Democratic Primary

Despite Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s closer-than-expected renomination in the Republican primary Tuesday night and the controversial comments and actions that dogged him throughout the contest, one of the most seasoned experts on Blue Grass state politics told Newsmax flatly that Bevin can still be re-elected this fall.

Al Cross, longtime Louisville Courier Journal’ political editor, spoke to us shortly after Bevin had secured victory over State Rep. Robert Goforth by 51-39% and Democrats had nominated State Attorney General Andy Beshear for governor.

“One early poll had Beshear beating Bevin 48-40%, but that was so long ago it’s not very indicative either,” Cross told us. “I said on TV [Tuesday night] that despite being the nation’s most unpopular governor, Bevin is the favorite because the economy in most of the state is good and Trump remains popular.

“Bevin and the Republicans will wrap themselves in Trump,” he predicted.

Trump himself endorsed Bevin in the primary and recorded a robocall touting the governor’s conservative record.

A businessman and unorthodox political “outsider” like Trump himself, Bevin has seemed to revel in controversy throughout his nearly four years in Frankfort. He charged teachers in public school used sick days to their own advantage and supported school choice.

Bevin was also a vigorous right-to-work advocate and a vocal supporter of the right and bear arms.

True to his combative form, Bevin vowed to brand opponent Beshear, son of popular former Gov. Steve Beshear, as an “out-and-out liberal” in the fall.

“He’s not controversial and he’s not too liberal,” Cross of Andy Beshear said. “But he will be sorry he let NARAL [National Abortion Rights Action League] endorse him on Monday before the primary. There’s no stronger liberal label here.”

The NARAL blessing of Beshear, Cross believes, was a response to the growing strength of second-place Democratic primary finisher and House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins. Adkins is strongly pro-life.

Source: NewsMax America

Sen. Edward Markey is facing a challenger in next year’s Democratic primary in Massachusetts.

Shannon Liss-Riordan, a workers’ rights lawyer, announced her intention Monday to challenge the one-term senator for the Democratic nomination.

Liss-Riordan made the announcement in a video and email to supporters and Democratic activists.

Liss-Riordan, 49, said she has spent her career representing workers who have been taken advantage of by their employers, including servers whose bosses were taking their tips. She’s a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.

In her video, Liss-Riordan doesn’t mention Markey by name, but instead seeks to tap into the #MeToo movement and appeal to a Democratic Party that is increasingly supportive of more diverse candidates.

She mentions both Anita Hill, who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991, and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh last year of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers decades ago. Both men were later confirmed to the court.

“It was as if nothing had changed,” Liss-Riordan said in the video. “This country is stuck because of the cycle of Washington politics. Washington needs a fresh voice willing to break that cycle.”

Hours after Liss-Riordan’s announcement, Markey issued a press release announcing key political positions in his campaign, ahead of a formal launch.

Markey said the country’s democracy is under assault every day by President Donald Trump and what he called Trump’s “hate, division, and inequality.”

“We are all called to stand up in the fight for the future of our country,” Markey said. “I want to continue helping to lead that resistance in the United States Senate armed with an agenda of jobs and justice and a deep commitment to the freedoms born in the Commonwealth.”

Markey is considered potentially vulnerable at a time when an increasing number of women are being elected to Congress, particularly among Democrats. Just last year, Ayanna Pressley defeated longtime incumbent U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary and went on to become Massachusetts’ first black woman elected to the U.S. House.

But there are differences. Pressley was a well-known Boston city councilor in a relatively compact, largely urban district, while Liss-Riordan is less well-known and will have to run statewide against a candidate with deep political roots.

And the 72-year-old Markey — who spent decades in the U.S. House before winning Democrat John Kerry’s former Senate seat in 2013 — has worked to tap into a new political energy on Capitol Hill.

Earlier this year, Markey teamed up with freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York to launch the Green New Deal — a sweeping plan that aims to transform the U.S. economy to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy.

Markey raised more than $950,000 during the first three months of the year, bringing his campaign war chest to more than $3.5 million.

Nearly 75% of Markey’s contributions during the first quarter of 2019 came from individual donors, with the rest coming from other sources like political action committees, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Source: NewsMax Politics

A month into former Vice President Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential primary campaign and President Donald Trump already is calling a top challenger “history.”

The slam on Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a candidate he once praised in 2016 for creating a “movement,” came via Twitter on Monday morning:

“Looks like Bernie Sanders is history. Sleepy Joe Biden is pulling ahead and think about it, I’m only here because of Sleepy Joe and the man who took him off the 1% trash heap, President O! China wants Sleepy Joe BADLY!”

President Trump’s rip into “Sleepy Joe” comes after reports Biden and his son Hunter had ties to business deals with China.

