2020 Elections

The latest coverage of the 2020 presidential, House and Senate elections

  1. 2020 Elections

    ‘Everyone’s going to come for Pete’: Buttigieg faces debate spotlight

    Buttigieg's fast rise in recent early-state polls has come with new scrutiny and made him a big target in Wednesday's debate.


    ATLANTA — Pete Buttigieg will take the stage at Wednesday’s debate as a serious threat to the top Democratic presidential candidates for the first time. And that makes the debate a serious threat for him.

    The South Bend, Ind., mayor, is riding his best poll numbers yet in Iowa and New Hampshire — running in a tight pack with Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in many polls and even pulling into 10-point leads in recent surveys from The Des Moines Register and St. Anselm College. But that surge in the early states comes with the glare of additional scrutiny, including on his struggles appealing to African American voters in other states, and the growing likelihood of attacks from Democratic opponents eager to blunt Buttigieg’s rise and regain momentum of their own.

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  2. media

    How Frank Bruni put Pete Buttigieg on the map

    The New York Times columnist and his opinion colleagues have touted the South Bend mayor since 2016.

    Few in the national political world had heard of the then-34-year-old South Bend, Indiana, mayor with the difficult-to-pronounce name when New York Times columnist Frank Bruni went out to dinner with former Obama strategist David Axelrod.

    It was spring 2016, as two candidates with a combined age of 142 vied for the party’s presidential nomination. Which young Democrats, Bruni asked, could one day lead the party?

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  3. Congress

    Warren's private equity crusade faces resistance at House hearing

    Warren, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination, has proposed legislation to overhaul private equity practices

    A high-profile House hearing Tuesday designed to showcase the dangers of private equity instead revealed that the industry enjoys bipartisan backing in Washington despite a wave of attacks from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other critics.

    The tone of many members at the Financial Services Committee hearing titled "America for Sale?" suggested that the Massachusetts Democrat will struggle to rally her party against the industry in the 2020 presidential campaign.

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  4. 2020 elections

    Study: New citizens could swing battleground states in 2020

    A progressive group shines a spotlight on a potentially potent voting bloc, but activists say Democrats are failing to mobilize it.

    Immigrants who have become new American citizens in key swing states could prove influential in the 2020 election if effectively mobilized, according to a new study.

    An analysis conducted by the progressive group New American Leaders found that naturalized citizens make up hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in key presidential swing states such Georgia, Arizona and Michigan.

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  5. Congress

    Ernst and Schumer spar over Violence Against Women Act

    Schumer has accused Republicans of holding up the law to combat domestic violence.

    Sen. Joni Ernst is battling with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over the Violence Against Women Act, with Ernst suggesting Schumer is halting her bill to thwart her reelection campaign and Schumer charging that Ernst is "afraid of the NRA."

    The rare conflict between the Iowa Republican and New York Democrat underscored the political tension on legislation ahead of next year's election, when Ernst will be fighting to win a second term and Schumer will be leading the charge to defeat her. Ernst's seat is one of a half-dozen competitive seats being targeted by Democrats in 2020.

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  6. 2020 elections

    Does Gavin Newsom have the answer to Democrats’ health care fights?

    California's governor discovered that single-payer is a better political slogan than policy prescription, but he may have found a path to help Democrats get there anyway.

    A year and a half ago, Gavin Newsom was in the same place as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, running in a tough Democratic primary and vowing “it’s about time” for a single-payer health care system while dismissing his critics as “can’t-do Democrats” who refuse to think big.

    Now he’s in a different place.

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  7. white house

    ‘I don’t have a Trump sticker on my car because I’m not stupid’

    A pro-Trump super PAC is using focus groups during impeachment to gauge how to slide the besieged president through a narrow lane for swing voters.

    “It’s a waste of money.” “To say you don’t support it means you don’t think any president should be investigated for any problems.” “I’m not a Trump supporter by all means, but I totally disagree with what they’re doing.”

