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 BlasioTrump stirs controversy with latest race remarks Vandal dumps red paint on Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response 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 TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff 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 BennetHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit House Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 MORE (D-Colo.), Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockThere's a big blue wave coming Internal poll shows tight battle in Montana House race The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations MORE, former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (D-Md.), Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanDemocrats see victory in Trump culture war House Democrat calls for 'real adult discussion' on lawmaker pay The Hill's Coronavirus Report: San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus Artistic Director Tim Seelig says choirs are dangerous; Pence says, 'We have saved lives' 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 BidenBiden campaign slams Trump's Rose Garden event as 'sad affair' New shutdowns add to Trump woes CNN cuts away from Trump's 'campaign-type' Rose Garden speech MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden aspires to become America's auto-pen president Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden pledges carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan | Trump administration has been underestimating costs of carbon pollution, government watchdog finds | Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law MORE (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenProgressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel Biden campaign announces second round of staff hires in Arizona 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 HarrisHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit Biden's marijuana plan is out of step with public opinion 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 YangBiden campaign to take over 'Supernatural' star's Instagram for interview Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology The Hill's Campaign Report: Progressives feel momentum after primary night MORE is the new Ross Perot.

Michael R. Strain: Populism is on the decline.

 

POLICY ROLLOUTS:

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegIn politics, as in baseball, it ain't over till it's over Biden campaign hires top cybersecurity officials to defend against threats Biden strikes populist tone in blistering rebuke of Trump, Wall Street 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'RourkeHegar, West to face off in bitter Texas Senate runoff Bellwether counties show trouble for Trump Colorado GOP Rep. Scott Tipton defeated in primary upset 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 TillisConservative group launches ad campaign for Rep. Roger Marshall in Kansas Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - All eyes on Florida as daily COVID-19 cases hit 15K Democrats seek to tie GOP candidates to Trump, DeVos 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 KennedyMassachusetts Democrat calls for Voice of America chief to resign The Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary MORE III (D-Mass.) will formally launch a primary challenge against Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA declines to tighten smog standards amid pressure from green groups | Democrats split on Trump plan to use development funds for nuclear projects| Russian mining giant reports another fuel spill in Arctic Democrats split on Trump plan to use development funds for nuclear projects GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday 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-CortezIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Ocasio-Cortez fires back after Trump says she's 'not talented in many ways' Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey 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 TlaibOver 570 women registered to run for office, topping 2018 record Democrats see victory in Trump culture war The Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue MORE (Mich.), Seth MoultonSeth MoultonHouse panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops Overnight Defense: House panel votes to ban Confederate flag on all Pentagon property | DOD report says Russia working to speed US withdrawal from Afghanistan | 'Gang of Eight' to get briefing on bounties Thursday Democrats expect Russian bounties to be addressed in defense bill MORE (Mass.), and Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Chris Christie says Trump team wasn't aggressive enough early in COVID-19 crisis; Tensions between White House, Fauci boil over Trump administration moves to formally withdraw US from WHO Swalwell: Trump 'makes us look like geniuses every day for impeaching him' MORE (Calif.) have said they are staying out of the race, while Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaSome in Congress want to keep sending our troops to Afghanistan House panel votes to limit Trump's Germany withdrawal It's time to eliminate land-based nuclear missiles 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.