Posts tagged with "Bernie Sanders"

Democrats postpone presidential convention until August 17

April 6, 2020

The Democrats are “Biden” their time—postponing their convention and presidential nomination process by one month to allow them to “germinate” ideas and policies instead of COVID-19.

Specifically, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is pushing back the party’s convention in Milwaukee, from July 13 to August 17, the week before the Republican Party’s convention, Politico reports.

The delay came after likely nominee Joe Biden publicly called for the convention to be rescheduled in response to the coronavirus pandemic. And it followed weeks of behind-the-scenes discussions with party leaders and the campaigns of the two remaining presidential candidates, Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.

“I’m confident our convention planning team and our partners will find a way to deliver a convention in Milwaukee this summer that places our Democratic nominee on the path to victory in November,” convention CEO Joe Solmonese said in a statement on April 2.

In addition to postponing, DNC officials are discussing ways to scale back the convention, Politico reports. The committee is not flush with cash and wants to avoid the appearance of throwing a big party in the midst of a severe economic downturn.

“People are going to be hurting,” a DNC official said. “It’s not a time be lavish.”

While there has been talk about having a virtual convention, party officials and Biden—the presumptive nominee —would like to have a live event as long as it can be done safely, according to sources within the DNC and one with Biden’s campaign.

“Joe earned this, and we do want something to mark that, but it’s really complicated,” the Biden campaign source said.

The new date would put the Democratic National Convention back-to-back with its Republican counterpart, which is set to begin August 24 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The proximity in time presents messaging challenges for both sides: Biden will not have as much time to enjoy a potential polling bounce before the Republican National Convention begins dominating coverage. And Republicans will not have as much time to plan out responses to speeches and events in Milwaukee.

The new dates also complicate the Biden campaign’s financial situation, because it will not be able to access general election funds until August instead of July. Biden has relied more on wealthy donors who gave the maximum amount than Bernie Sanders did. But the former vice president isn’t legally allowed to access the portion of those contributions dedicated to the general election until he’s officially the nominee.

The coronavirus has undoubtedly taken a toll on Biden’s fundraising just as he was starting to pull in record sums for his campaign. However, Biden’s campaign staff was relatively small for a de facto nominee because of his earlier struggles with fundraising, so the campaign was used to subsisting on less than its rivals, Politico says.

Biden aides said the campaign has saved additional money during the coronavirus crisis because it scaled back on advertising, didn’t go on a hiring binge and doesn’t have to pay the overhead of a traditional campaign as the candidate and staff shelter in place.

“It’s amazing how much you save if you don’t put on rallies and have to fly across the country every day,” an adviser said.

Another Biden campaign official said the new dynamic was manageable. “We can still raise and spend primary money up to the time we are the nominee, and we can raise (and not spend) general money,” the official said. “This is about when the 2008 convention took place, and it didn’t hurt us.”

Research contact: @politico

Biden sweeps Tuesday’s primaries as voters defy coronavirus fears

March 19, 2020

It may have been, literally, a death-defying act but—in defiance of the coronavirus threat—many Americans in three states made it out to the polls on March 17 to vote in the Democratic primary race.

Joe Biden won all three primaries held Tuesday on a day filled with anxious voting, building a lead in the Democratic presidential nomination race that appears increasingly difficult for Bernie Sanders to overcome, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The two-man race lurched forward against the major disruptions triggered by COVID-19, as the first balloting was held—in Florida, Illinois and Arizona—since the crisis engulfed the nation.

As of Wednesday morning, the former vice president had 52.8% of the delegates allocated so far and 57.6% of the number needed to win the nomination:

  • In Florida, a critical battleground state in the general election, the former vice president won nearly three times as many votes as the Vermont senator and carried all 67 counties.
  • With 99% of Illinois precincts reporting, Biden had garnered 59.1% of the vote versus 36.1% for Sanders.
  • In Arizona, with 88% of the vote in, the former vice president had won 43.6% against his rival’s 31.6%.

Ohio had been expected to hold a primary on Tuesday, but it joined a growing list of states that have delayed their contests until May or June in hopes the coronavirus situation will improve.

The latest large victories for Biden are likely to place more pressure on Sanders to exit from the race so the party can focus on President Trump. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on March 15 found that Biden was favored nationally, 61% to 32%, among those who have already voted in the Democratic primary or planned to do so.