Amid a trade war with China, the world’s second-largest economy and a country with a population almost four times the United States, Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore warned Sunday of the dangers of putting a “China apologist” in the White House.

Still, Biden leads Sen. Sanders by almost 20 percentage points in RealClearPolitics national average of polls. A field of around two dozen Democratic primary candidates are jockeying for position to face off against Biden, former President Barack Obama’s running mate.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Rep. Gabbard (D-HI) speaks about the formation of the Congressional Servicewomen and Women Veterans Caucus in Washington
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) speaks about the formation of the Congressional Servicewomen and Women Veterans Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

May 19, 2019

By Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some Democrats vying for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination shifted the focus of the race to foreign policy on Sunday, criticizing Republican President Donald Trump as a weak commander in chief who is escalating tensions with Iran.

The relationship between Washington and Tehran has become increasingly strained in recent weeks, raising concerns about a potential U.S.-Iran conflict.

Trump and hawkish foreign policy advisers like national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo want Tehran to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, aimed at forcing its leaders into negotiations. Pompeo last year outlined a list of demands on Iran that critics said showed he was pushing for regime change.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard, one of 24 Democrats vying for the White House nomination, said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that Trump was “leading us down this dangerous path towards a war with Iran.”

“He says he doesn’t want it, but the actions of him and his administration, people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, tell us a very different story. They are setting the stage for a war with Iran that would prove to be far more costly, far more devastating and dangerous than anything that we saw in the Iraq war,” Gabbard said.

Trump has said he is not pushing for war with Iran. During the 2016 presidential campaign, he promised to stay out of overseas conflicts, saying the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were too costly.

In May 2018, Trump withdrew the United States from a multinational deal with Iran negotiated by the Obama administration that reduced economic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for scaling back its nuclear program. Trump criticized the deal as weak, saying he would negotiate a stronger one.

Gabbard, 38, enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and was twice deployed to the Middle East. Gabbard has said she is running for president to end regime-change wars, though she currently trails most of her 2020 opponents in opinion polls.

Another White House hopeful, Representative Seth Moulton, a 40-year-old former U.S. Marine Corps officer who did four tours in Iraq, told “This Week” that if the Trump administration sends additional troops to the Gulf it could “drag us into war.”

“Make no mistake, this is exactly what John Bolton wants to have happen,” said Moulton, who also trails in 2020 opinion polls. “The world is so dangerous when you have a weak commander in chief in the president of the United States.” 

Moulton counts as a mentor former Vice President Joe Biden, who currently leads the 2020 Democratic field in support. When asked why Democratic primary voters should back him over his mentor, Moulton said: “I think it’s time for the generation that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to take over for the generation that sent us there.”

Gabbard resigned her post at the Democratic National Committee in 2016 when Hillary Clinton was the nominee because she said the former secretary of state’s foreign policy positions were too hawkish. Gabbard was asked by ABC if that also applied to Biden, given both he and Clinton served in the Obama administration.

“We’ll see what Vice President Biden’s foreign policy vision is for this country. We may agree on some issues, disagree on others,” Gabbard said.

(GRAPHIC: Who is running in 2020 –

(Reporting By Amanda Becker in Washington; editing by Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

In preparation for the big dollar presidential campaign spending of television ads, Democrats have picked up the pace of online ads on Google and Facebook, reversing what was a 2-1 spending edge by President Donald Trump as recently as March, Axios reported Sunday.

Since the start of 2019, Democrats have spent a combined $12.7 on those ads, while the Trump campaign as spent $7.9 million, according to the report.

Now, that does include a field of about two dozen Democrats and just one U.S. president, but former Vice President Joe Biden just officially announced his candidacy last month and has recently surpassed President Trump in online advertising, according to Bully Pulpit Interactive.

Since unveiling his Democratic primary intentions, Biden has outspent President Trump $1.5 million to $969K – $960.8K to $623.2K on Facebook and $541.6K to $346.6K on Google. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Peter Buttigieg ($387.9K) has also outspent President Trump on Google.

Adapted from Advertising Analytics; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

According to Axios, the early campaign spending online helps optimize campaigns and coordinate where the big dollars go later in the 2020 presidential campaigns. They do so by taking individual donations, collect campaign data, and build up lists.

The spending by Democrats does not mirror currently polling numbers, according to RealClearPolitics polling averages.

The top five in the polls:

  1. Biden.
  2. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
  3. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
  4. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
  5. Buttigieg.

The top five Democrats in online ad spending since April 20, per Bully Pulpit:

  1. Biden.
  2. Harris.
  3. Buttigieg.
  4. Warren.
  5. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang of New York.

