To Think About It." "Even Mr. Trump's 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, who has repeatedly said she won't mount a third bid for the White House, didn't definitively close the door on throwing her hat in the race. 'I, as I say, never, never, never say never,' Mrs. Clinton said Tuesday on BBC Radio 5 Live, while adding she was 'under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it.' But she reiterated that the prospects of her mounting another campaign were highly unlikely." ( The Wall Street Journal , 11/12/19)

  • Hearing Dissatisfaction With The Democrat Field Hillary Clinton Has Reportedly Not Ruled Out A Run. "Oprah Winfrey, an early backer of Barack Obama who was initially enthusiastic about former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, has repeatedly begged Disney chief executive Bob Iger to jump into the race. Hillary Clinton, according to two people close to her, has not ruled out jumping in herself, a sign that she is hearing similar dissatisfaction." ( The Washington Post , 10/22/19)

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN'S LACKLUSTER FUNDRAISING HAS EXACERBATED DEMOCRATIC ANXIETY ABOUT HIS FLOUNDERING CAMPAIGN

In The Wake Of Months Of Campaign Stumbles Punctuated By "Unimpressive" Debate Performances Joe Biden's Struggles Have Frustrated Donors And Now His Campaign Is "Bleeding Cash"

Former Vice President Joe Biden's Donors Are "Increasingly Expressing Frustration" With His Campaign, Claiming That The Former Vice President Has "Failed To Make A Clear Rational For Why He's Running." "Democratic donors are increasingly expressing frustration with Joe Biden's presidential campaign, saying he's failed to make a clear rational for why he's running for the White House." The Hill , 10/8/19)

After "Another Uninspiring Debate Performance" Biden Has Been "Stalled In The Polls," And Has Been Forced To Respond To Another "Troubling Issue:" His "Lackluster Fundraising." "Stalled in the polls and on the heels of another uninspiring debate performance, Joe Biden's campaign was forced to respond to another troubling issue Wednesday: his lackluster fundraising." Politico , 10/16/19)

When Biden First Announced His Campaign He Benefitted From An Early Fundraising Surprise, But Since Then The Former Vice President's Campaign Has Been "Bleeding Money." "Just months ago, Biden's initial cash haul surprised naysayers who doubted he could compete with the money-minting machines that are Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. But now the former vice president is bleeding money." ( Politico , 10/16/19)

In The Third Quarter, Biden "Spent Almost $2 Million More Than His Presidential Campaign Raised" And Wasted Money On "Luxury Expenses Such As Swank Hotel Stays At The Westin And The W, And Nearly $1 Million For Private Jets." "Biden spent almost $2 million more than his presidential campaign raised in the third quarter, a predicament caused by sluggish fundraising coupled with the expenses of maintaining a big payroll and a nationwide operation - one that included luxury expenses such as swank hotel stays at the Westin and The W, and nearly $1 million for private jets." Politico , 10/16/19)

Biden's Missteps Have Fueled Democratic Anxiety About Their Chances Of Unseating President Trump

The Associated Press : Biden "Is Clearly Trending In The Wrong Direction. And The Universe Of Concerned Democrats Is Expanding." Real Clear Politics , 11/9/19)

Biden's "Lackluster" Performances In The Previous Debates And His "Alarmingly Low" Fundraising Has Fueled Democrat Disquiet. "Mr. Biden's lackluster debate performances and alarmingly low cash flow - he has less than $9 million on hand, not even half of some of his rivals - has fueled the Democratic disquiet. But if the causes of the concern are plain to see, what exactly can be done about it is less clear." ( The New York Times , 11/22/18)

Rising Doubt About Biden's Ability To Finance His Campaign Have Democrats Are "Fretting" About Their 2020 Field. "With doubts rising about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden's ability to finance a multistate primary campaign, persistent questions about Senator Elizabeth Warren's viability in the general election and skepticism that Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Ind., can broaden his appeal beyond white voters, Democratic leaders are engaging in a familiar rite: fretting about who is in the race and longing for a white knight to enter the contest at the last minute." ( The New York Times , 11/22/18)