Speaking from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said his campaign is moving toward winning the nomination as he reached out to his rival’s supporters. He delivered his address via a live stream to avoid gathering supporters during the pandemic.

“We’ve moved closer to securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for president, and we’re doing it by building a broad coalition,” he said, according to the Journal.

In an effort to close ranks against President Donald Trump in the Demoratic Party, Biden said he and Sanders “may disagree on tactics, but we share a common vision” on issues such as health care, wealth inequality and climate change. He told young voters inspired by Sanders, “I hear you, I know what’s at stake.”

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee noted Tuesday night that the president had secured enough delegates through the GOP primaries to become the party’s “presumptive nominee” for president.

“Nobody motivates our base more than President Trump, as evidenced by the historic turnout we’ve seen in state after state this primary season,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “Fueled by both our longtime supporters and the thousands of new voters that continue to join our movement, we are united and enthusiasm is on our side.”

In a statement released late Tuesday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez called for states with upcoming primaries and caucuses to use vote by mail and other alternatives to casting ballots in person, the Journal reported.

“What happened in Ohio last night has only bred more chaos and confusion,” he said, adding that states should focus on figuring out how to make voting easier and safer as opposed to postponing primaries “when timing around the virus remains unpredictable.”

Research contact: @WSJ

Biden takes the lead in Democratic race

March 11, 2020

Advantage Biden: Former Vice President Joe Biden was poised to take the lead in the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday, March 10, after he scored a major victory in Michigan over Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), The Hill reported.

With 83% of the ballots counted, Biden led in Michigan with 53% of the vote, against 38% for Sanders.

The victory followed on the heels of Biden’s two other wins in Mississippi and Missouri on Tuesday. Biden also won Idaho, which Sanders had won in his 2016 primary bid against Hillary Clinton, while North Dakota and Washington were yet to be determined.

Speaking at his campaign’s Philadelphia headquarters on Tuesday night, Biden all but declared himself the Democratic presidential nominee. He thanked Sanders and his supporters for their “tireless energy and their passion,” noting that they all “share a common goal” in defeating Trump.

“This campaign is taking off and I believe we’re going to do well from this point on,” Biden said. “Take nothing for granted. I want to earn every single vote from every single state.”

For his part, the Vermont Senator announced on Wednesday that he would continue his campaign for president, Politico reported, and vowed to participate in a debate with Biden this coming weekend.

“Last night, obviously, was not a good night for our campaign from a delegate point of view,” Sanders acknowledged in an address delivered from his campaign headquarters in Burlington, Vermont.

Describing what he still saw as the positives in the race, Sanders said, “”…While we are currently losing the delegate count” in the race for the Democratic nomination, “we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas which will determine the future of our country,” he noted, claiming strong public support for his proposals and noting the lack of enthusiasm Biden has elicited among younger voters.

Research contact: @thehill

Michigan is a must-win contest for Sanders

March 10, 2020

Senator Bernie Sanders is hoping for the kind of victory in Michigan on March 10 that he scored against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries—coming from behind to win 49.8% of the vote compared to her 48.3%.

“I want to thank the people of Michigan, who repudiated the polls—which had us down 20-25 points—and repudiated the pundits, who said Bernie Sanders wasn’t going anywhere,” the Vermont Democratic Socialist said four years ago. .

The question is, can the far-left candidate return to The Wolverine State this week with another upset—reviving his once-formidable campaign, as fears grow among his followers that former Vice President Joe Biden is on the cusp of building an insurmountable delegate lead.

According to a report by The Hill, the Michigan primary ‘might be Sanders’s last best shot at slowing Biden.”

There are 125 delegates at stake in Michigan, more than anywhere else on Tuesday night. “The map becomes very difficult for Sanders in the weeks ahead,” The Hill notes, “with Biden appearing poised for blowout victories in Mississippi on March 10 and Florida on March 17.”

Sanders is cutting his losses in Mississippi, canceling a planned trip there and adding new stops across Michigan. He has not been remotely competitive with Biden in southern states with large black populations, the news outlet states.

 “Since Bernie is cutting loose the Southern states … [Michigan] certainly looms as a crucial state that he probably has to win big to offset delegate gains Biden will likely make in the next two weeks in places like Florida, Mississippi, and probably Missouri,” Jonathan Tasini, a progressive strategist and Sanders supporter, told The Hill.

