Posts tagged with "Democratic candidates"

‘Fortune’ may be favoring just a few Democratic candidates

July 17, 2019

Eleven Democratic presidential candidates—nearly half of the whopping field of two dozen or more who have announced that they are running—spent more campaign cash than they raised during the second quarter of the year, according to new financial disclosures filed July 15  and posted by Politico.

Indeed fortune is smiling on just a favored few—among them, Pete Buttigieg ($24.8 million raised in Q2), Joe Biden ($21.5 million), Elizabeth Warren ($19.1 million), Bernie Sanders ($18.2 million), and Kamala Harris ($12 milion).

In the second tier are, Corey Booker ($4.5 million), Amy Klobuchar ($3.9 million), and Beto O’Rourke (3.6 million).

Eight contenders active in the spring limped forward with less than $1 million in cash on hand, and several top-tier contenders were already spending multiples of what their lower-profile competitors raised, the news outlet reported.

Already, California Representative Eric Swalwell has pulled out—acknowledging the problematic math facing a lower-tier contender. Swalwell’s campaign raised just more than $880,000 in the second quarter from donors and, like many of the others at the bottom of the pack, well outspent what it raised.

“We had the money in our account to continue to try to qualify for the upcoming debate,” Swalwell told Politico. “But we believed that even if we had done that, that when we looked at the September debate, it just wouldn’t add up.”

The financial squeeze is set to drastically shrink the lineup of Democratic contenders in the coming months, barring major shifts in momentum, as candidates grapple with the doldrums of summer fundraising and the high costs of staffing national campaigns and building donor lists big enough to qualify for future Democratic National Committee debates, Politico says.

The numbers also reveal the tremendous pressure on lesser-known candidates to make a splash in the debates at the end of this month — potentially the last chance some will have to attract a burst of support as their expenses pile up.

“This is the doomsday scenario for a lot of campaigns, where they’re grasping for air to keep their campaigns alive and to live another day,” said Andrew Feldman, a Democratic strategist in Washington. “You can’t build an organization. You can’t build an operation that turns enthusiasm into votes without having resources to do it.”

Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper spent a half-million dollars more than he raised in the second quarter, finishing June with $840,000 in his campaign account, Politico said.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro spent more than 80% of the amount he raised, despite a fundraising bounce following his highly regarded debate performance in the closing days of the fundraising period. He was left with about $1.1 million, the politico news outlet noted.

Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington, raised about $3.1 million in the second fundraising quarter; however, he reported spending $3.2 million and finished with only $1.2 million in the bank.

Some of these candidates need a miracle,” Matthew Littman, a Democratic strategist and former Joe Biden speechwriter who now supports Kamala Harris, told Politico. “It’s like if you’re a baseball team and you’re 15 games behind in mid-July, the odds are that you’re not making it to the playoffs.”

He said, “If you don’t have the money, you’re not going to have the infrastructure. And if you don’t have the money or the infrastructure, what are you going to do to break through? At this point, it’s just very, very tough.”

Could there be a miracle? It’s doubtful. “You’re not going to see a lot of people continuing to give to a person with no money left,” Feldman said.

Research contact@politico

Poll: Biden still leads in Iowa, but Warren and Buttigieg are coming on strong

June 11, 2019

Biden is sliding—but just slightly—in the Iowa polls. Results of a new Des Moines Register/CNN poll suggest that age and political seasoning count for a lot, but that voters are fickle and can easily be enticed by fresh faces and policies.

The poll—conducted by Des Moines-based pollster Ann Selzer—found that Biden support is at 24%; Senator Bernie Sanders, at 16 %, Senator Elizabeth Warren, at 15%, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at 14%; and Senator. Kamala Harris, at 7%. No other candidate has more than 2% of support.

While Biden still tops the field, his campaign may have reason to be concerned, Vox reported on June 9Back in December, the same poll found his support to be at 32%; but, by March, it had slipped to 27%; and now, he is at 24%— still in first place, but no longer in a clearly dominant position.

And age is a double-edged sword. Some see 76-year-old Biden and 77-year-old Sanders as the Democratic party’s elder statesmen (1%); others (46%) say their age would be a disadvantage; and still others (50%) say it would make no difference, according to the poll results.

It is important to keep in mind that in caucus states, voters’ second (or even third) choices can factor into the final result, Vox points out. If a candidate does not meet the minimum threshold of 15% support in a local precinct, each individual supporter has the opportunity to switch his or her support over to another candidate.

With a field as large as the current one, it is very possible that some caucus participants may well find themselves having to select another candidate to support. Because of this, the Iowa poll gave respondents the option to give three levels of possible support to each candidate: First choice, second choice, or “actively considering.”

When all three tiers of support (by those planning to vote in person) were added together by the pollster, Biden again topped the list of candidates, with 61%, Vox said. However, Warren matched him exactly, with 6% possible support. Three other candidates manage to reach potential support of over 50%: Sanders (at 56%), and Buttigieg and Harris (each of whom had 52%).

Elizabeth Warren, whose proficiency at policy-making has earned her a spotlight, has been gaining gradually among voters: She was at just 8% in December;  and at9%percent in March. But she has now shot up to 15% support overall, in a dead heat with Sanders for the second-place position behind Biden.

“That’s a strong showing for Elizabeth Warren,” Selzer told the Des Moines Register. “It says to me there are people who are paying attention. Again, in a field this big, that’s step one. First, you have to get people to pay attention.”

Pete Buttigieg may be the “phenom” of the race. In March, he was at only 1%; but he is now at 14%, very nearly matching Warren. However, fully 28% of those polled say that his sexual preference would be a disadvantage; while 62% say it makes no difference.

Another factor that may surface during the campaign is the fact that all of the top-runners at the moment are white. Only 25%of those polled see that as an advantage, while 12% say it’s a disadvantage and 56% say it makes no difference.

Research contact: @DMRegister 

Elizabeth Warren has a plan: She wants to pass a law clarifying that presidents can be indicted

June 3, 2019

Would Special Counsel Robert Mueller have charged President Donald Trump with a crime if Justice Department policy had not prevented him from doing so? On Friday, May 31, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) said the answer was “yes,” according to a report by The New York Times.

But Senator Warren—who is among the more than 20 party hopefuls seeking the nomination for president—predictably enough, has a plan for that.

She has proposed legislation aimed at ensuring that “no President is above the law.” Indeed, in a story posted on Medium, she has made her vision clear: “If Donald Trump were anyone other than the president of the United States right now, he would be in handcuffs and indicted …. Mueller’s statement made clear what those of us who have read his report already knew. He’s referring President Trump for impeachment, and it’s up to Congress to act.”

Now, Warren has called on Congress to pass a law clarifying that the DOJ can, in fact, indict the president of the United States, while also renewing her call to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, the Times reports.

“But impeachment isn’t supposed to be the only way that a President can be held accountable for committing a crime,” she said. “Congress should make it clear that Presidents can be indicted for criminal activity, including obstruction of justice. And when I’m president, I’ll appoint Justice Department officials who will reverse flawed policies so no President is shielded from criminal accountability.”

This is not a new stand for Senator Warren, who declared herself in favor of impeachment about a day after the Mueller report was released on April 18. She also was among several candidates who leveled sharp criticism at Attorney General William Barr for his handling of the report’s release, the news outlet noted.

She renewed her criticism of Barr on May 31, saying he had “disgraced himself by acting like Trump’s personal defense attorney” while also pledging to “appoint an Attorney General who will protect the rule of law.”

She reminded Americans, “No matter what he may think, Donald Trump is not a King. No President is. And our democracy only works if everyone can be held accountable.”

Research contact: @SenWarren