Democratic Strategist, Joe Trippi, Claims That Biden Could Be "In Big Trouble" If He Stumbles "At All" In The Early States, And He Doesn't "See How" Biden Would Recover. "'If he stumbles at all, he's in big trouble. Is it enough to make it through Iowa and New Hampshire? Probably. But if he comes in third in Iowa, I don't see how he recovers,' Trippi said. 'I don't know if it's him or the campaign, but it doesn't make a lot of sense, the high burn rate on top of what's coming in. It's like with the debate problems he has: Is it the campaign, or is it him, or is it both?'" Politico , 10/16/19)

Democrats Are Right To Worry, Biden's Financial Struggles Forced His Campaign To Reverse "Longstanding" Opposition To Super PAC Support In An "Implicit Acknowledgment Of His Weakened Position"

In An "Implicit Acknowledgment Of His Weakened Position" The Biden Campaign Reversed Its Longstanding Opposition To Super PACs "Opening The Door For Wealthy Supporters To Spend Unlimited Amounts Of Money To Try And Lift Him In The Democratic Primary." "Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s campaign effectively dropped its longstanding opposition to receiving the assistance of super PACs on Thursday, opening the door for wealthy supporters to spend unlimited amounts of money to try and lift him in the Democratic primary. The move represents a stark reversal and an implicit acknowledgment of his weakened position in the contest. He entered October with only $9 million in the bank, a fraction of his leading rivals." ( The New York Times , 10/24/19)

Biden Had Explicitly Denounced Support From Super PACs As Recently As A Month Ago But His Campaign Has Softened Their Stance Citing The Need To Raise Funds To Counteract Attacks By President Trump And Republican Allies. "Mr. Biden had explicitly denounced support from a super PAC in his 2020 run and had previously said he would not have blessed one if he had run in 2016. As recently as a month ago, when a possible pro-Biden super PAC surfaced, his campaign denounced the effort. But on Thursday, Kate Bedingfield, his deputy campaign manager, softened that stance, blaming the barrage of ads and attacks from President Trump and his allies and accusing them of interfering in the Democratic primary." ( The New York Times , 10/24/19)

Kate Bedingfield, Biden's Deputy Campaign Manager, Justified Biden's Reversal On Super PACs Arguing That "Nothing Changes Unless We Defeat Donald Trump," And That Biden Needs A Boost If He Has Any Hope Of Countering Republican Attacks. "'Let's be clear: Donald Trump has decided that the general election has already begun,' Ms. Bedingfield said. 'He and his allies are already spending massive amounts of money on paid television and digital advertising to intervene directly in Democratic primaries with the goal of preventing Joe Biden, the opponent that Trump fears most, from becoming the Democratic nominee.' She said Mr. Biden maintained his desire to remove private money from federal campaigns but 'nothing changes unless we defeat Donald Trump.'" ( The New York Times , 10/24/19)

WARREN HAS COME UNDER FIRE FOLLOWING THE ROLLOUT OF HER PLANS TO IMPLEMENT A MASSIVE GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF HEALTH CARE UNDERSCORING CONCERNS THAT HER RADICAL POLICIES WILL ALIENATE GENERAL ELECTION VOTERS

Warren's Rise To The Top Of The 2020 Primary Field Has Democrats Concerned That Her Far-Left Positions Are Too Radical For General Election Voters And Would Hand The Election To President Trump

Warren's Plan Radical Agenda, Particularly Her Vow To Abolish Private Insurance Has Raised Concerns That She Is "Too Liberal" To Defeat President Trump. "Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is seen as too liberal by some, especially because of her support for Medicare for All as a replacement to private insurance. And there's the complication of no woman ever having been president of the United States. (Whether Warren's gender would help or hurt her is an arguable point worthy of another column.)" ( NPR , 10/24/19)

Even Former President Obama Warned That Far-Left Policy Proposals On Health Care And Immigration "Might Have Gone Further Than Public Opinion." "Former President Barack Obama on Friday warned Democratic primary candidates to avoid leaning too far left in their campaigns, and raised concerns that certain liberal policy proposals on health care and immigration might have gone further than public opinion." ( CNBC , 11/16/19)

  • His Statements "Could Be Seen As A Nudge To Senators Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren ." "His statements could be seen as a nudge to Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have championed large, progressive policies aimed to significantly change the structure of the country." ( CNBC , 11/16/19)