A Detroit News poll released on March 3 found Biden at 29% support, followed by Sanders at 22.5%; Bloomberg at 10.5%; and Warren at 6.7%.

Research contact: @thehill

After security breach at rally, Biden may request Secret Service protection

March 6, 2020

Jill Biden is not just her husband’s greatest champion; she’s also his strongest defender, as she proved when environmental activists rushed the stage at a rally in Los Angeles on March 3 and she quickly stepped forward to shield the candidate.

While the dangerous situation was dealt with quickly and effectively, former Vice President Joe Biden was alarmed that protesters had slipped through his private security cordon and that his wife had been caught in the middle.

On Wednesday, his campaign  began privately deliberating whether to formally request Secret Service protection for the candidate, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, The Washington Post reported..

Both Biden and fellow candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) have been relying on private security firms to handle their public appearances, which is unusual this late in a presidential campaign cycle—in comparison with 2016, 2012, and 2008—the Post noted.

But their emergence over the past week as the clear front-runners in the Democratic primaries has prompted calls for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the U.S. Secret Service, to authorize full-time protection for both of them.

“Taking into consideration the remaining candidates’ large campaign operations, high polling averages, as well as physical threats to their safety … I urge you to immediately initiate the consultation process to determine whether to provide USSS protection” to Biden and Sanders,” Representative Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, wrote in a letter Wednesday to Acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf.

Representative Cedric Richmond (D-Louisiana), a member of the Homeland Security Committee and co-chair of Biden’s campaign, told reporters that Democratic lawmakers were “worried about” security for the Democrats on the campaign trail even before the incident at Biden’s speech on Super Tuesday.

The Biden campaign has begun deliberating over whether to move forward with a formal request to the Secret Service, according to the person familiar with the situation, who spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity to comment freely about a sensitive security matter. The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to questions on the subject. The DHS also did not respond to a request for comment.

Both Biden, during his eight years as vice president, and Sanders, during his 2016 contest against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, have received Secret Service protection in the past.

Research contact: @washingtonpost

Biden gets another boost from rivals-turned-endorsers Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and O’Rourke

March 4, 2020

Following his bang-up win in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, February 29, former Vice President Joe Biden would be justified in invoking the famous Mark Twain quip, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

Biden, who had been struggling until that crucial victory, took home 35 delegates (for a total of 54) and 48.4% of the vote from the Palmetto State; compared to Bernie Sanders’ booty of 13 delegates (for a total of 60) and 19.9% of the vote, The Huffington Post reported.

But the stakes were much higher on Super Tuesday, March 3, when 14 states—among them, California and Texas, with 415 and 228 pledged candidates, respectively—were scheduled to go to the polls for their Democratic primaries, as Yahoo reports.

However, a new wave of endorsements, coming the night before the Super Tuesday polls opened, could give Biden the boost from moderate voters that he needs.He appeared on stage with former rivals Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke on Monday night and presented his emerging two-person race with Bernie Sanders as a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party, NBC News reports.

Pete Buttigieg flew from South Bend, Indiana, to Dallas to endorse Biden before his rally but returned home and did not join the former vice president at the event.

At the rally, Biden told cheering supporters that Super Tuesday voters are “going to determine what this party stands for, what we believe,and what we’re going to get done” — and took a series of swipes at Sanders.

“If Democrats want a nominee who will build on Obamacare, not scrap it; take on the NRA and gun manufacturers, protect our children; who’ll stand up for the middle class, not raise their taxes and make promises that can’t be kept, then join us,” Biden said. “If Democrats want a nominee who’s a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, a proud Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, then join us. We can either win big or lose big, that’s the choice.”

According to the NBC News story, a running theme in the remarks of Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and O’Rourke was that Biden is the party’s best chance at victory and offers a decent and caring alternative to President Donald Trump.

“We need somebody who can beat Donald Trump. The man in the White House today poses an existential threat to this country, to our democracy, to free and fair elections, and we need somebody who can beat him,” O’Rourke said. “In Joe Biden, we have that man.”

Buttigieg said Biden would “bring back dignity to the White House” if elected president and “change the toxic and divisive nature of our politics right now.”

“He is somebody of such extraordinary grace and kindness and empathy,” said the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Klobuchar appeared to take a veiled dig at Sanders: “It is time for a president who represents all of America, including people at the middle of this country, at a time when we see people in extremes that are trying to drown out people,” she said.

