The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate

The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate
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Welcome to The Hill's Campaign Report, your daily 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 today on the campaign trail. 




ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The debate post-mortems were flooding the interwebs this morning, with the general consensus that it was a bad first debate night for former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE. The other candidates, as well as the news media, telegraphed what Bloomberg would be pressed on, whether it was his unearthed, controversial comments about redlining and stop-and-frisk or his past alleged comments about women. Critics say that Bloomberg seemed unprepared for the questions and that his answers were not well thought out. 

However, the Bloomberg campaign has worked to spin the debate in his favor. The campaign took heat on Thursday for releasing a video showing Bloomberg asking during the debate if he was the only candidate on stage to ever start a business. The video was edited to make it seem like the other candidates on stage drew massive blanks with crickets in the background. Bloomberg's campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen tells me that the video was meant to be "tongue in cheek." "There were obviously no crickets on the debate stage," Slayen said. 

Meanwhile, the post-debate reviews seemed to play well for Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Biden faces pesky enthusiasm challenge despite big primary numbers MORE (D-Mass.), who is in dire need of a comeback after less-than stellar performances in Iowa and New Hampshire. Warren started the debate with her fire aimed at Bloomberg, hitting him on redlining, stop-and-frisk and his past comments about women. 

"Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk," Warren said. 

The forum appears to have paid dividends for the progressive senator in the short term. Warren's campaign announced on Thursday that they raised $2.8 million on debate day, bringing in $425,000 in a 30-minute span during the event. Her campaign called it best debate day of the entire campaign."

We can talk all day about these debates, which seem like they are a dime a dozen at this point, but how much do they actually matter? There will be another one in five days in South Carolina, which could change the perception of a number of the candidates. It's also worth asking how the debates compare to massive ad buys in influencing voters? We probably won't know the full answer to this until after Super Tuesday when we see the full impact Bloomberg will have on the race. 


--Julia Manchester 



Winners and losers from the Democratic debate in Las Vegas, by The Hill's Niall Stanage

5 takeaways from the Las Vegas debate, by Jonathan

Bloomberg savaged in first appearance on Democratic debate stage, by The Hill's Reid Wilson

Warren, Klobuchar get most talking time in Vegas debate, by The Hill's Justin Wise

Bloomberg debacle spurs Democratic hand-wringing, by The Hill's Amie Parnes



Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE's campaign suggested that Bloomberg should exit the presidential race in a memo on Thursday, warning that his presence in the primary contest could help propel Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Sanders still sees 'narrow path' to Democratic presidential nomination Tenants call on lawmakers to pass rent freezes MORE (I-Vt.) to the nomination, Julia reports. "If Bloomberg remains in the race despite showing he cannot offer a viable alternative to Bernie Sanders, he will propel Sanders to a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead siphoning votes away from Pete, the current leader in delegates," the campaign wrote. The memo, which argues that Buttigieg is the only candidate who has proven himself to be viable alternative to Sanders, came days after a similar memo from the Bloomberg campaign suggested that Biden, Buttigieg and Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Biden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Hillicon Valley: FCC chief proposes 0M telehealth program | Twitter takes down posts promoting anti-malaria drugs for coronavirus| Whole Foods workers plan Tuesday strike MORE (D-Minn.) should drop out of the race to effectively clear the moderate lane in the primary for the former New York City mayor.


Democrats who were once skeptical about the prospect of a brokered national convention now see it as an increasingly likely scenario, The Hill's Amie Parnes reports. Even after the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, seven Democrats are still vying for the nomination and few are showing signs that they are nearing an end to their campaigns. What's more, there are questions about whether any candidate is well positioned to win a majority of delegates and clinch the nomination before the convention, making the possibility of a brokered convention appear all the more likely. "If you want to see a complete shit show, tune in to the brokered convention," one Democrat who worked on two campaigns for former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much Obama urges voters to 'demand better' after Trump rolls back fuel standards Trump administration rolls back Obama-era fuel efficiency standards MORE said.



