2020 Elections

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

  1. 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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  2. 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 persuade 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 2020 elections

    Pete Buttigieg hits Trump on soldiers' pardons

    “The president has again dishonored our armed services," the South Bend, Ind., mayor tweeted.

    Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Saturday tore into President Donald Trump for pardoning two Army officers who were accused or found guilty of war crimes.

    “There’s nothing pro-military about overruling our military justice system to prevent it from delivering accountability for war crimes,” Buttigieg tweeted. “The president has again dishonored our armed services.”

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  11. 2020 elections

    Sanders and Warren want to tax the rich. Here’s why their plans could work.

    The candidates claim the plans could pay for everything from a range of education initiatives to "Medicare for All".

    Ever since they started proposing tax-the-rich plans on the campaign trail, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have been facing charges that the proposals won’t work. Now the economists who came up with the idea are starting to push back against the haters.

    Critics of the Warren (D-Mass.) and Sanders (I-Vt.) plans say it’s too hard to figure out how much wealth there is in the U.S., and they point out that wealth taxes failed in Europe. They also argue that wealth taxes are unconstitutional.

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  12. 2020 elections

    Obama speaks out on 2020: Voters ‘don’t want to see crazy stuff’

    The ex-president also urged candidates not to hew too closely to his legacy.

    Former President Barack Obama urged Democrats to offer proposals for progress on health care and inequality Friday evening in rare remarks on the 2020 presidential campaign — but he cautioned that most voters aren’t the same as “left-leaning Twitter feeds” and “don’t want to see crazy stuff” from Democratic presidential candidates.

    Obama did not mention any candidates by name as he addressed the Democracy Alliance, a group of liberal donors who gathered this week to discuss their spending plans for the 2020 election. But as he spoke alongside Stacey Abrams, Democrats’ 2018 nominee for governor of Georgia, Obama appeared to critique the candidates pushing major change in the Democratic primary — such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — as well as former Vice President Joe Biden, who has hugged Obama’s legacy close on the campaign trail, even as Obama says he's eager for the party to move beyond the markers he set.

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  13. 2020 elections

    Dark money group promotes Warren in Iowa

    Her campaign asks the group, which is tied to a Warren donor, to stop “immediately.”

    A dark money group purchased an ad promoting Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign that ran in Iowa’s biggest paper this week — despite the candidate's opposition to outside big money groups.

    The Des Moines Register ad on Wednesday was paid for by “Women.Vote,” a social welfare organization that does not have to reveal its donors. It boasted that “unlike most other candidates, Warren doesn’t take corporate or Super PAC money” and that “Warren will fight for everyday Iowans.” The Register did not immediately respond to a question whether the group had placed other ads previously.

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  14. 2020 elections

    Warren details how she'd transition country to 'Medicare for All'

    Warren’s plan answers rivals who say already hard-pressed families can’t wait for a sweeping overhaul to experience relief from health costs.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren rolled out a new piece of her "Medicare for All" plan on Friday, detailing how she would transition the nation to a fully government run, single-payer health system.

    Warren's plan is her latest attempt to quiet critics from the center and from the left on health care, but it may end up doing neither. Instead of trying to pass a single Medicare for All bill through Congress with a set timeline for replacing private insurance, as Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed, the presidential hopeful envisions fast-tracking a series of bills and executive actions during her first 100 days in office that would expand Obamacare coverage, create a public health insurance option with no premiums to cover low-income families and children under 18, and to allow Americans over 50 to enroll in a beefed-up Medicare program.

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  15. 2020 elections

    ‘No discipline. No plan. No strategy.’: Kamala Harris campaign in meltdown

    Campaign manager Juan Rodriguez is taking the most heat for the failings, but his defenders point their finger at the candidate's sister, Maya Harris.

    BALTIMORE — Kamala Harris’ campaign is careening toward a crackup.

    As the California senator crisscrosses the country trying to revive her sputtering presidential bid, aides at her fast-shrinking headquarters are deep into the finger-pointing stages. And much of the blame is being placed on campaign manager Juan Rodriguez.

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  16. 2020 elections

    White House hopefuls are missing Senate votes — and nobody cares

    "Their presence doesn’t make a difference," Sen. Dick Durbin says.

    Bernie Sanders came to the Capitol on Thursday, when the Senate considered a judicial nominee bitterly opposed by liberals. But Sanders wasn't there to vote — he was instead doing an event with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    "I am running for president," Sanders responded when asked why he hadn't voted. Aides rushed him away from any follow-up questions.

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  17. 2020 elections

    Top Democratic donors, lawmakers gather to plot 2020 strategy

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former President Barack Obama and DNC chair Tom Perez are all appearing at the Democracy Alliance conference.

    The Democracy Alliance, a secretive group of donors on the left who collectively spend hundreds of millions of dollars on politics, is spending this week revving up members to pour money into the 2020 election, warning that inaction could extend President Donald Trump’s time in office.

    In opening remarks to donors at a Washington hotel, Democracy Alliance President Gara LaMarche cautioned that “we can’t afford one iota of complacency” during the upcoming election.

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  18. nerdcast

    The 2020 party crashers

    Wednesday's impeachment hearings and new presidential candidates

    It’s time for a new episode of Nerdcast, POLITICO’s podcast on the White House and politics. Tune in each week to geek out with us as we dive deep into the political landscape and the latest numbers that matter.

    The Nerdcast talks to POLITICO’s Nahal Toosi and Ben Weyl as the first public impeachment hearing pulls the spotlight away from the campaign trail and Democrats try to engage the public in the push to remove President Donald Trump from office.

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  19. The Friday Cover

    The Rise of the Battleground Campus

    The 2020 campaign comes for college students.

    TEMPE, Ariz.—The vibe at Arizona State University’s sprawling main campus of palm trees and succulents was part carnival, part political convention. Hip hop and dance pop blasted from speakers as students handed out free popcorn and cotton candy on the lawn near the student union. Young men and women played bean bag and ball-toss games typically reserved for child birthday parties or the state fair, while cheerful, clipboard-toting activists in T-shirts and flip-flops urged them to register to vote.

    This mixing of junk food and civic zeal was a poll-tested and focus-grouped enterprise, as carefully constructed as a 30-second television advertisement. It was all part of September’s National Voter Registration Day, a 7-year-old aspiring holiday. It’s little known among people who aren’t election officials, political activists—or the college students in their sights. At ASU, the civic zeal regularly spills over into the rest of the week and well into the next, as young liberals seek to register as many students as possible, and while young conservatives seek to remind them that not every 20-something has to be a liberal. This year, there were so many volunteers registering their classmates in preparation for the state’s Democratic primary in March and the general election in November 2020 that canvassers had trouble finding a single student who hadn’t already been approached.

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  20. 2020 elections

    Julián Castro doubles down on criticism of Iowa's early state role

    Castro reignited a debate this week over Iowa and New Hampshire’s coveted place on the primary calendar.

    Julián Castro on Thursday doubled down on the notion that the first nominating states on the primary calendar should reflect the nation’s diversity, firing back at the state party chairs who defended Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status.

    Castro reignited a debate this week over Iowa and New Hampshire’s coveted place on the primary calendar in a Sunday interview on MSNBC, when he suggested reordering the Democratic primary voting schedule by allowing more diverse states to vote first.

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