Speaking to reporters in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Monday, Sanders addressed the consolidation of party elites behind Biden, calling it “a massive effort trying to stop Bernie Sanders,” NBC said.

“The corporate establishment is coming together. The political establishment is coming together and they will do everything. They are really getting nervous that working people are standing up…We are winning working class voters, by big numbers,” Sanders said. “So it doesn’t surprise me why would I be surprised that establishment politicians are coming together?”

Research contact: @NBCNews

Empty stadiums and no babies to kiss? Coronavirus becomes 2020 ‘X Factor’

March 3, 2020

Fears of coronavirus are prompting soccer teams to play in empty stadiums in Italy. If the virus spreads, it’s not hard to imagine rallies for this year’s U.S. presidential campaign looking much the same, Politico reports.

Will the candidates—most of whom are age 70-plus—plucky enough to continue to enthusiastically dive into crowds to shake hands with potential voters, kiss babies, and organize selfie lines?

And will the American electorate show up? Not to mention the tens of thousand of people set to descend on Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Charlotte, North Carolina, this summer for the two major party conventions.

“There’s been nothing like this,” Hank Sheinkopf, a longtime Democratic strategist based in New York, told Politico.

If the coronavirus spreads throughout the United States, he said, “We’re going to go through a period, obviously, where public health officials and experts are going to say no shaking hands, no public contact … We may be witnessing an era where television, or more so, social media, becomes the means to campaign in a coronavirus world.”

To most campaign observers, the likelihood of any widespread disruption of the primary remains dim. But if the virus does spread, the mechanical implications for campaigns could be profound.

In the case of an outbreak, Boyd Brown, a former South Carolina lawmaker and former Democratic National Committee member, told the political news outlet, “It’s going to be tough. I’m watching [TV] right now and they’re stoking fears, they’re coming live from face mask manufacturing facilities.”

In South Carolina this week, Mike Bloomberg said the “stock market’s falling apart because people are really worried, and they should be.” Joe Biden pointed to his experience helping respond to the Ebola epidemic, while Elizabeth Warren accused the White House of “absolutely bungling” its response to the disease.

At a breakfast in South Carolina on Friday, Bernie Sanders ripped into Trump, saying that instead of campaigning in the state, he should “worry about the coronavirus rather than disrupting the Democratic primary right here in South Carolina.”

Research contact: @politico

Is the fix in? Bloomberg purportedly is plotting a brokered convention strategy

February 25, 2020

Will Democrats actually nominate the candidate they support? Not only is the Kremlin attempting to reshape results via a not-so-stealthy influence campaign; but now, Politico reports, the fix may be in at the convention.

Indeed, the news outlet alleges, despite his bad showing at the Nevada debate last week—and his promise to fund the campaign of whomever the Democratic party chooses as its candidate—Mike Bloomberg is privately lobbying Democratic Party.

Purportedly, Bloomberg is sweet-talking officials and donors allied with his moderate opponents to flip their allegiance to him —and block Bernie Sanders—in the event of a brokered national convention.

The effort, largely executed by Bloomberg’s senior state-level advisers in recent weeks, Politico says, attempts to prime Bloomberg for a second-ballot contest at the Democratic National Convention in July by poaching supporters of Joe Biden and other moderate Democrats, according to two Democratic strategists familiar with the talks and unaffiliated with Bloomberg.

The outreach has involved meetings and telephone calls with supporters of Biden and Pete Buttigieg—as well as uncommitted DNC members—in Virginia, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and North Carolina, according to one of the strategists who participated in meetings and calls.

With Sanders’ emergence as the frontrunner in the presidential primary, Democrats in those states have recently raised the prospect that the Democratic Socialist could be a top-of-the-ticket liability, Politico reports.

“There’s a whole operation going on, which is genius,” one of the strategists, who is unaffiliated with any campaign told the news outlet. “And it’s going to help them win on the second ballot … They’re telling them that’s their strategy.”

However, such a political play could bring havoc to the convention—raising the prospect of party insiders delivering the nomination to a billionaire over a progressive populist.

“Look, I think if the election were today, Bernie Sanders would [have] … the delegate lead,” longtime Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson told reporters Wednesday night. “In part that is because the moderate lane of the party is split, and … many of the candidates are going to split that vote. Now, that may change between now and Super Tuesday, but I think if the election were today, that would be the result.”