Democrat Party Leaders In Activists Are Concerned About "Weaknesses" In Their 2020 Field Including That Warren Is "Too Liberal To Win A General Election." "Party leaders and activists are citing weakness in all of the leading contenders, including former vice president Joe Biden, who has been forced on the defensive about his family's ethics, performed haltingly in debates and set off alarms with his poor fundraising. They also fret that the two other top-ranking candidates, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), are too liberal to win a general election. Other candidates have had moments to shine, but none yet have fully transformed that into anything approaching momentum." ( The Washington Post , 10/22/19)

Former Adviser To President Barack Obama David Axelrod Expressed Concern That Warren "May Not Be Able To Win." "Still, it's unlikely that the what-if musing, particularly among the party's class of donors, elected officials and strategists, will quiet down as long as Mr. Biden is struggling and Ms. Warren, the Massachusetts senator, is surging. 'With Trump looming, there is genuine concern that the horse many have bet on may be pulling up lame and the horse who has sprinted out front may not be able to win,' said David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama." ( The New York Times , 11/22/18)

The Considerable Backlash Following Warren's Rollout Of Detailed Plans To Implement Her Government Takeover Of Health Care Illustrate The Political Challenge She Faces In Pushing Her Radical Agenda

Warren Has Come Under Fire In Recent Weeks After She Announced Her Plan To Delay Implementation Of Her Massive Government Takeover Of Health Care. "Now, her decision to delay passage of a full single-payer plan until well into her presidency has been criticized by some as an acknowledgement that some of what her opponents say is true: That Medicare for All will be too politically difficult to pass initially. The move could open her up to criticism from supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who wrote the original Medicare for All bill and who argues on the stump for wholesale institutional change over incremental solutions." ( Associated Press , 11/16/19)

Warren Has Faced "Persistent Questions" On The Implementation Of Her Government Takeover Of Health Care, Her Latest Stumble Comes Just Weeks After Her "Much-Scrutinized" Plan To Fund The Program Was Criticized By Experts For Lowballing Costs. "Warren has however faced persistent questions about the implementation of her plan, first on cost and now on timing. This release comes two weeks after she unveiled a much-scrutinized plan to pay for Medicare for All, which proposed raising most of the additional $20.5 trillion her campaign says would be needed from taxes on businesses, wealthy people and investors - not the middle class. But some experts criticized that proposal for underestimating how much universal health care would really cost." ( Associated Press , 11/16/19)

The Washington Post Headline: "Warren's Plans To Pay For Government Health Care Aren't Courageous. They're A Cop-Out." The Washington Post , 11/7/19)

Politico Headline: "'This Is Going To Cause Down-Ballot Damage': Warren's $20 Trillion Health Plan Fails To Quiet Critics." Politico , 11/1/19)

The Rollout Of More Detailed Proposals For Warren's Government Takeover Of Healthcare "Has Underscored The Political Challenge" She Faces In Pushing Her Proposal. "But the latest rollout has underscored the political challenge she faces on Medicare for All, a policy some of her more centrist opponents have argued would hurt Democrats in the general election by turning off moderates and swing voters worried about too much government involvement in personal health care decisions. On Saturday, Warren characterized her plan as in fact allowing Americans to have 'health care decisions that are just you and your doctor,' rather than having intermediaries like drug companies involved in the process." ( Associated Press , 11/16/19)

Warren "Never Wanted" To Focus On Health Care But Her "Inability" To Avoid The Issue "Threatens Significant Harm" To Her Presidential Ambitions . "Warren never wanted health care to dominate her campaign. After a week in which her detailed, sweeping Medicare for all plan has done exactly that, she'd still prefer to focus elsewhere. The issue threatens significant harm to her presidential ambitions. Her inability to escape it provides a clear lesson in the power that activists wield to box in candidates on issues they care about." ( The Los Angeles Times , 11/8/19)

SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS' CAMPAIGN IS IN TURMOIL AS HE STRUGGLES TO MAINTAIN HIS SHRINKING BASE

Instead Of Expanding His 2016 Base, Enthusiasm For Sanders' Waned Considerably Since His First Presidential Bid As His Campaign Has Struggled To Retool Their 2016 Strategy