Sen. Sanders is seventh among Democrats in online ad spend, also surpassed by Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.

Source: NewsMax Politics

His party may be enraged by Donald Trump’s presidency, but Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden insisted Saturday that Democrats will not defeat the Republican president in 2020 if they pick an angry nominee.

Facing thousands of voters in his native Pennsylvania for the second time as a 2020 contender, the former vice president offered a call for bipartisan unity that seemed far more aimed at a general election audience than the fiery Democratic activists most active in the presidential primary process.

Some believe that the angrier a candidate is the better chance he or she has to beat Trump, Biden told thousands of Democrats who gathered in downtown Philadelphia.

“That’s what they are saying you have to do to win the Democratic nomination. Well, I don’t believe it,” he declared. “I believe Democrats want to unify this nation. That’s what the party’s always been about. That’s what it’s always been about. Unity.”

Biden’s moderate message highlights his chief advantage and chief liability in the early days of the 2020 presidential contest, which has so far been defined by fierce resistance to Trump on the left and equally aggressive vitriol on the right. Biden’s centrist approach may help him win over independents, but it threatens to alienate liberals who favor a more aggressive approach in policy and personality to counter Trump’s turbulent presidency.

“I want aggressive change. I’m not hearing that from him yet,” said 45-year-old Jennifer Moyer of Blandon, Pennsylvania, who attended Biden’s rally and said she’s 90% sold on his candidacy. “I don’t want middle of the road.”

The event was the culmination of a three-week campaign rollout that began and ended in Philadelphia, which will house Biden’s campaign headquarters. The 76-year-old native of working-class Scranton, Pennsylvania, has climbed to the front of the crowded primary field, in part by ignoring his Democratic rivals and focusing on his ability to compete with Trump head-to-head next year.

In the fight to deny Trump reelection, no states will matter more than Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, three states the Republican president carried by razor-thin margins in 2016.

Biden is betting big that voters in the Midwest and beyond will ultimately embrace his optimistic appeal.

That’s far from certain.

The Biden loyalists who waited hours under a hot son to see him on Saturday cheered his message. But some in his party’s energized left wing, watching from afar, were skeptical.

“It’s hard to imagine how Joe Biden is not angry,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the liberal group known as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has long supported Elizabeth Warren’s presidential ambitions.

“Has he been living in the Trump era? Kids are being torn away from their mothers’ arms at the border,” Green continued. “It’s completely legitimate to have righteous outrage at this horrible Trump moment in history, and to want a candidate who will channel that anger toward positive change.”

It was easy to see signs of anger in recent days as Biden courted Democratic primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as part of his inaugural national tour. At a house party in New Hampshire earlier in the week, Biden took a question from a woman who called Trump “an illegitimate president” and said he should be impeached.

Biden jokingly asked if she’d be his running mate, before shifting the conversation to another topic. A spokeswoman later said Biden does not believe Trump is an illegitimate president.

Ahead in the polls in the early days of the 2020 contest, Biden is unlikely to embrace a more aggressive approach in the near future.

Referencing the health care fight under former President Barack Obama, he noted Saturday that he knows how to win “a bare-knuckle fight,” but later added, “We need to stop fighting and start fixing.”

“If the American people want a president to add to our division, to lead with a clenched fist, closed hand and a hard heart, to demonize the opponents and spew hatred — they don’t need me. They’ve got President Donald Trump,” he continued. “I am running to offer our country — Democrats, Republicans and independents — a different path.”

Before he took the stage, longtime admirer Bradley Skelcher, of Smyrna, Delaware, praised the former vice president’s optimistic message. But he described himself as “damn angry” about the Trump presidency.

“We need calm. You don’t want anybody like me running the country,” Skelcher said. “Somebody needs to calm us down a little.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump and all other Democratic contenders by double digits in Pennsylvania, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Pennsylvania backed Trump in 2016 despite the fact that Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had been leading by as much as 10 points late in the fall.

But Biden drew support from 53 percent of state voters when asked who they would pick if the 2020 general election were held today, compared to 42 percent who said they would back Trump.

Additionally, Biden leads in a Pennsylvania Democratic primary with 39 percent, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders with 13 percent, Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren with 8 percent each, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6 percent and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey with 5 percent.

Sixty-one percent of Democrats also say Biden has the best chance of beating Trump, while 45 percent say Biden would be the best leader.

“Bolstering Vice President Biden’s numbers is something on which Democrats of all stripes in Pennsylvania agree: Whether they back Biden or not, more than 60 percent believe he has the best chance of defeating Trump in 2020,” said Mary Snow, polling analyst for Quinnipiac University Poll.

