The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC

The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC
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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. Here's what we're watching this week on the campaign trail. 

 

LEADING THE DAY: 

New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioUS attorney opposes release of inmates in DC Britain releases 4,000 inmates to curb spread of coronavirus  NYC landlord tells tenants in 18 buildings to skip April rent MORE became the latest casualty of the fall campaign season on Friday when he announced that he was ending his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The news wasn't all that surprising. De Blasio appeared nowhere close to qualifying for the fourth primary debate in October, and he previously said that he would consider dropping out of the race if the debate stage was too far out of reach. 

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"I think the logical thing to say is, you know, I'm going to try to get into the October debates and if I can then I think that's a good reason to keep going forward and if I can't, I think it's really tough to conceive of continuing. So that's the way I'm looking at it right now," he said earlier this month.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi eyes end of April to bring a fourth coronavirus relief bill to the floor NBA to contribute 1 million surgical masks to NY essential workers Private equity firm with ties to Kushner asks Trump administration to relax rules on loan program: report MORE sent de Blasio off with a tweet.

But de Blasio isn't the only candidate who was likely to miss the fourth debate in Ohio next month. At least half a dozen others have yet to meet even one of the two criteria needed to qualify for the debate, raising the question: Do any of them follow the New York City mayor's lead?

Among the candidates almost certain to miss the fourth debate are Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocrats urge administration to automatically issue coronavirus checks to more people Five things being discussed for a new coronavirus relief bill Cyber threats spike during coronavirus pandemic MORE (D-Colo.), Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockPolitics and the pandemic — Republicans are rightly worried The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden moves to unify party before general election Poll shows Daines, Bullock neck and neck in Montana Senate race MORE, former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyJohn Delaney endorses Biden Nevada caucuses open with a few hiccups Lobbying world MORE (D-Md.), Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Lawmakers call for universal basic income amid coronavirus crisis Democrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' MORE (D-Ohio), former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and Miramar, Fla. Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamKey moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Wayne Messam suspends Democratic presidential campaign 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum MORE.

At the same time, the Democratic presidential primary increasingly appears to be a three-way contest between former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSome Sanders top allies have urged him to withdraw from 2020 race: report Sunday shows preview: As coronavirus spreads in the U.S., officials from each sector of public life weigh in Trump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSome Sanders top allies have urged him to withdraw from 2020 race: report We're at war and need wartime institutions to keep our economy producing what's necessary Larry David: Bernie Sanders should drop out of 2020 race MORE (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog Biden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Overnight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill MORE (D-Mass.), who are polling far ahead of their closest rivals, most surveys show.

Some candidates insist that they're not yet ready to think about exiting the primary contest. Delaney, for example, told The Hill last month that "there's nothing between now and the Iowa caucus" that would make him reconsider his presidential bid, and that it would take a poor finish in the first-in-the-nation caucuses to convince him to drop out.

There's another factor that could begin nudging some candidates to reconsider their campaigns. Fundraising reports for the third quarter of 2019 will be made public on Oct. 15, and that disclosure will provide key insights into the financial gap between the front-runners and those struggling to make the debate stage.

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

Warren appears to be growing her share of support from black voters, who have been slow to warm to her campaign. Three new polls out this week showed Warren getting a 5- or 6-point bump among black voters. Biden still dominates the field with black voters, and he'll be the favorite to win the nomination unless that changes. But Warren is showing signs of life here after public opinion surveys from earlier in the cycle showed her languishing in the single digits with the critical liberal voting bloc, The Hill's Jonathan Easley reports.

The Hill: Two former Congressional Black Caucus chairmen back Biden.

The Hill: Southern black mayors write to 2020 Democrats saying they "want to be represented."

 

Meanwhile, Sanders is feeling Warren's heat, as allies worry he risks getting eclipsed on the left by the Massachusetts senator. Sanders has retooled his political teams in Iowa and New Hampshire and is embarking on a pivotal stretch of campaigning aimed at galvanizing the young voters and union members who propelled his 2016 presidential run, Jonathan Easley reports.

The Hill: Sanders hits 1 million donors.

 

Another Democratic candidate under pressure -- Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisEnlisting tech to fight coronavirus sparks surveillance fears Biden says his administration could help grow 'bench' for Democrats Is Texas learning to love ObamaCare? MORE (D-Calif.) says she will camp out in Iowa between now and the caucuses as she tries to rejuvenate her once-promising campaign, according to The Hill's Julia Manchester.

 

ODDS AND ENDS:

Sarah Jones: Warren makes her bid for history.

Peter Beinart: Andrew YangAndrew YangAndrew Yang: Calling coronavirus 'China virus' only used to incite 'hostility' Andrew Yang to launch issues-based podcast Majority of young Americans support universal basic income, public healthcare: poll MORE is the new Ross Perot.

Michael R. Strain: Populism is on the decline.

 

POLICY ROLLOUTS:

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates HuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession MORE has released a "Medicare for all who want it" plan (The Hill) ... Warren has released a plan to battle Washington corruption (The Hill) ... Sanders released a "Housing for All" plan aimed at tackling homelessness (The Hill) ... Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke slams Texas official who suggested grandparents risk their lives for economy during pandemic Hispanic Caucus campaign arm unveils non-Hispanic endorsements Five Latinas who could be Biden's running mate MORE (D-Texas) has released a plan to legalize marijuana and end the war on drugs (The Hill).