Sanders Has Failed To Expand His 2016 Base, Instead Struggling To Maintain It As "Supporters Are Less Enthusiastic About His Second Round." "And instead of expanding his devoted base from 2016, Sanders has struggled to maintain it, as many of his 2016 supporters are less enthusiastic about his second round." ( NBC News , 11/16/19)

Sanders Has Failed To Expand His Base Beyond His 2016 Supporters Except "There Seems To Be Fewer Of Them." "With three months to go, the emergence of Ms. Warren and Mr. Buttigieg has confirmed that the race is entering a new phase, as Mr. Biden struggles to regain momentum and Mr. Sanders attempts to expand his base beyond his core supporters. 'The Sanders people are mostly the same people that were Sanders people in 2016, but there seem to be fewer of them,' said JoAnn Hardy, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. 'Some of them have moved on to other campaigns, not necessarily all to Warren. Warren has a wider supporter base than just former Bernie supporters.'" ( The New York Times , 11/4/19)

Sanders' Campaign Has Struggled To Retool His 2016 Strategy For 2020, These Issues Have Come To A Head In New Hampshire Where Sanders Has "Fallen Like A Rock" After Winning The State With 60% Of The Vote In 2016. "Allies say the Sanders campaign's biggest challenge has been the lingering disagreements on how to retool strategy from his 2016 campaign for 2020. Those clashes have been especially apparent in New Hampshire, the high stakes first-in-the-nation primary state where he won in 2016 with 60 percent of the vote, but where the latest state polling has him in third place, trailing Warren and Biden by double digits even before his health scare. 'He's the only one who has fallen like a rock. From the high polling, and the high expectations, he's been brought back down to earth,' said Susan Casey, a Democratic strategist and veteran of several presidential campaigns in New Hampshire." ( NBC News , 11/16/19)

The Sanders Campaign Has Experienced Significant Turmoil As Feelings Of "Gloom, Doom, And Frustration" Have Permeated Staff Amid High-Profile Departures And Lagging Poll Numbers

Turmoil Among Sanders New Hampshire Staff Has Resulted In A "Clear Feeling" Of "Gloom, Doom And Frustration." "Sanders' New Hampshire state director, Joe Caiazzo, was reassigned from his role to head operations in Massachusetts instead. Around the same time, Sanders' senior adviser and 2016 New Hampshire steering committee member Kurt Ehrenberg cut ties with the campaign. 'The clear, clear feeling permeating the Bernie Sanders campaign in New Hampshire was a sense of gloom, doom and frustration,' said a former aide familiar with a private steering committee meeting held the day before a staff shake-up was announced last month." ( NBC News , 11/16/19)

Sander Staffers Have Also Left His Iowa Campaign As Sanders Lags Behind Biden And Warren In The State. "Some staffers have also departed the campaign in Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state. A recent Des Moines Register poll found Sanders in third in the state, again behind Warren and Biden. A post-heart attack poll of 18 early states through Super Tuesday on March 3 showed similar results." ( NBC News , 11/16/19)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG HAS HAD A TROUBLED RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY SINCE HIS DAYS IN SOUTH BEND AND IT COULD COST DEMOCRATS DEARLY

Buttigieg's Abysmal Support Among African American Voters Was Thrust Into The Spotlight Again After He Used A Stock Photo Taken In Kenya To Promote His Plans For The African American Community

Buttigieg Continues To Poll At 0% With South Carolina African American Voters. "Pete Buttigieg is stuck on a polling rollercoaster. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor and 2020 candidate got good news over the weekend when a new CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll put him at the top of the Democratic field in Iowa. But his high hopes promptly sunk with a new Quinnipiac University poll out Monday that shows him floundering in South Carolina. Buttigieg racked up a respectable 6 percent support among likely voters in South Carolina, which will be the first southern state to hold a presidential primary next year. But when only black voters are taken into account, he earned the support of precisely 0 percent of them. Several other candidates also got negligible support among black voters, but Buttigieg has the highest percentage of white support in comparison and draws nearly all of his support from that demographic." ( The Week , 11/18/19)\

