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 BlasioNew York City lawmakers vote to close Rikers Island jail by 2026 2020 Presidential Candidates Cooperate, or else: New York threatens fines to force people to help block immigration enforcement 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 TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' 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 BennetBennet reintroduces bill to ban lawmakers from becoming lobbyists Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy MORE (D-Colo.), Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockBullock says Trump should be removed from office Biden, Warren tied for lead in Iowa poll The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy MORE, former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin Delaney'We lost a giant': 2020 Democrats mourn the death of Elijah Cummings Warren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy MORE (D-Md.), Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanThird-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the October showdown MORE (D-Ohio), former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and Miramar, Fla. Mayor Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamWayne Messam raised this quarter for presidential run The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the October showdown MORE.

At the same time, the Democratic presidential primary increasingly appears to be a three-way contest between former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump accuses Biden of 'quid pro quo' hours after Mulvaney remarks Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Krystal Ball reacts to Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Sanders: 'Class power over girl power' Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate MORE (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter knocks Zuckerberg for invoking her father while defending Facebook Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems advance drug pricing bill | Cases of vaping-related lung illnesses near 1,500 | Juul suspends sales of most e-cigarette flavors 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 HarrisCampaign aide replaces Trump with Kamala Harris in viral 'meltdown' photo Warren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Poll: Biden, Warren support remains unchanged after Democratic debate 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 YangWarren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Saagar Enjeti praises Yang for bringing threat of automation to forefront at Ohio debate Biden, Warren tied for lead in Iowa poll MORE is the new Ross Perot.

Michael R. Strain: Populism is on the decline.

 

POLICY ROLLOUTS:

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems advance drug pricing bill | Cases of vaping-related lung illnesses near 1,500 | Juul suspends sales of most e-cigarette flavors Warren raised more money from Big Tech employees than other 2020 Democrats: Report Poll: Biden, Warren support remains unchanged after Democratic debate 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'RourkeTrump slams 'very dumb' O'Rourke for proposals on guns, tax exempt status for churches Hillicon Valley: FCC approves T-Mobile-Sprint merger | Dems wrangle over breaking up Big Tech at debate | Critics pounce as Facebook's Libra stumbles | Zuckerberg to be interviewed by Fox News | Twitter details rules for political figures' tweets O'Rourke rips Bill O'Reilly: The problem with our economy is 'a disgraced TV host like you makes millions' 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 TillisTillis says impeachment is 'a waste of resources' GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren, Sanders overtake Biden in third-quarter fundraising 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 KennedyLawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Ocasio-Cortez taps supporters for donations as former primary opponent pitches for Kennedy The 13 House Democrats who back Kavanaugh's impeachment MORE III (D-Mass.) will formally launch a primary challenge against Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs Senate confirms Trump's Air Force secretary pick Democratic senators condemn Trump for calling on China to investigate Bidens 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-CortezOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Booker endorses Lipinski challenger Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings 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 TlaibOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Mich.), Seth MoultonSeth Moulton2020 Presidential Candidates Rep. Joe Kennedy has history on his side in Senate bid Mass shootings have hit 158 House districts so far this year MORE (Mass.), and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellTestimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense Lawmakers, social media users praise photo of Pelosi confronting Trump Democratic lawmaker: Expelling Turkey from NATO 'should be on the table' MORE (Calif.) have said they are staying out of the race, while Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaCongress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Is Congress too afraid to fight Big Pharma? Democrats probing whether groups booked Trump hotel rooms to earn president's favor: report 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.