    Those were among the reactions to the first week of public impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump when a group of swing voters agreed to provide their candid feedback to a pollster in Pittsburgh last Thursday. Their responses came during 1 of 18 focus groups conducted by America First Action since late October, when the Trump-sanctioned super PAC began soliciting input from habitual voters in battleground states who are still deciding whether they will support the president’s reelection or back his eventual Democratic opponent.

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  8. democratic candidates policies

    How Tom Steyer would secure universal health care coverage

    Steyer says the plan would cost $1.5 trillion over a decade.

    Billionaire Tom Steyer's health care plan plants him among the centrists in the 2020 Democratic primary. He promises to expand access to health care through more Obamacare funding and a public option, while still envisioning a large role for private insurers — in contrast to the "Medicare for All" plans proposed by rivals like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

    What would the plan do?
    Steyer's plan for a public option is a little different from other candidates. He envisions it as a new program where the federal government would negotiate payment rates for providers and hospitals. It would operate separately, but similarly to, traditional Medicare and Medicaid.

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  9. 2020 Elections

    Democratic presidential field goes dark on impeachment

    It’s not that they lack strong opinions on the matter.

    LAS VEGAS — Impeachment hearings are engulfing Washington, but in one surprising place — the Democratic presidential primary — it’s as if the unfolding saga hardly exists.

    Sen. Kamala Harris, asked in a forum at the California Democratic Party convention over the weekend if she was listening to the hearings, responded, “not so much.”

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  10. 2020 elections

    ‘Joe is an uncle to our state’: South Carolina polls show Biden with blowout lead

    The former veep’s advantage in the key early state is powered by big margins among African-American voters.

    Joe Biden is blowing away his Democratic rivals in South Carolina, according to three new polls that show he’s the only candidate with outsize support from African-American voters in the first-in-the-South primary.

    While the former vice president has lost ground in surveys of overwhelmingly white Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden is pulling in about a third of the overall primary vote in South Carolina. His lead there is powered by a 44 percent backing from black voters, surveys from Quinnipiac University and the University of North Florida released Monday show.

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  11. congress

    Impeachment trial crashes into Senate’s 2020 plans

    The fallout from a January trial will land on both parties, but Democrats running for president will be hit particularly hard.


    If you think President Donald Trump’s impeachment is messy now, just wait until next year.

    The Senate is increasingly likely to hold Trump’s trial in January, according to senators and aides, a reflection of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s uncertain timeline in the House and the dismal prospects for finishing an impeachment trial in December.

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  12. 2020 Elections

    Inside Warren’s secret big-donor fan club

    Warren’s campaign treasurer, Paul Egerman, and his finance co-chair Shanti Fry are key links between the senator and big Democratic donors.

    Elizabeth Warren prohibits special access for big donors — but her campaign treasurer and another close ally are organizing wealthy supporters for Warren behind the scenes while she rips on the rich.

    The pair, Boston businessman Paul Egerman and activist Shanti Fry, have maintained campaign titles as Warren’s finance co-chairs, even as her campaign sheared other links to the Democratic donor class earlier this year by forswearing closed-door, in-person fundraising events of the sort Warren did for years in the Senate. Fry and Egerman — a longtime friend of Warren’s who helped build support for her first run for office — are courting big donors in the Northeast by organizing trips, hosting events and acting as conduits for information about the campaign.

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  13. White House

    Trump takes his ‘scam’ message to the heartland

    The White House and its allies have embarked on a coast-to-coast campaign to convince Americans that Democrats are wasting time impeaching Trump.

    The outcome of the impeachment investigation in Washington is all but certain. So President Donald Trump and his allies are focusing their defense on the people they think matter far more to their future: Americans from across the nation who will decide his political fate in November 2020.