Buttigieg's Campaign Used A Stock Photo Of Kenyans To Promote His Plans For The Black Community. "The photo of a black woman smiling at a young black boy had been splashed for weeks across a web page detailing South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg's plan to combat racial inequality, which he billed as a 'comprehensive investment in the empowerment of black America.' But when the woman in the photo learned her likeness was displayed on the Democratic presidential candidate's campaign website, she was confused, the Intercept's Ryan Grim reported Sunday. The woman isn't African American and she's never heard of the Douglass Plan - she is from Kenya, where the picture was originally taken." ( The Washington Post , 11/18/19)

Buttigieg's Campaign Exaggerated Black Support For His Plans For The Black Community. "Critics are particularly eager to point out Buttigieg's struggles to reach black voters, as well as his missteps in black voter outreach. Black voters in South Carolina have remained cool to the young mayor's campaign, and a recent Intercept report described the Buttigieg campaign exaggerating black support for the candidate's Douglass Plan. (His campaign quickly pushed back against the Intercept's reporting.) 'His campaign continues to betray a disregard for the people of color who are our party's backbone,' says a staffer from a rival campaign." ( Time , 11/18/19)

Critics "Assail Him As 'Mayo Pete' Or 'Cream Of Pete' Because He's So White, And At Least One Aide To An Opposing Candidate Has Dubbed Him 'Benjamin Button,' After The Old Man Who Looks Like A Baby." "Staffers on other Democratic campaigns call him 'Sneaky Pete' or 'Mayor McKinsey' because of his ties to the business community. Others assail him as 'Mayo Pete' or 'Cream of Pete' because he's so white, and at least one aide to an opposing candidate has dubbed him 'Benjamin Button,' after the old man who looks like a baby." Time , 11/18/19)

Buttigieg's Stumbles Have Highlighted Concerns That He Has Been Unable To Shake Issues With The African American Community Stemming From His Time As Mayor

Vanity Fair Headline: ""Literally Zero Support Among Black People In South Carolina": The Giant Problem With Mayor Pete's Momentum." Vanity Fair , 11/19/19)

Issues With The African-American Community During His Tenue As Mayor Of South Bend Have Translated To His Campaign, As Struggles To Win Over African-American Voters Have Put A Damper On Buzz Around Mayor Pete. "There is buzz again around South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg after a strong debate performance and a sizable bank of cash on hand ($30 million). While he favors more poll-tested policy positions, he has less experience on the national stage, is the mayor of a town of only about 100,000 people, has had his own challenges during his tenure winning over people of color that have translated to this campaign - and he's only 37 years old." ( NPR , 10/24/19)

Continued Campaign Missteps Have Hurt Buttigieg With African American Voters . "Missteps have hurt. Buttigieg has touted his 'Douglass Plan' for attacking racial and economic disparities, but a press release about it included the names of three black South Carolinians as endorsers who then told the Intercept they were not on board." ( Vanity Fair , 11/19/19)

SENATOR CORY BOOKER HAS "STRUGGLED NATIONALLY" AND WAS FORCED TO ACCEPT HELP FROM A SUPER PAC JUST TO MAKE TONIGHT'S DEBATE

As Cory Booker's Campaign Continues To Struggle, He Has Been Forced To Accept Support From A SuperPAC

Since Senator Cory Booker's (D-NJ) Presidential Campaign Began His "Total Fund-Raising" Of Roughly $19 Million, "Lags Behind Even What Senator Bernie Sanders Of Vermont Raised In The Third Quarter." "Booker's total fund-raising since his campaign began, roughly $19 million, lags behind even what Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont raised in the third quarter." ( The New York Times , 10/1/19)

While Booker's Campaign Has "Struggled Nationally," His Campaign Manager, Addisu Demissie, Has Been Forced To Admit That He "Might Not Be In This Race For Much Longer." "Booker's campaign has struggled nationally. He averages at just under 3 percent support in the polls, according to Real Clear Politics. He warned other candidates were in similar situations and that the historically large 2020 field 'is about to narrow dramatically.' 'Booker might not be in this race for much longer - the same is true for other important voices in the field,' Demissie wrote." NBC , 9/21/19)

With Booker's Struggles Becoming More Public, "A New Super PAC Plans To Spend $1 Million" To Help Booker "Make The Cut For The December Debate Stage." "A new super PAC plans to spend $1 million to help Cory Booker as he struggles to gain traction in the Democratic race for president, with the immediate goal of helping the New Jersey Democrat make the cut for the December debate stage." CNN , 11/15/19)

