SUPERTHREAD: 2020 United States Elections

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Re: SUPERTHREAD: 2020 United States Elections

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-05 04:26am

Rep. Justin Amash (formerly R-Michigan), the sole Republican Congressperson to endorse impeaching Trump, has announced that he is leaving the Republican Party to become an independent:

https://fortune.com/2019/07/04/justin-amash-republican/
Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, the only Republican in Congress to call for impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, said Thursday he is leaving the GOP because he has become disenchanted with partisan politics and "frightened by what I see from it."

In an opinion article published in the Washington Post , on July 4, Amash said partisan politics is damaging American democracy.

"I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party," Amash said. "I'm asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us."

Amash had been the only Republican in Congress to say Trump engaged in impeachable conduct, drawing the ire of many fellow Republicans and Trump. In a series of tweets on May 18 , Amash said that he had read special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"Mueller's report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment," Amash said at the time.

He was roundly criticized by fellow Republicans and withdrew from the Freedom Caucus of conservatives in Congress after the group disavowed his views.

At a town hall in Michigan after he announced his support for impeachment proceedings, Amash cited a section of the Mueller report that suggested Trump had told former White House counsel Don McGahn to create a "false record" denying he had asked for Mueller's removal as special counsel.

"Things like that to me reflect incredible dishonesty and really harm the office of the presidency. I don't think that you can just let that stuff go," Amash told his constituents. "I think you have to have proceedings to deter this kind of conduct even if ultimately the person is not convicted."

Under the Constitution, the House has the power to begin impeachment proceedings and the Senate would decide whether to convict.

Trump responded immediately to Amash's announcement that he is quitting the GOP, tweeting Thursday: "Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is 'quitting" the Party." Trump called Amash a "total loser."

Amash, whose voting record in Congress is considered libertarian-leaning, has represented Michigan's 3rd Congressional district in the western part of the state since 2011.
And once again, we see that there is no place in today's Republican Party for anyone with even a smidge of conscience. Their only agenda is power by any means for "their team" (which has now been redefined as "those who are blindly loyal to Trump"- note Trump's characterization of Amash as "disloyal").
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"-The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

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Re: SUPERTHREAD: 2020 United States Elections

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-05 04:37am

Holy fuck, new poll has Warren leading in Iowa, with Harris in second a point ahead of Biden:

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/ ... ll-1397998
As Joe Biden lands in Iowa for two days of events, he’s confronting signs of crumbling support in the first-in-the-nation caucus state: A new survey shows he’s plummeted 20 percentage points since September.

A Focus on Rural America poll released Wednesday suggests the ground has shifted significantly over the past several months, with Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Biden currently clustered together at the top: Warren had 20 percent, Harris at 18 percent and Biden 17 percent.

Bernie Sanders came in fourth at 12 percent.

In September, in the same poll, Biden was walloping the field; with 37 percent support, he led Sanders, his next closest competitor, by 25 points.

In the months since then, however, the former vice president has lagged behind other top-tier rivals in assembling an on-the-ground organization. Leading Iowa Democrats have complained Biden has failed to offer Iowans the kind of doting retail politics to which they’re accustomed.

Focus on Rural America Chair Patty Judge, also a former lieutenant governor in Iowa, said the results are the latest sign that Biden has to “step up his game” if he wants to compete in Iowa.

“He has not been campaigning in Iowa. He has not had a presence here,” Judge said. “Couple that with the debate — in which Kamala Harris certainly took a piece of his hide. I think it has caught up to him.”

The new survey showed Warren making the most marked gains, with a 12-percentage-point jump since March. It’s a sign the Massachusetts senator’s heavy investment in staffing and organization in the state might be paying off.

“[Warren] is definitely seeing some of the fruits of all of the hard work done by her campaign in Iowa. She’s doing well because she’s been here,” Judge said. “She is growing here in name ID and popularity, she’s camped out here a good deal of the time. She has an incredible field operation going.”