Republican Senate candidates are almost obsessively tying themselves to President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE, Reid reports, a strategy that amounts to a gamble that the president's ultra-conservative base will push them to victory rather than animate moderates and independents who remain uncomfortable with Trump's brand of politics. In North Carolina, Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisThe Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control Campaigns pivot toward health awareness as races sidelined by coronavirus Senate leaving DC until April 20 after coronavirus stimulus vote MORE (R) featured the president's praise in his first TV advertisement last year. In Georgia, Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress Loeffler under fire for stock trades amid coronavirus outbreak MORE's (R) decision to sit on the sidelines of the 2016 presidential election rather than donate to Trump's campaign prompted Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsGeorgia makes it easier to get mail-in ballots after delaying primary Overnight Energy: House stimulus aims to stem airline pollution | Environmental measures become sticking point in Senate talks | Progressives propose T 'green stimulus' House bill would ban stock trading by members of Congress MORE (R) to mount an intra-party challenge to her election bid. And in Alabama, former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville has spoken of Trump as a godsend. For some in deep-red states like Alabama, that strategy appears to be a safe one. But for others in swing states, like Tillis, there's a greater risk. 


Off the Sidelines, the political action committee of Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandLawmakers already planning more coronavirus stimulus after T package Progressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Juan Williams: Biden's promises on women are a big deal MORE (D-N.Y.), is partnering with End Citizens United in an effort to elect more women candidates to public office, Max reports. The partnership will raise money and provide strategic advice to women candidates who advocate for campaign finance reform and for curbing the influence of money in politics. The groups haven't yet said which candidates they'll back in the 2020 elections but are expected to roll out a list soon.


Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said on Thursday that he will run for the office he occupied up until last year. "We are working on it. I want to see what happens this year with the election," he told WAGM-TV. LePage served two terms as governor from 2011 until 2019 when term limits blocked him from seeking another consecutive four years in office. He told the television station that he and his wife, who have a home in Florida, are planning to regain residency in the state. 




Warren's campaign said that it raised more than $2.8 million on Wednesday, The Hill's Tal Axelrod reports, a fundraising surge that it attributed to her performance in the presidential debate in Las Vegas. During the debate itself, her campaign said, Warren raked in $425,000 over a 30-minute period. As of Thursday afternoon, Warren's post-debate fundraising had risen to more than $5 million, she said.




The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $8.5 million in January, Max reports, a figure that marks the single largest monthly fundraising haul for the group this cycle.

Hours after the DSCC released their January numbers, the group's GOP counterpart, the National Republican Senatorial Committee announced that it raised more than $10 million over the course of the month, shattering its previous January fundraising record, Tal reports.




Biden: 24 percent (-13)

Sanders: 19 percent (+11)

Steyer: 15 percent (+13)

Buttigieg: 7 percent (+3)

Warren: 6 percent (-11)

Klobuchar: 4 percent (+3)

Gabbard: 1 percent (+/-0)



Sanders: 24 percent

Biden: 17 percent

Bloomberg: 13 percent

Warren: 10 percent

Buttigieg: 9 percent

Steyer: 5 percent

Klobuchar: 4 percent

Gabbard: 2 percent




Biden-Trump: Biden +8

Klobuchar-Trump: Klobuchar +7

Bloomberg-Trump: Bloomberg +6

Sanders-Trump: Sanders +4

Buttigieg-Trump: Buttigieg +4

Warren-Trump: Warren +3



Sanders-Trump: Sanders +5

Bloomberg-Trump: Bloomberg +5

Biden-Trump: Biden +4

Warren-Trump: Warren +2

Buttigieg-Trump: Buttigieg +1

Klobuchar-Trump: Klobuchar +1



Biden-Trump: Trump +7

Sanders-Trump: Trump +7

Buttigieg-Trump: Trump +8

Bloomberg-Trump: Trump +8

Warren-Trump: Trump +10

Klobuchar-Trump: Trump +11



There are 2 days until the Nevada caucuses, 9 days until the South Carolina primary and 12 days until Super Tuesday.