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Biden speaks in Manchester
FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., May 13, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

May 15, 2019

By Chris Kahn

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has expanded his lead over a wide field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination by 5 percentage points since he entered the race in late April, according to a monthly Reuters/Ipsos poll.

The poll released on Wednesday found 29% of Democrats and independents said they would vote for Biden in the state nominating contests that begin next year. That is up from 24% who said so in a poll that ran in late April, days before Biden announced his bid.

Biden led the field among all major demographic groups except Millennials (ages 18-37), who favored U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont over Biden 18% to 16%.

Biden, 76, remains in the strongest position for the top of the ticket despite questions about his age and centrist positions. He also has faced criticism over his unwanted touching of women and his treatment of law professor Anita Hill three decades ago during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing.

The monthly survey showed 29% of women who identify as Democrats and independents said they backed Biden, up 4 points from last month.

And among registered Democrats, those who supported other candidates still listed Biden as a top alternative if their choice dropped out of the race, according to the poll.

“That means that there is not a significant anti-Biden block of voters split between the other candidates,” said Chris Jackson, a polling expert at Ipsos.

“At this moment, Joe Biden is a clear front-runner in the Democratic primary,” Jackson added.

The Democratic nominee will likely face Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

Besides Biden, 13% of Democrats and independents said they would vote for Sanders. None of the other candidates received more than 6% support in the poll.

With more than a month until the candidates square off in the first televised debates and 18 months before the 2020 presidential election, the American public appears to be selecting candidates they know best.

Less than 20% of Democrats said they were familiar with many of the candidates, including U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida. In comparison, more than 84% said they were familiar with Biden and Sanders.

However, Biden probably is not leading on name recognition alone, said Kyle Kondik, a political analyst at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

“It’s not valuable if people know you but don’t like you,” Kondik said. “We saw that for (former Florida Governor) Jeb Bush in 2015. He had good name ID – everyone knew his family name – but he wasn’t polling as well as Biden is now because Republicans didn’t like him.”

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States on May 10 and 13. It gathered responses from 1,132 Democrats and independents and has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 3 percentage points.

Respondents were asked to pick from 23 potential Democratic nominees, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is expected to announce his plans this week. The poll did not include 89-year-old Mike Gravel, a former U.S. senator from Alaska, who is running.

For more on the candidates running for the Democratic nomination, see:

(Reporting by Chris Kahn; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jonathan Oatis)

Source: OANN

Former Vice President Joe Biden has overtaken Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the latest Emerson National Poll, leading by 8 percentage points nationally, a 13-point swing after officially announcing his 2020 candidacy.

Biden pulls in 33% of Democratic primary voters in the national poll, leading Sen. Sanders’ 25%. Biden had trailed 29-24% before making his 2020 presidential campaign announcement.

This poll is far more favorable to Sen. Sanders and the field against Biden than many others. Biden leads Sanders by 23.5 points in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls.

The Emerson National Poll top five candidates for the 2020 Democratic primary:

  1. Biden 33%.
  2. Sen. Sanders 25%
  3. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., 10% (tied for third)
  4. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., 10% (tied for third)
  5. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Peter Buttigieg 8%.

No other candidate in the field reached 3% of the vote in the poll.

The poll was conducted by Emerson College among 429 likely Democratic primary voters between May 10-13 and containing a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

Source: NewsMax Politics

In a month in which former Vice President Joe Biden officially entered the 2020 presidential race, he overtook Sen. Bernie Sanders for the lead in a crowded Democratic field, 33 percent to 25 percent, according to an Emerson National Poll released on Tuesday.

In the same poll last month, Sanders led Biden 29 percent to 24 percent.

The poll also finds that in a head-to-head matchup with Trump, both Biden and Sanders would defeat the president by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin. Other Democrats who would just narrowly defeat Trump in the popular vote include former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Other results from the survey show:

  • Harris and Warren are far behind in third place among Democrats, each at 10 percent. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg finishes off the top 5 with 8 perent. No other candidate gets more than 3 percent.
  • Fifty-six percent of Democratic primary voters say there is a chance they could vote for another candidate than the one they chose, while 44 percent say they will definitely vote for the candidate they are currently backing.
  • Sanders has strong support among younger voters, leading Biden 41 percent to 11 percent among those under 30 years old.  However, Sanders’ support weakens with age, and Biden defeats him among those over 50, including a 52 percent to 7 percent advantage for those over 65.
  • Trump’s approval rating remains the same as in the April poll, with a 43-percent approval and 49-percent disapproval.
  • Voters are split 50-50 when asked if they think Trump will be re-elected. 

The poll was conducted May 10-13. The sample consisted of registered voters with a Credibility Interval similar to a poll’s margin of error of  plus or minus 3 percentage points. 

Source: NewsMax Politics

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