Harris, too, saw a sizable bump, gaining 9 percentage points since March. Biden, meanwhile, dropped 8 percentage points since the March survey, when he led with 25 percent. The latest poll was in the field the weekend after the first presidential debates, when Harris seized headlines after a lengthy takedown of Biden over race-related questions. The survey was conducted by David Binder Research, who also serves as Harris’ main pollster.

But Harris stood at just 7 percent in December and 9 percent in March in the same poll.

The new poll is the latest sign of trouble for the 76-year-old Biden, who is attempting to regain his footing after his roundly panned first debate performance raised questions about the durability of his candidacy.

The former vice president has been buffeted in the days after the debate with questions about his record on civil rights and his recent comments about his relationship with segregationist senators.

Biden has had one high-profile donor abandon him and has seen his standing decline in several national polls taken after the debate.

His campaign, however, has committed to plowing more resources into early state infrastructure, including in Iowa, where 50 new staffers are rushing to catch up to already established organizations of Warren and others who began laying the groundwork as early as January.

Biden, who in June promised Iowans he would be paying closer attention to the state, will appear with his wife, Jill, at a community event in Waterloo on Wednesday. He will march in the Fourth of July parade in Independence on Thursday and has two other events scheduled.
And here people were thinking Biden was going to be another "inevitable" Centrist candidate like Hillary. :D

Edit: Also, Bernie is in a more distant fourth at 12%, which is a big shift from 2016 where he was in an effective tie with Hillary for Iowa.
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"-The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

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Re: SUPERTHREAD: 2020 United States Elections

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-06 01:05am

Who's made the cut for the July and September debates thus far:

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/ ... er-1398973
The first Democratic presidential debates illustrated just how important the national platform can be to presidential campaigns, shaking up the primary polls and reshuffling opinions of front-runners and lesser-known candidates alike. And Democrats are already scrambling to make sure they’re involved in the next rounds of televised debates later this summer and fall.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) tried to make a splash in June, urging former Vice President Joe Biden to “pass the torch” to younger Democrats — but the attack had little impact, and Swalwell is now in danger of missing the next round of debates in July and being replaced by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who missed out on the June debates.

Meanwhile, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro has been polling near the back of the primary pack, but his splash in last week’s debate has gone a long way toward ensuring he can make the September debate, when the qualification thresholds rise significantly, posing an existential threat to many campaigns. Castro told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday that he raised $1 million in the days following the debate, and that his campaign had around 116,000 donors — just shy of September’s 130,000-donor threshold with months still to go.

Currently, 21 candidates have passed a modest qualification threshold for the July debates, either hitting 1 percent in three qualifying polls or getting 65,000 donors. That’s one more candidate than the Democratic National Committee has said it will allow on stage across the two nights, meaning someone has to get cut.

The DNC’s tiebreakers prioritize candidates who hit both the polling and financial thresholds, followed by candidates who only have the polling benchmark, sorted by poll average, and then candidates who have hit only the donor mark

The race for 2020 starts now. Stay in the know. Follow our presidential election coverage.

Fourteen candidates have crossed both of the thresholds, according to a POLITICO analysis, virtually guaranteeing their spot on stage on either July 30 or July 31: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

That leaves seven candidates who have only crossed the polling threshold without a secure grasp on a debate-stage lectern. Some are marginally better off than others: John Delaney, John Hickenlooper and Tim Ryan all have polling averages slightly above 1 percentage point, meaning they rank ahead of the other candidates.

But four Democrats sit at a polling average of just 1 percent, with only three slots to give to them: Michael Bennet, Bullock, Bill de Blasio and Swalwell.

Because they’re all tied in a polling average, the next tiebreaker is the number of qualified polls they’ve scored. Swalwell has only reached the 1 percent mark in three qualifying polls. Bullock, meanwhile, is at five polls, Bennet is at six polls and de Blasio has eight.