    White House officials in recent weeks have participated in nearly 700 television and radio interviews, many in communities big and small across the U.S., according to a White House official familiar with the effort. Cabinet secretaries are spreading Trump’s anti-impeachment message when they travel. And Trump aides are engaging Republican governors across the nation to fight back against Democrats and others who back impeachment.

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  14. 2020 Elections

    The left smells a rat in Bloomberg, Patrick bids

    Progressives charge latecomer candidacies are an attempt to crush an ascendant left wing.

    LONG BEACH, Calif. — Democratic donors say they want Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick to run for president because they’re petrified that a left-wing candidate can’t defeat President Donald Trump.

    But progressives see a more sinister effort afoot.

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  15. 2020 Elections

    California Dems question whether it’s time for Harris to drop out

    At the state party convention, there are worries about the prospect of a poor performance in the senator’s home-state primary.


    LONG BEACH, Calif. — Confronted by an army of reporters after speaking before 5,000 cheering Democrats in her home state, Sen. Kamala Harris delivered a defiant response to recent media reports that her flagging campaign is crippled by internal disputes and on the ropes.

    “I am very supportive of my campaign, of the people who are working on it,’’ she told reporters at the California Democratic convention after her appearance at a live Univision presidential forum here Saturday. “They've done great work which has gotten us to the point where we are today.“

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  16. Congress

    Pelosi has 'no idea' if impeachment inquiry will wrap by year's end

    Democrats aren’t committing to a firm timeline for the investigation of Trump.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday left open the possibility that Democrats’ impeachment inquiry will continue into next year, saying she has “no idea” whether it would be finished by the end of December, the strongest indication yet that their probe into President Donald Trump could interfere with the 2020 presidential race.

    Pelosi also refused to elaborate on what — if any — charges House Democrats would bring against Trump, notably declining to say whether the president’s Twitter attack on former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during her testimony amounted to witness intimidation.

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  17. 2020 Elections

    Deval Patrick says he’ll take super PAC cash to ‘catch up’

    The former Bain Capital executive's position on fundraising is sure to make a bid at winning over liberals even more challenging.

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said he isn’t “crazy” about accepting support from super PACs, but he will as he seeks the Democratic presidential nomination.

    Asked Sunday on NBC's “Meet the Press” by host Chuck Todd if he would swear off accepting super PAC money, Patrick said, “We need to do some catch-up, so I think we've got to follow and find all sorts of above-board strategies.”

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  18. 2020 elections

    In battle with Warren, it’s all about chicken

    The senator’s latest elite target tries to fend off her attacks.


    The private equity industry, under attack from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is defending itself with the Popeyes chicken sandwich.

    The industry is touting the fast food craze as a success attributable to private equity-backed Popeyes as it tries to ward off a bipartisan Capitol Hill assault led by Warren, including legislation that would increase the firms’ liability for the companies they take over. The industry is also facing two congressional probes and a House hearing this week as lawmakers raise concerns about its impact on workers and consumers.

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  19. 2020 elections

    Buttigieg busts out to first place in Iowa

    The latest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom survey shows the small-city mayor has big momentum.


    Pete Buttigieg has soared to the top of the Democratic field in Iowa, according to the state’s latest flagship poll released Saturday.

    Buttigieg easily outpaced the field with 25 percent support, a 16-point gain from September, according to the Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom survey. Three candidates were statistically tied for second: Elizabeth Warren at 16 percent, and Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at 15 percent.

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  20. 2020 elections

    Deval Patrick’s first win: Not getting booed at California’s Democratic convention

    At a party event noted for its hostility to moderates, Deval Patrick receives a polite hearing.

    LONG BEACH, Calif. — It was an inauspicious start for Deval Patrick, debuting his presidential campaign to polite, but conspicuously muted applause.

    Yet it could have been so much worse: In the first major speech of his nascent campaign, Patrick wasn’t widely booed Saturday by the progressive activists of the California Democratic Party. That in itself was an accomplishment at an annual state party convention where many moderate Democrats have been heckled in the past — among them, former Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

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