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 BlasioMayor accuses de Blasio of dumping New York's homeless in Newark Conservatives must absolutely talk politics at the Thanksgiving table Booker campaign announces six-figure ad buy to qualify for December debate 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 TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence 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 BennetObstacles remain for deal on surprise medical bills Key House and Senate health leaders reach deal to stop surprise medical bills Bloomberg on 2020 rivals blasting him for using his own money: 'They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money' MORE (D-Colo.), Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats worry about diversity on next debate stage The Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Steve Bullock exits: Will conservative Democrats follow? MORE, former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyDelaney to DNC: Open second debate stage for candidates who qualified for past events Krystal Ball: What Harris's exit means for the other 2020 candidates 2020 Democrats thank Harris for friendship, candidacy after senator drops out MORE (D-Md.), Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanGM among partners planning .3B battery plant in Ohio San Francisco 49ers suspend announcer after reference to quarterback's 'dark skin' More than 100 Democrats sign letter calling for Stephen Miller to resign MORE (D-Ohio), former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and Miramar, Fla. Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamWayne Messam suspends Democratic presidential campaign 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum The Memo: What the leading 2020 Dems need to do MORE.

At the same time, the Democratic presidential primary increasingly appears to be a three-way contest between former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday FBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal Gabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenGabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies On The Money: White House, Dems edge closer to trade deal | GOP worries about Trump concessions | DOJ argues Congress can't sue Trump on emoluments | Former Fed chief Volcker dies UN International Anticorruption Day highlights democracy as a human right 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 HarrisKrystal Ball: Media turns on Buttigieg, will this end him? Senate Democrats demand Trump fire Stephen Miller The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - A crucial week on impeachment 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 YangGabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies Emanuel jokes: 'I'm a new, mellow Rahm' Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations MORE is the new Ross Perot.

Michael R. Strain: Populism is on the decline.

 

POLICY ROLLOUTS:

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegGabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies McKinsey allowing Buttigieg to disclose past clients Saagar Enjeti: Elizabeth Warren reveals grim future under her presidency 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'RourkeButtigieg picks up third congressional endorsement from New York lawmaker Klobuchar hires staff in Nevada Deval Patrick enters 2020 race 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 TillisThe real US patent 'crisis' Graham: FBI investigation in 2016 turned into a 'criminal conspiracy' The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats worry about diversity on next debate stage 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 KennedyOvernight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments Trump escalates fight over tax on tech giants Sanders's Massachusetts state director 'moves on' from campaign MORE III (D-Mass.) will formally launch a primary challenge against Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyThere's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down Trump administration drops plan to face scan all travelers leaving or entering US Advocates hopeful dueling privacy bills can bridge partisan divide 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-CortezTrump tops list of most tweeted about politicians in 2019 Buttigieg campaign says 2000 people attended Iowa rally Trump keeps Obama immigration program, and Democrats blast him 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 TlaibThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — GOP, Democrats square off at final impeachment hearing Live coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire MORE (Mich.), Seth MoultonSeth MoultonDeval Patrick beefs up campaign staff Lawmakers honor JFK on 56th anniversary of his death Pardoning war crimes dishonors the military MORE (Mass.), and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Trump: Fox News 'panders' to Democrats by having on liberal guests Democrats could introduce articles of impeachment next week MORE (Calif.) have said they are staying out of the race, while Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal Overnight Defense: Bombshell report reveals officials misled public over progress in Afghanistan | Amazon accuses Trump of 'improper pressure' in Pentagon contract decision | House Judiciary holds final impeachment hearing The Hill's 12:30 Report: Impeachment fight shifts to House Judiciary 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.