A new survey of New Hampshire Democrats finds former Vice President Joe Biden in a close contest for the lead with Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.
Biden had 20.8%, Harris had 17.5% and Warren had 16.7% in the poll conducted by St. Anselm College. All the results were within the margin of error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points, meaning the three candidates are in a statistical tie.
Behind them was South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 11.5%. Senator Bernie Sanders had 9.9% in New Hampshire, which he won in the 2016 primary.
The poll suggests that the first-in-the-nation primary is wide open as Harris and Warren gain on front-runner Biden after strong debate performances.
Former Representative Beto O’Rourke plummeted to 0%, according to WMUR, which reported on the survey.
Gillibrand Fundraising Dipped to $2.3 Million
Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand took in $2.3 million in the second quarter, down from $3 million in the first three months of the year, according to her filing with the Federal Election Commission.
The New York senator, who has struggled in the polls since entering the race, ended June with $8.2 million in the bank after spending a total of $4.2 million. In addition to the money she’s raised for her presidential bid, she transferred $9.6 million from her Senate campaign in the first quarter.
Gillibrand’s campaign said in an email that 65% of its online donors identified as women. The campaign said it is still on pace to hit the 130,000 donors needed to qualify for the third set of debates in September. — Bill Allison and Mark Niquette
Julian Castro Raises $2.8M in Second Quarter
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, hoping to emerge in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field after a strong debate performance last month, reported raising $2.8 million during the second quarter — more than double the $1.1 million he raised in the first three months of the year.
That still puts him well behind the Democrats who have announced their second-quarter totals so far: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at $24.8 million and former Vice President Joe Biden at $21.5 million.
Castro’s filing with the Federal Election Commission showed that almost 75% of his contributions came from donors giving $200 or less. He reported $1.1 million in the bank as of June 30. Monday is the deadline for presidential candidates and committees to report their second-quarter fundraising and spending. — Bill Allison
Trump, RNC Raise $108M in Second Quarter
President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee raised $108 million and have $123.7 million cash on hand, according to revised figures announced Monday. That’s more than the top five Democratic campaigns combined.
“Yet another record-shattering fundraising haul gives us a major advantage over the crowded field of Democrats as the RNC continues investing in our world-class field program and growing our incredible grassroots army,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.
Trump’s campaign committee and two joint fundraising vehicles, Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again, raised a combined $56.7 million, and ended June with $80.2 million in the bank. The RNC brought in $51.3 million, preliminary numbers showed, with $43.5 million in the bank.
The top five Democrats running to replace Trump — former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised a combined $95.4 million so far.
Candidates must officially report second-quarter fundraising totals to the Federal Election Commission on Monday. Campaigns voluntarily announce the amounts they raised ahead of the deadline as a demonstration of the extent of support.
Last week, the Trump campaign announced fundraising figures of $105 million for the second quarter and $100 million cash on hand.
Trump’s campaign had over 957,000 individual donations, of which 98% were $200 or less, with an average donation of $41.48. — Bill Allison
Democrats Support Work Stop by Amazon Workers
Democratic presidential candidates are supporting a work stoppage by Amazon warehouse workers in Minnesota who are protesting working conditions during the online retailing giant’s Prime Day sale.
“I fully support Amazon workers’ Prime Day strike,” tweeted Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator who has proposed breaking up Amazon. “Their fight for safe and reliable jobs is another reminder that we must come together to hold big corporations accountable.”
Julian Castro, a former Housing and Urban Development secretary from Texas, also took to Twitter to express solidarity. “A company worth $1 trillion can absolutely afford to provide reasonable conditions for its employees,” he wrote.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has co-sponsored legislation that would tax Amazon, Walmart Inc. and other big employers to compensate for the federal benefits received by their workers, also jumped in. After the bill was introduced last year, Amazon announced that it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“A higher wage is only one component of the fight for workers’ rights,” Sanders wrote Monday. “Amazon workers deserve safe working conditions, fair scheduling, and reasonable production demands.”
Workers at Amazon’s Shakopee, Minnesota, warehouse — one of 100 sorting and fulfillment centers it operates nationally — planned to walk off the job Monday on one the company’s busiest days. Amazon has become a frequent target of Democratic candidates, who have used it as an emblem of income inequality. — Gregory Korte
Trump Crushes Democratic Contenders on Twitter
Retweets are not endorsements, and neither are Twitter followers. But if they were, President Donald Trump would be winning the Twitter primary.
Nineteen percent of adult Twitter users in the U.S. follow @realDonaldTrump on Twitter, compared to 14% who follow one or more of his Democratic rivals, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.
Perhaps not surprisingly, more Republicans (31%) follow Trump than Democrats (13%). And those who follow Trump on Twitter are more likely to approve of his job performance (54% approval) than those who don’t (24%).
One defining characteristic of Trump’s tweets is that he often uses the social media platform to make inflammatory or controversial statements. Over the weekend and into Monday, for example, he let loose a torrent of posts going after four Democratic lawmakers of color, at one point suggesting that the women, all but one of whom was born in the U.S., should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
The Pew analysis is based on a representative sample of U.S.-based Twitter users and doesn’t include overseas, spam or bot accounts. Trump has 61.9 million Twitter followers in all. The top candidate for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, has 9.4 million. — Greg Korte
Democratic Field Turns Out for Iowa AARP Forums
Nineteen Democratic presidential candidates descend on Iowa this week for five days of forums hosted by the AARP and the Des Moines Register.
