The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch

The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch
© Greg Nash

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your weekly rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley, and here’s what we’re watching this week on the campaign trail. 

 

LEADING THE DAY: 

99 YEARS LATER: As the nation prepares to celebrate the 99th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, the Trump campaign is preparing for an uphill battle to attract suburban women in 2020. 

The Trump campaign pushed to energize and mobilize suburban women ahead of 2020 in Tampa, Fla., Thursday night at an “Evening to Empower Event,” which was centered around commemorating the anniversary of women’s suffrage. The rally was one of many similar events being held by the campaign across the country Thursday night and featured a number of the president’s highest-profile female allies, including White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayGeorge Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump Kellyanne Conway knocks Biden, talks up Sanders in Wash Post op-ed Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments MORE, Trump campaign adviser Katrina Pierson and former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Trump himself called in to the event, warning that if he lost the election, it would be a “very, very bad day for the country.” 

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The strategy involves Women for Trump teaming up with the Trump Victory Leadership Initiative to target female voters in suburban districts in at least 13 states as the campaign looks to energize a crucial voting bloc to support Trump and other Republicans down the ballot ahead of the 2020 elections. 

Trump has faced backlash for how his administration’s policies affect women, as well as his own rhetoric about women, but the Trump campaign has expressed confidence it will be able to mobilize women ahead of the election, citing the administration’s record on health care and the economy. 

Still, recent polling paints a much different picture of Trump’s support among women, especially white suburban women, who helped Democrats win back the House in the 2018 midterm elections. An NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll released Monday found that 63 percent of white, college educated women said they would definitely or probably vote for the Democratic nominee in 2020. The same poll also found that 62 percent of all female voters polled said they would vote for the Democratic candidate in 2020, while only 30 percent said they would support Trump. 

The president also appears to be losing traction among white, non–college educated women, a group on which he has relied in the past. The NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll showed that 49 percent of white, non–college educated women said they would vote for the Democratic nominee, compared with 43 percent who said they would vote for Trump. 

Don’t expect the focus on female voters to go away anytime soon. The voting bloc dealt a blow to Republicans in 2018, with CNN exit polls showing that the group supported Democrats over Republicans in last year’s midterm elections by a 19-point margin.

Ninety-nine years after being granted the right to vote, women are sure to continue playing a pivotal role in the outcome of elections.

— Julia Manchester

 

READ MORE:

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is considering a primary challenge against Trump, saying that no Republican has had the courage to challenge the president. Former Rep. Mark SanfordMark SanfordTrump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Judge throws out lawsuit against South Carolina GOP for canceling 2020 primary The Hill's Campaign Report: Late bids surprise 2020 Democratic field MORE (R-S.C.) is also considering a bid, while former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldRepublican group calls for 'President Pence' amid impeachment trial Weld says Trump wants reporters to 'roam free' in Iran, but not US Trump primary challengers left off Wisconsin ballot MORE is already running. These candidates and potential challengers will get a lot of media attention in the coming days, but no one has a real shot at defeating Trump in the primary. Trump has a tight grip on the GOP, and the Republican National Committee has taken steps to ensure potential challengers cannot gain the traction necessary to unravel his reelection bid.

 

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyIs Mike Pence preparing to resign, assume the presidency, or both? Judd Apatow urges Georgia voters to get rid of Doug Collins after 'terrorists' comment Nikki Haley: Democratic leadership, 2020 Dems are the only people mourning Soleimani death MORE, meanwhile, is trying to quash rumors that she will replace Vice President Pence on the ticket, The Hill’s Brett Samuels reports.