Seth Moulton, Wayne Messam, Mike Gravel and Joe Sestak have not crossed either threshold, and none appear poised to make the stage. But the roster for those debates is not yet locked in; surveys from qualifying pollsters that are released by July 16 will count.

It is also not clear how the debate stages will be set, once the 20 candidates who will be on stage are confirmed. NBC News, the DNC’s media partner for the first debate, randomly and evenly divided a group of high-polling candidates and a group of low-polling candidates between the two nights of their debates. CNN, the host of the July debates, did not respond to a request from POLITICO on how the stages will be set. The DNC declined to answer questions on the stages.

Those July debates might be the last, best chance for some lesser-known candidates to jump-start their campaigns and make the next round in September.

Qualification for a pair of fall debates in September and October features stepped-up requirements. Instead of hitting a donor threshold or a polling threshold, candidates will have to hit both — and both will be higher: 2 percent in four qualifying polls and 130,000 unique donors.

That is expected to sharply winnow the field, with some candidates stuck at 1 percent in polls and others currently struggling to amass even half of the 130,000-donor mark. But several candidates have locked up spots already by hitting both thresholds, according to POLITICO’s analysis: Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Sanders and Warren.

The analysis includes an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Tuesday. Previously released ABC/Post polls were disallowed by the DNC from counting, because they asked an open-ended question on who respondents supported instead of reading off a list of candidates. But the new poll released Tuesday had both an open-ended question and one including a list of candidates, and POLITICO obtained a memo the DNC sent to campaigns confirming the ABC/Post poll question listing the candidates would count.

Other candidates, for now, are on the bubble, with no guarantees of making the stage. Both O’Rourke and Yang have passed the new donor threshold, but neither has hit four qualifying polls so far. O’Rourke currently is at two polls, while Yang has not yet picked up his first one.

Three other candidates — Castro, Booker and Klobuchar — have not publicly said they’ve hit the donor mark yet, but they indicated they are close to it, and they each have at least one poll. Booker and Klobuchar each have three polls, while Castro has one.

Gabbard is nearing 93,000 donors, but hasn’t hit 2 percent in any qualifying polls.

And as for everyone else? The remainder of the Democratic field faces a very steep climb to get to the fall debates — and many of them are counting on something big to change soon if they are going to make that stage.
September in particular has tighter entry requirements, so it should serve to narrow the field substantially, if somewhat artificially (I expect Iowa and New Hampshire to effectively cut it down to three or four, most likely). Biden, Warren, Harris, Sanders, and Buttigieg remain the prime contenders, even if what order they rank in is somewhat in flux.

Williamson's and Gabbard's continued viability (at least to remain in the race) disturbs me, as it suggests that the same disease that helped give us Trump could take root in the Democratic Party-backing anyone, regardless of qualifications or views, as long as they're "anti-establishment".
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"-The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

A promise never lived up to, but always to be aspired to.

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Re: SUPERTHREAD: 2020 United States Elections

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-10 05:20am

Billionaire Tom Steyer, best-known for spending the last couple years spearheading the lobbying to have Trump impeached, has made a late entry to the Democratic Presidential Primary:

https://www.vox.com/2019/7/9/18175395/t ... each-trump
California billionaire and environmentalist Tom Steyer, who has spent the past two years pouring millions into a campaign to impeach President Donald Trump, announced he is running for president after all.

Steyer’s announcement Tuesday came as a surprise, especially after he said he wasn’t running for president in January.

But he has changed his mind, entering the race a day after California Rep. Eric Swalwell dropped out of the running. Steyer’s interest in political office is well documented; last year, he traveled to all the early primary and caucus states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina) and launched his “5 Rights” campaign, a platform based on equal voting rights, the right to clean air and water, free public education, a living wage, and universal health care.