He called Bloomberg “the best-positioned candidate to take on Bernie Sanders.”

Responding to a question at the debate on Wednesday about whether the person with the most delegates should be the nominee, Bloomberg said, “Whatever the rules of the Democratic Party are, they should be followed.”

Asked if that meant the convention should “work its will,” Bloomberg replied, “Yes.”

Research contact: @politico

Born to run? Michael Bloomberg files paperwork to enter 2020 presidential race

November 11, 2019

Another billionaire–this one with abundant political experience—having held three consecutive terms as mayor of New York City—is about to join the 2020 presidential race, running for the nomination on the Democratic ticket.

Michael Bloomberg, who will be 78 next February—and who currently is the CEO and owner of Bloomberg LP, a global financial services firm— is expected to file paperwork this week designating himself as a candidate in Alabama, a state with an early filing deadline, people briefed on Bloomberg’s plans told The New York Times for a November 7 report.

Bloomberg and his advisers called a number of prominent Democrats on Thursday, November 7, to tell them he was seriously considering the race—including former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the retired majority leader who remains a dominant power broker in the early caucus state.

The Times said that aides to Bloomberg also reached out to Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, the chair of the Democratic Governors Association.

Reid said in a brief interview with the news outlet that Bloomberg had not explicitly said he was running for president but that the implication of the call had been clear.

His entry into the race would cause a seismic disruption—but it might be welcomed by party leaders who are looking for a centrist politician with political seasoning who could stand up to Trump .

According to the Times report, with his immense personal wealth, centrist view, and close ties to the political establishment, Bloomberg would present an instantaneous threat to former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been struggling to raise money and is already defending his ideologically moderate base on multiple fronts.

Bloomberg initially bowed out of the 2020 race because of Biden’s apparent strength, but he has since grown skeptical that the top-polling Democrat is on track to win the nomination—and he does not see the two leading liberals in the race, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, as strong candidates for the general election.

Howard Wolfson, a close adviser to. Bloomberg, said on Thursday that the former mayor has grown uneasy about the existing trajectory of the Democratic primary. He said Bloomberg viewed President Trump as an “unprecedented threat to our nation,” and noted the Democrat’s heavy spending in the 2018 midterm elections and this week’s off-year races in Virginia.

“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated—but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Wolfson told The New York Times. “If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch, and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist.”

Advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said he would likely make up his mind about the race within days, rather than weeks.

Research contact: @nytimes

Poll: Michelle Obama would be front-runner in NH Democratic primary race

October 17, 2019

We just can’t quit her: A Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald poll conducted between October 9 and October 13 has found that— if former FLOTUS Michelle Obama were to enter the 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary race, she would take the lead among the current candidates.

According to a report by the Boston Herald, of the current presidential hopefuls, Elizabeth Warren (25%) and Joe Biden (24%) would lead in a statistical tie in the Granite State primary on February 11, 2020—with Bernie Sanders (22%) trailing just slightly behind.

“Today, the Democratic race is a statistical dead heat between Warren (25%), Biden (24%) and Sanders (22%),” pollster R. Kelly Myers wrote in his summary of the poll results.

“If Michelle Obama were to enter the race, it would change things dramatically,” pollster R. Kelly Myers wrote in his summary of the poll results. “Twenty-six percent of Democrats would vote for her, making her the new frontrunner. Under this scenario, Obama (26%) would lead Warren (20%), Biden (20%), and Sanders (15%).”

In doing so, Myers told the Boston Herald, Obama  would take away 4 percentage points from Warren, 4 points from Biden, and 7 points from Sanders.”

However, chances look slim that she will enter the arena: In an August interview with The National, Obama hardened her resolve about the impossibility of her running for the highest office in the nation—saying that there was “zero chance.”

“There are so many ways to improve this country and build a better world, and I keep doing plenty of them, from working with young people to helping families lead healthier lives,” she said. “But sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office will never be one of them. It’s just not for me.”

She also told talk show host Conan O’Brien back in March that eight years in the White House was “enough. It is enough. It’s time for new ideas … and people who are struggling in ways that, because of the nature of what we’ve done, we don’t do that anymore. We need fresh, real, clear eyes in this stuff.”

According to the Boston Herald, the FPU-Herald poll also found that there has been a 17 point drop in support for President Donald Trump from Republican voters going from 88% to 71% in just a month’s time.

Research contact: @bostonherald