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST: Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonOvernight Defense: Iran crisis eases as Trump says Tehran 'standing down' | Dems unconvinced on evidence behind Soleimani strike | House sets Thursday vote on Iran war powers Congress reacts to US assassination of Iranian general Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far MORE (D-Mass.) became the third candidate in little more than a week to exit the Democratic presidential race. He’s set to announce his decision at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting in San Francisco on Friday, The Hill’s Max Greenwood reports. “I want to use this opportunity, with all of you here, to announce that I am ending my campaign for president,” Moulton is expected to say, according to prepared remarks. “Though this campaign is not ending the way we hoped, I am leaving this race knowing that we raised issues that are vitally important to the American people and our future.”

 

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeBloomberg, Steyer focus on climate change in effort to stand out Our government and public institutions must protect us against the unvaccinated Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far MORE also dropped out of the race this week, saying on Wednesday that his path to victory had reached a dead end. “I’m not going to be the president, so I’m withdrawing tonight from the race,” he told MSNBC’s Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowCitizens United put out a welcome mat for Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman Giuliani says he was 'misled' by Parnas Parnas attorney asks William Barr to recuse himself from investigation MORE. His exit follows that of John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperFor a healthy aging workforce policy, look to Colorado Mitch McConnell may win the impeachment and lose the Senate Hickenlooper raised .8 million for Colorado Senate bid in fourth quarter of 2019 MORE, a popular former Colorado governor whose presidential campaign failed to gain traction. 

 

Inslee isn’t giving up on politics though. He announced on Thursday that he would seek a third term in the governor’s mansion. “I want to continue to stand with you in opposing Donald Trump and rejecting his hurtful and divisive agenda, while strengthening and enhancing Washington State’s role as a progressive beacon for the nation,” he said in an email to supporters.

 

Also on Thursday, Hickenlooper announced that he would run for Senate in his home state, instantly putting him atop the field of Democrats vying to take on Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerDemocrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment Senate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Tensions between McConnell and Schumer run high as trial gains momentum MORE (R-Colo.) in 2020. That’s good news for many Democrats, who had urged him for weeks to drop his presidential bid and turn his attention to the Senate. Gardner is seen as one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection next year, and Democrats see a win in Colorado as imperative if they hope to recapture control of the chamber.

 

The Hill: Democratic governors fizzle in presidential race

The Hill: Gabbard, Steyer move closer to making third Democratic debate

The Hill: Who's in and out in the 2020 race

 

SHAKE-UPS: Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules Elizabeth Warren moves 'bigly' to out-trump Trump DNC goof: Bloomberg should be on debate stage MORE (D-Md.) shook up his campaign staff this week as he looks to lend momentum to his struggling presidential bid. Per Delaney’s campaign: “Xan Fishman will take over as Delaney’s Campaign Manager. Fishman was formerly Delaney’s Chief of Staff in Congress and has been working as a Deputy Campaign Manager. John Davis will serve as a Senior Advisor for the Iowa campaign efforts. Sasha Gluck has joined the Delaney Campaign as the National Finance Director.”

 

ODDS AND ENDS:

TWITTER BATTLE: Democratic House candidate Phil Arballo is taking aim at Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism MORE (R-Calif.) as the congressman’s lawsuit against Twitter gets its first hearing in Virginia. 

The digital ad, released Thursday, takes aim at Nunes for suing Twitter, in addition to the congressman’s decision to sue four people living in his district. Nunes claims the four targeted by his lawsuit have worked with dark money groups to ruin his reputation. The ad marks the latest sign that the race for California’s 22nd Congressional District is heating up

 

POLL WATCH:

CNN-SSRS: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters George Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump MORE surged to 29 percent support after dropping to 22 percent in June, while Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris on 2020 endorsement: 'I am not thinking about it right now' Panel: Is Kamala Harris a hypocrite for mulling a Joe Biden endorsement? The Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power MORE (D-Calif.) fell 12 points to just 5 percent among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters. Meanwhile, support for Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Des Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial MORE (D-Mass.) remained relatively steady. Sanders ticked up from 14 percent to 15 percent, while Warren moved from 15 percent to 14 percent.