 

FROM CONGRESS:

NORTH CAROLINA SENATE: Some Republicans are concerned that Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisNorth Carolina Senate race emerges as 2020 bellwether The Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus MORE (R-N.C.) may be increasingly vulnerable in 2020, The Hill's Max Greenwood reports. Not only are Democrats preparing to spend big in the North Carolina Senate race, but he's also facing a primary challenge from Garland Tucker, a retired businessman who has sought to cast the first-term senator as insufficiently conservative. Tillis's allies insist that they're not worried yet. After all, they say, he has Trump's endorsement and a voting record in the Senate that tracks closely with the president's agenda.

But there are signs that Tillis may not have the unequivocal support of the president's base. At a Trump rally in Fayetteville, N.C., last week, the first-term senator was booed by some in the audience as he took the stage -- the result of what several Republicans said was Tillis's initial opposition to Trump's emergency declaration at the U.S. southern border earlier this year. 

On Friday, there was another sign that the North Carolina Senate race may be getting more competitive. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, moved the race from the "likely" Republican column into the "lean" Republican column.

 

SHOWDOWN IN MASSACHUSETTS: Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill How campaigns are adapting to coronavirus The Hill's Campaign Report: Three states holding primaries despite coronavirus MORE III (D-Mass.) will formally launch a primary challenge against Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill Democratic senators want probe into change of national stockpile description Overnight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal MORE (D-Mass.) on Saturday, setting the stage for a potentially brutal primary battle involving the state's most influential political dynasty. 

Kennedy is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, and two of his great-uncles, former Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and former President John F. Kennedy served as Massachusetts senators. 

But not all Democrats are convinced Kennedy should challenge Markey. In fact, progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOvernight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims Trump blasts Schumer over 'incorrect sound bites' on coronavirus Trump warns against 'partisan investigations' after Pelosi establishes select committee on virus response MORE (D-N.Y.) took to Twitter last week to tout her support for Markey, who introduced the Senate version of her Green New Deal. 

Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Pressley, Tlaib introduce bill providing .5B in emergency grants for the homeless MORE (Mich.), Seth MoultonSeth MoultonAsian American lawmaker warns of fear of racism over coronavirus stigma Pressley experiencing flu-like symptoms, being tested for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill MORE (Mass.), and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellKey House chairman cautions against remote voting, suggests other options amid coronavirus outbreak House Democrats plead with key committee chairman to allow remote voting amid coronavirus pandemic Congress tiptoes toward remote voting MORE (Calif.) have said they are staying out of the race, while Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Defense Production Act urgently needed for critical medical gear 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order MORE (D-Calif.) has thrown his support behind Markey. 

Meanwhile Warren has endorsed Markey, despite having a close relationship with Kennedy. 

 

POLL WATCH:

Biden continues to hold his lead over the Democratic primary pack, but Warren is inching closer to him, according to a number of polls. An Economist/YouGov poll released on Thursday shows Biden with 25 percent support, while Warren stands at 19 percent support. However, the two are in a virtual tie in Iowa, according to a poll conducted by the Democratic group Focus on Rural America. Biden had the support of 25 percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers, while 23 percent threw their support behind Warren. 

NBC News/Wall Street Journal: Biden leads field by 31 percent, followed by Warren at 25 percent. 

Fox News: Biden tops Warren by 16 points in theoretical match-up 

Florida Atlantic University: Biden leads Democratic field in Florida 

Monmouth University: Booker trails three 2020 Democrats in New Jersey

Meanwhile, Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC, has released new polling data with warning signs for President Trump in key battleground states. The new survey shows the president's economic approval rating dropping in Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Nevada.

University of Texas: Biden, O'Rourke lead Trump in Texas.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

Eleven Democratic presidential candidates will participate in the MSNBC climate forum at Georgetown University beginning at 12:45 p.m. today.

Biden will attend a separate climate town hall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, this afternoon. 

At 7 p.m. this evening, Biden and nine other candidates will participate in a LGBTQ town hall event at Coe College in Cedar Rapids.

Sanders and his campaign surrogates, including rapper Killer Mike and actor Danny Glover, embark on a tour of colleges across North Carolina, South Carolina, Iowa and Oklahoma, beginning today with two stops.

Harris will hold five events across Iowa on Saturday, with stops in Coralville, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Des Moines.

 

ONE FUN THING

THE DUDE ABIDES: Jeff Bridges became the latest actor to voice his support for his "good buddy" in the 2020 Democratic primary. The actor urged his followers to donate to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to help get him on the next Democratic presidential debate stage. 

Bridges even hit the Democratic National Committee for their debate stage qualifications. 

"You see here's the deal: For the first time in history, the Democratic National Committee is choosing who can be in the presidential debates based on the number of donors each candidate has," Bridges said. 

The governor told the Daily Beast in May that Bridges, who has "long Montana ties" was very "encouraging" of him running for president. 

Who knew that Steve Bullock and Jeff Bridges were tight!

We'll see everyone next week with more campaign news.