· Previously, "Booker Has Said He Would Reject Any Help From A Super PAC." "Previously, Booker has said he would reject any help from a super PAC -- although that hasn't stopped some from trying." CNN , 11/15/19)

In Spite Of The Help, Members Of Booker's Campaign Still Claim That The Senator's Opposition "Toward Super PACs Has Not Changed." "A Booker campaign aide said Thursday that his position toward super PACs has not changed. However, it's not clear how aggressively Booker, who has struggled to raise money and his profile, would reject such a boost at this stage -- particularly from a group steered by close allies." ( CNN , 11/15/19)

SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS' DOWNHILL SLIDE HAS LEFT HER CAMPAIGN BROKE AND OUT OF OPTIONS

Harris' Campaign Is On Its Last Legs, Firing Staff And Shuttering Offices As The Campaign Is "Hemorrhaging" Cash

Since Late October, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) Has "Dramatically" Restructured Her Campaign By Sending Staffers To Iowa And Even Firing Dozens Of Aides At Her Campaign Headquarters. "Kamala Harris is dramatically restructuring her campaign by redeploying staffers to Iowa and laying off dozens of aides at her Baltimore headquarters, according to campaign sources and a memo obtained Wednesday by POLITICO, as she struggles to resuscitate her beleaguered presidential bid." ( Politico , 10/30/19)

Harris Was Forced To Close Three Of Her Four Presidential Campaign Offices In New Hampshire. "Sen. Kamala Harris is closing three of her four presidential campaign offices in New Hampshire and has fired all her field organizers in the state as she homes in on her struggling campaign in Iowa, an aide tells CNN." ( CNN , 11/1/19)

  • "Her Manchester Headquarters Will Remain Open, But The Staff Will Be Scaled Back Significantly, With Only Volunteers Left To Knock On Doors And Pass Out Literature." "The California Democrat is closing her offices in Nashua, Portsmouth and Keene. Her Manchester headquarters will remain open, but the staff will be scaled back significantly, with only volunteers left to knock on doors and pass out literature." ( CNN , 11/1/19)

According To Politico, Harris' Campaign Has Been "Hemorrhaging" Cash And Is Now Lacking The Resources To Be Competitive In Iowa. "The moves come as Harris is hemorrhaging cash and in danger of lacking the resources to mount a competitive bid against better-funded rivals in Iowa. The overhaul will touch nearly every facet of Harris' operation, with layoffs or re-deployments coming at headquarters, as well as in New Hampshire, Nevada and her home state of California, a Super Tuesday prize that her advisers once viewed as a big asset." ( Politico , 10/30/19)

Harris' Campaign Manager Juan Rodriguez Was Even Forced To Cut His Own Salary. "Campaign Manager Juan Rodriguez will cut his salary, according to the memo, which was just over $10,000 a month in the third quarter of the year. Harris' consultants will also have their payments reduced and the campaign plans to trim and renegotiate other contracts to slash overhead. Along with getting back in the black, a big motivation behind the cost-cutting decisions is a plan to stash enough resources for a seven-figure media buy in the weeks before the Iowa caucus." ( Politico , 10/30/19)

Harris' Once "Juggernaut" Campaign Has Been "Downhill Since The Summer Spike." "The major shake-up is the latest strategic maneuver to help rescue a campaign that was still being viewed as a likely early-state juggernaut three months ago after Harris confronted Joe Biden in a debate over school busing. The performance seemed to signal the realization of the promise Harris displayed during her campaign launch before 22,000 spectators in Oakland. Yet it's been downhill since the summer spike." ( Politico , 10/30/19)

AFTER HER FELLOW MIDWESTERN DEMOCRAT SURGES IN IOWA, SENATOR AMY KLOBUCHAR LASHED OUT AT PETE BUTTIGIEG AS HER CAMPAIGN LAGS BEHIND

Klobuchar Directed Her Frustration With Lagging Poll Numbers In Iowa At Mayor Pete, Who's Inexperience She Complained Would Disqualify Any Female Candidate