 

THE ECONOMIST–YOUGOV: Biden sits in first place at 22 percent support followed by Sanders at 19 percent. Warren is the only other candidate to register double digits in the poll, notching 17 percent support. Harris and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Buttigieg (D) round out the top five with 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

 

POLITICO–MORNING CONSULT: Biden is way ahead of the pack with 31 percent support. He’s followed by Sanders and Warren at 20 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Harris came in with 9 percent support for the third consecutive week, while Buttigieg registered at 5 percent.

 

OVERSHADOWED: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) may be underestimated in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a flurry of new polling released in the last week. Meanwhile, The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports that one of the most striking characteristics of this cycle’s Democratic presidential primary is the relatively soft support for top-tier candidates, even after an intense focus on the race by the national media.

 

POLICY ROLLOUTS:

MEDICARE FOR ALL: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) added a twist to his “Medicare for All” proposal, rolling out a provision that would offer certain advantages to workers who negotiate health benefits through their labor unions. Under that plan, the National Labor Relations Board could supervise workers’ contract negotiations after Medicare for All goes into effect, and companies would be required to return any health care savings under the single-payer system to employees in the form of better benefits or higher wages. The rollout of that provision has prompted criticism from Sanders’s rivals, who argue that it amounts to an acknowledgement of a crucial flaw in the Vermont senator’s signature policy proposal. Sanders’s aides rejected that accusation, saying that nothing in his existing Senate bill has changed.

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE: Sanders unveiled a sweeping Green New Deal proposal to tackle climate change that he said would take on “the single greatest challenge facing our country” and create 20 million jobs, The Hill’s Tal Axelrod reports. The plan calls for a transformation in the country’s energy system to solely renewable energy for electricity and transportation by 2030 and complete decarbonization by 2050.

 

DEPARTMENT OF PEACE: Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson says she supports Yang in Iowa caucuses Patrick backs reparations in unveiling 'Equity Agenda for Black Americans' Marianne Williamson drops out of 2020 race MORE, the best-selling author and Democratic presidential candidate, proposed the creation of a Cabinet-level “Department of Peace” this week that would "work actively and interactively with every branch of government on policy matters related to both international and domestic peace issues.” At the domestic level, the department would focus on addressing the so-called school-to-prison pipeline and improving relations between police and the communities in which they serve. At the international level, it would work with other governments to resolve international conflicts, The Hill’s Zach Budryk reports.

 

MENTAL HEALTH: South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Candidates weighing using private jets to get to Iowa Biden nabs endorsement from Iowa Democrat in swing district MORE (D) unveiled his plan on Friday to improve mental health care and combat addiction, calling for imposing penalties on insurance companies if they do not provide coverage for mental illness and addiction. The plan also would expand access to treatment for opioid addictions and decriminalize mental illness and addiction through reentry programs. The plan would require every school across the country to teach “Mental Health First Aid courses," as well as combat loneliness and social isolation through a national campaign. 

The announcement from the Buttigieg camp comes after Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandGOP-Biden feud looms over impeachment trial Sanders defends vote against USMCA: 'Not a single damn mention' of climate change The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial MORE (D-N.Y.) unveiled her plan on this issue earlier this week. Gillibrand’s plan would invest in community-based approaches to mental and behavioral health, personalize the way the U.S. delivers mental health care and require insurance coverage for mental and behavioral health. 

 

FROM CONGRESS:

KANSAS SENATE: Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Washington Post: Pompeo 'gaslighting' NPR reporter Pompeo lashes out at 'shameful' NPR reporter MORE has said that he has no immediate plans to run for Senate next year in his home state of Kansas. But his actions this week have fueled speculation that he’s very much considering a bid to replace retiring Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsSenate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump Senate GOP hopes to move new NAFTA deal before impeachment trial MORE (R-Kan.) next year. The New York Times’s Maggie HabermanMaggie Lindsy HabermanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump beefs up impeachment defense with Dershowitz, Starr NY Times's Haberman: Trump 'surprised' Iranian strike wasn't 'more of a unifying event' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington braces for public impeachment hearings MORE and Lara Jakes report that Pompeo met with billionaire Republican donor Ronald Lauder in New York on Tuesday before meeting with the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, a conservative group that often meets with potential office-seekers.