“Older voters turn out in force in every election, so any candidate who wants to win in 2020 needs to focus on soaring prescription drug prices and other issues they care about,” John Hishta, senior vice president of campaigns for the lobbying group for older Americans, said in a statement.
- Monday: former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper in Des Moines.
- Tuesday: Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris, and former HUD secretary Julian Castro in Davenport.
- Wednesday: Representatives Tim Ryan and Tulsi Gabbard, and Senator Michael Bennet in Cedar Rapids.
- Friday: Senator Elizabeth Warren, author Marianne Williamson, former Representative Beto O’Rourke and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang in Sioux City.
- Saturday: Senator Bernie Sanders, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Montana Governor Steve Bullock and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in Council Bluffs.
— Tyler Pager
Beto O’Rourke Reveals His Family Owned Slaves
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who’s said he supports studying reparations for African Americans as a means of addressing the legacy of slavery and legal discrimination, now says the issue has become personal. His ancestors include slave owners.
In a new Medium essay, O’Rourke said his great-great-great grandfather Andrew Cowan Jasper, in the 1850s owned two women named Rosa and Eliza, according to documents he was recently given. Another ancestor, Frederick Williams, “most likely” owned slaves in the 1860s, O’Rourke said, adding that his wife, Amy, is also a descendant of a slave owner.
“Something that we’ve been thinking about and talking about in town hall meetings and out on the campaign — the legacy of slavery in the United States — now has a much more personal connection,” the former U.S. representative from El Paso, Texas, said in the post dated Sunday.
The revelation follows an NBC News
report citing U.S. Census records that found Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is also a descendant of slave owners. McConnell said he opposes government reparations because slavery “happened 150 years ago” and nobody living today is responsible.
O’Rourke looks at the situation differently. “They were able to build wealth on the backs and off the sweat of others,” and those benefits ultimately passed to O’Rourke and his own children, he said. — Terrence Dopp
Sanders, Biden Intensify Fight Over Health Care (6 a.m.)
Democrats are headed into a week of sparring over health care as two leading presidential contenders prepare to intensify their fight over the issue.
On Monday, front-runner Joe Biden will unveil a plan that relies heavily on defending the Affordable Care Act enacted in 2010 when he was vice president. It would give Americans the choice of a Medicare-like, public option for insurance while increasing the value of tax credits, lowering the cap on the cost of insurance and offering coverage to 4.9 million Americans in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid under Obamacare. the proposal would cost an estimated $750 billion in its first decade.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who champions a “Medicare for All” government-run insurance system, plans a Wednesday speech in Washington to “confront the Democratic opponents of Medicare for All and directly challenge the insurance and drug industry.”
After months of maintaining a steady grip on second place behind Biden in polls, Sanders has slid to third or fourth in some surveys, and his advisers have encouraged him to take on Biden more directly.
Biden, seeking to move past missteps in the past few weeks, has become increasingly aggressive in warning that Medicare for All – also supported by two other top rivals, Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren – would mean giving up on the hard-fought gains of Obamacare and starting from scratch.
“I admire the rest of the field, from Bernie to Elizabeth to Kamala who want, you know, Medicare for All, but let me tell you, I think one of the most significant things we’ve done in our administration is pass the Affordable Care Act,” Biden said Saturday in New Hampshire. “I don’t know why we’d get rid of what in fact is working and move to something totally new.”
Biden also highlighted over the weekend that Medicare for All would need to be funded with tax increases for middle-income Americans, something that Sanders openly acknowledges. But Sanders maintains that his plan would ultimately save consumers money because they’d no longer have to pay other costs.
“Obviously what Biden was doing is what the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industries, Republicans, do: ignoring the fact that people will save money on their health care,” Sanders said in an interview with the New York Times published Sunday. “They will no longer have to pay premiums or out-of-pocket expenses. They will no longer have high deductibles and high co-payments.” — Jennifer Epstein
Cory Booker Unveils Health Care Plan
Senator Cory Booker rolled out a plan Monday to expand Medicaid long-term care services to those with assets up to $200,000 and income as high as 300% of the federal poverty level.
People above those thresholds would also be allowed to buy into the program, an initiative aimed at allowing every American to live at home while aging, according to a white paper from his presidential campaign.
The proposal, which Booker is set to discuss at an AARP forum in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, would include raising Medicaid funding for direct care workers and paying them at least $15 per hour.
“In one of the richest nations in the world, no person should ever go broke or have to quit their job to afford long-term care or to take care of a loved one,” Booker said.
Health care is a focal point of the Democratic policy debate as candidates clash over bigger ideas like Medicare for all and offering a “public option” for insurance, both of with Booker has endorsed as ways to expand coverage. — Sahil Kapur
Coming Up This Week:
Nineteen of the two dozen or so Democratic candidates will participate in AARP’s five forums in Iowa between Monday and Saturday.
- The Monday event in Des Moines will feature former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
- The Tuesday event in Davenport will feature Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris, and former HUD secretary Julian Castro.
- The Wednesday event in Cedar Rapids will feature Representatives Tim Ryan and Tulsi Gabbard, and Senator Michael Bennet.
- The Friday event in Sioux City will feature Senator Elizabeth Warren, author Marianne Williamson, former Representative Beto O’Rourke and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
- The Saturday event in Council Bluffs will feature Senator Bernie Sanders, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Montana Governor Steve Bullock and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
— With assistance by Bill Allison, Sahil Kapur, Jennifer Epstein, Terrence Dopp, Tyler Pager, and Gregory Korte