Klobuchar Has Been Overshadowed In Iowa By Fellow Midwestern Democrat Mayor Pete. "A Midwestern Democrat running for president is surging in Iowa right now with a plain-spoken appeal and a moderate message of inclusion. Unfortunately for Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar, that candidate is Indiana's Pete Buttigieg. The mayor of South Bend shot to the top of a Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll released over the weekend, rising 16 percentage points among Iowa's likely Democratic caucusgoers." ( The Minneapolis Star Tribune , 11/18/19)

Jeff Link, A Des Moines-Based Democratic Strategist Noted That Klobuchar Has Failed To Close The Gap Between Herself And Frontrunners. "'We have four campaigns now that are bunched up together at the top, without a clear leader,' said Jeff Link, a Des Moines-based Democratic strategist, referring to Warren, Biden, Sanders and Buttigieg. 'And you have Senator Klobuchar, who's trying to close in on that lead group.' The Minnesotan finished fifth in Quinnipiac and Monmouth polls of Iowa voters released this month, at 5% in each. Buttigieg's gains in both polls were more substantial." ( The Minneapolis Star Tribune , 11/18/19)

Klobuchar Said She And Other "Top" Female Candidates "Wouldn't Be On The Debate Stage If They Had The Same Experience As Mayor Pete Buttigieg." "Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she and other top female presidential candidates wouldn't be on the debate stage if they had the same experience as Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The Minnesota Democrat said Sunday on CNN's 'State of the Union' that she believes the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is qualified but that she's the better candidate." ( USA Today , 11/11/19)

Klobuchar: "I'm The One From The Midwest That Has Actually Won In A Statewide Race Over And Over Again…Those Are The Kind Of Voters I Have Won. And That's Not True Of Mayor Pete. That's Just A Fact." " I'm the one from the Midwest that has actually won in a statewide race over and over again… "'I'm the one from the Midwest that has actually won in a statewide race over and over again,' the three-term senator said, adding that she can bring in voters like those in Kentucky and Virginia who supported Democrats in last week's election. 'Those are the kind of voters I have won. And that's not true of Mayor Pete. That's just a fact.'" ( USA Today , 11/11/19)

MOST CANDIDATES HAVE TO INTRODUCE THEMSELVES TO THE VOTERS, BUT MONTHS INTO HIS CAMPAIGN EVEN THE MEDIA FORGETS ABOUT ANDREW YANG

For Andrew Yang Apparently Even "Free Money" Is A Tough Sell

Andrew Yang Has Continued To Make His Plan To Give $1,000 To Every American After They Turn 18 Years Of Age The Core Of His Presidential Campaign. "Yang's signature policy proposal, the 'Freedom Dividend,' is a plan to provide what's called a universal basic income (UBI) of $1,000 a month to every American after they turn 18." ( CBS , 11/15/19)

  • The Yang Campaign Has Noted That The UBI Plan Would Be Paid In Part By Opting Out Of Existing Welfare Benefits, A Plan That Has Caused A Level Of Disagreement Among Advocates. "The most significant policy disagreement among advocates involves whether UBI should replace the welfare system, or be built on top of it. Yang proposes to cut back the existing social safety net, by asking the poor to choose between receiving existing welfare benefits or the monthly $1,000 check." ( Politico , 10/16/19)
  • The Plan Would Also Be Paid For By A 10% Value Added Tax On Corporations As Well As New Taxes On "Financial Transactions, Carbon Emissions, Tech Companies And Disruptive Technologies Like Automation." "The plan would also be funded through a 10% value added tax (VAT) - which taxes the value added to a consumer product from the point of origin to the point of sale - as well as new taxes on financial transactions, carbon emissions, tech companies and disruptive technologies like automation." ( CBS , 11/15/19)

Despite All His Time In The Race, Yang Has Struggled To Legitimize His Campaign To The Media, Who By And Large See Him As "A Glitch." "Yang polls at 3 percent, which pales in comparison with the front-runner Biden's 29 percent. In such a crowded field, however, Yang polls ahead of New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Texas wunderkind Beto O'Rourke, and Barack Obama's former secretary of housing and urban development, Julián Castro. But, Axios reports, Yang struggles to legitimize his campaign among reporters, columnists, and TV producers; the media occasionally puzzles over Yang's candidacy, but otherwise regards him as a glitch in the attention economy." ( The Ringer , 9/12/19)