 

Former Rep. Jason LewisJason Mark LewisTwo swing-district Democrats raise impeachment calls after whistleblower reports GOP Senate candidate said Republicans have 'dual loyalties' to Israel The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch MORE (R) is running for Senate in a challenge to Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Senators ask FDA to crack down on non-dairy milks, cheeses Pro-Trump MyPillow inventor teases possible Minnesota gubernatorial run MORE (D) in Minnesota.

 

MONEY WATCH:

RNC/DNC: The Republican National Committee raised nearly $21 million in July, marking its largest-ever off-cycle haul for the month. The Democratic National Committee raised just under $8 million last month.

 

DCCC/NRCC: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $7 million in July, surpassing the House GOP campaign arm, which raised about $4.1 million. The National Republican Congressional Committee is looking to goose fundraising by selling T-shirts praising Trump’s efforts to “help America grow” by purchasing Greenland.

 

DSCC/NRCC: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $4.8 million in July, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee was not far behind at $4.4 million.

 

Billionaire conservative philanthropist and activist David Koch died Friday morning at the age of 79. Koch had stepped away from the family enterprise for health reasons last year. His brother Charles Koch has been leading the influential Koch network.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

The Democratic National Committee holds its summer meeting on Friday and Saturday in San Francisco. Among the presidential candidates expected to speak: Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Impeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators Sanders says it's 'disappointing' he's not on campaign trail in Iowa MORE (Colo.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSenate Dems to Pompeo: Comments about NPR reporter 'insulting and contemptuous' Black caucus in Nevada: 'Notion that Biden has all of black vote is not true' The Hill's 12:30 Report: House managers to begin opening arguments on day two MORE (N.J.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Moore defends Sanders's reputation: 'We don't want the fake, and the phony and the fraudulent' MORE (Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanOffice of Technology Assessment: It's time for a second coming Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far GM among partners planning .3B battery plant in Ohio MORE (Ohio), former Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.), Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerPoll: 68 percent of Democrats say it 'makes no difference' if a candidate is a billionaire CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary Steyer's advice from son after overhearing Warren-Sanders hot mic dust-up: 'Don't be a snitch' MORE, Marianne Williamson and Andrew YangAndrew YangSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial John Leguizamo joins the 'Yang Gang' CNN to host two straight nights of Democratic town halls before NH primary MORE

 

Former Vice President Joe Biden has two events planned today in New Hampshire, including a health care town hall in Hanover and a community event in Croydon.

 

TWO FUN THINGS

FINDING HIS VOICE: While flight delays prevented New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Democrats turn to obstruction charge New York City bans cashless businesses How far will New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio go to protect undocumented aliens? MORE from appearing in person at the Iowa Federation of Labor forum in Iowa on Wednesday, the presidential candidate still laid out his positions on labor issues in a pre-recorded video, and even found his (chipmunk) voice along this way. 

 

A technical glitch with the video made de Blasio’s voice sound abnormally high-pitched, drawing chuckles from the crowd and some snark from campaign reporters on Twitter. 

 

 

But the mayor laughed the glitch off in a tweet, saying he would try his "best chipmunk impression" if it meant being able to share his message.

 

 

What do Lizzo, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin and Lin-Manuel Miranda have in common? 

 

All of them are featured — along with dozens of other artists — on a presidential contender’s playlist. The New York Times’s Astead Herndon took a deep dive with this analysis of presidential campaign playlists to see how the songs align with the candidates’ messages. Be sure to turn your sound on while you scroll through.

 

Have a great weekend! We’ll see you next time!