  • MSNBC Recently Forgot To Include Yang On An On-Air Polling Graphic, Something That Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer Noted Has Happened "On A Number Of Occasions," And Was Forced To Apologize For The Exclusion. "MSNBC on Sunday apologized after the network left Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang off a presidential poll result graphic, with the network calling the error inadvertent. The apology came on the air before Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer flagged the omission in a tweet to his nearly 450,000 followers, drawing the ire of Yang supporters on social media. 'Why does @MSNBC keep leaving out @AndrewYang on their graphics (actually at 3% here)? This has happened on a number of occasions, I haven't seen with any other candidate. It's not just a slip up. Unacceptable,' Bremmer wrote." ( The Hill , 11/18/19)

TOM STEYER WILL APPEAR ON THE DEBATE STAGE FOR THE FIRST TIME TONIGHT PROVING ONCE AND FOR ALL THAT THE SLOTS REALLY ARE FOR SALE

When Billionaire Hypocrite Tom Steyer Isn't Trying To Buy The Nomination With Tens Of Millions Of Dollars Of Ads, His Staff Is Trying To Buy Endorsements

Despite Making Climate Change The Centerpiece Of His Political Image, In September It Was Reported That Billionaire Tom Steyer Still Had Sizeable Investments In Hydrocarbons. "Billionaire Tom Steyer acknowledged he still has some holdings in hydrocarbons, saying he made the investments years earlier but has been unable to unwind them. Appearing at an MSNBC Climate Forum on Friday, Steyer -- who has made the environment a centerpiece of his 2020 presidential campaign -- was asked whether he had completely liquidated his holdings in oil, gas and coal, some of which were acquired while he ran Farallon Capital Management, an investment company." ( Bloomberg , 9/20/19)

In October, It Was Reported That Steyer Had Spent $47 Million On His Presidential Campaign, Spending Most Of The Money On Ad Buys. "California billionaire Tom Steyer spent $47 million during the first three months of his presidential bid - a jaw-dropping sum that places him on track to join the biggest self-funding political candidates in American history…Much of Steyer's spending was devoted to earning him a place on Tuesday night's debate stage, including $15.6 million on media ad buys, $14.8 million on digital ads and $3.7 million on direct mail, according to the disclosure forms. Hundreds of thousands of dollars more were spent on production costs. Steyer's spending led several of his rivals to accuse him of trying to buy a spot on the debate stage." ( Los Angeles Times , 10/16/19)

  • "Steyer's Spending Led Several Of His Rivals To Accuse Him Of Trying To Buy A Spot On The Debate Stage." "California billionaire Tom Steyer spent $47 million during the first three months of his presidential bid - a jaw-dropping sum that places him on track to join the biggest self-funding political candidates in American history…Much of Steyer's spending was devoted to earning him a place on Tuesday night's debate stage, including $15.6 million on media ad buys, $14.8 million on digital ads and $3.7 million on direct mail, according to the disclosure forms. Hundreds of thousands of dollars more were spent on production costs. Steyer's spending led several of his rivals to accuse him of trying to buy a spot on the debate stage." Los Angeles Times , 10/16/19)

In November, It Was Reported That A Top Aide To Tom Steyer Had Attempted To Bribe Local Politicians In Iowa For Endorsements. "A top aide to Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Iowa privately offered campaign contributions to local politicians in exchange for endorsing his White House bid, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the conversations." ( Associated Press , 11/7/19)

REP. TULSI GABBARD HAS STRUGGLED TO MEET DEBATE THRESHOLDS SHE CALLED "ARBITRARY"

Gabbard Will Appear In Tonight's Debate Despite Complaints About DNC Debate Thresholds She Has Struggled To Meet

Gabbard Was The Last Candidate To Qualify For Tonight's Debate. "Gabbard becomes the 10th Democratic presidential candidate to make the debate stage. She will join former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), as well as South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and businessman Tom Steyer." ( The Hill , 10/31/19)

Gabbard Has Cried Foul Against The DNC Debate Thresholds Calling Them "Arbitrary" And Accused The DNC Of "Rigging" The Primary Against Outsiders. "Gabbard has in the past accused the Democratic National Committee (DNC) of 'rigging' the primary contest against outsider candidates such as herself, while attacking the qualification requirements as 'arbitrary' and nontransparent." ( The Hill ,

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