In a video announcing his candidacy, Steyer put corporate greed and inequality at the center of his opening message saying “almost every single major intractable problem, at the back of it, you see a big money interest for whom stopping progress, stopping justice is really important to their bottom line.”

But until now, Steyer, a progressive activist, has been focused on a Need to Impeach initiative, aimed at lobbying lawmakers to impeach Trump. He has amassed more than 8 million signatories, even leading Trump to call him a “crazed and stumbling lunatic” on Twitter. So far, the movement has seen little traction from Democratic Party leaders; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said she does not see impeachment as the best path forward.

Steyer spent $120 million on the 2018 midterm elections to help Democrats take back the House, what the California philanthropist told reporters was only a first “step.” Apparently, running for president is Steyer’s next act.

Tom Steyer got into politics because of climate change — then Trump happened

Steyer, a longtime Democratic donor (who has a net worth of $1.6 billion, according to Forbes), has never run for elected office. But’s he’s been a long-rumored candidate, first for governor of California — which he forwent — and for president.

He was raised in an upper-class family in Manhattan, went to the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy, then Yale, then Stanford. He worked at Goldman Sachs in New York before moving to San Francisco to work in private equity and eventually start an investment firm where he made his fortune. Steyer left the financial world to become a political activist full time in 2012.

Climate change precipitated his entrance into politics. In 2013, he founded NextGen Climate, an environmental advocacy group that’s invested heavily in electing Democrats, so much so that John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff who ran Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, told the Ringer that if Clinton had won, he could “imagine [Steyer] would be the secretary of energy in the Clinton administration.”

According to a 2018 profile of Steyer in Vogue, in 2013 “he spent more than $30 million on a successful referendum in California to bring in more money for clean-energy initiatives. In 2014, he allocated $75 million to support Democratic candidates.” In 2016, Steyer gave more to political causes — more than $100 million to liberal candidates — than any other political donor, even the Koch brothers.

But when Trump was elected, Steyer expanded NextGen Climate to NextGen America, organizing around health care, social justice, and immigration; and NextGen Rising, a new voter registration initiative. By 2017, he’d launched his latest, most headline-grabbing project: the Need to Impeach initiative, lobbying lawmakers to impeach Trump.

But what has been Steyer’s rallying cry — impeaching Trump — is also a thorn in the side of top Democratic leaders, like Pelosi, who have largely tried to work around impeachment.

Steyer has been called a “golden child of corporate America.” Yet his politics are more resonant with the likes of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have crafted their political campaigns around railing against the corporate class.

The opening line of Steyer’s “5 Rights” campaign was that “corporate lobbyists rigged the system.”

“I grew up believing the point of our country was to be free, the promise that everyone could make a good life for themselves,” Steyer said in the introductory video. “But over time I saw big corporations buy our democracy and set the rules for the sake of their profits, not for the common good. Corporate lobbyists rigged the system, leaving the majority walled off from their dreams.”

He has endorsed a progressive policy platform in line with Sanders’s and Warren’s agendas. As Sanders has unveiled an “economic bill of rights,” calling for a living wage, quality health care, complete education, affordable housing, clean environment, and secure retirement, Steyer has his own “5 rights” campaign. It includes the rights to an equal vote, clean air and water, education, living wage, and health care.

Steyer supports single-payer health care, raising the minimum wage, and free public education. He has said Sanders’s agenda is the way forward, and had initially held off from running in part because he was reportedly impressed with Warren’s campaign messaging.

But now he’s jumping into a primary race against Sanders and Warren.
Its possible he's doing this just to give himself a bigger platform to push for impeachment, and if so, then more power to him.

The downside, of course, is that despite being a billionaire, his platform is highly progressive, and he is effectively going to be competing with Bernie and Warren for votes. Which means further splitting of the progressive vote. The Biden camp must be celebrating right now.

Edit: And Swalwell is out. Is that the first concession?
"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"-The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, 1776.

A promise never lived up to, but always to be aspired to.

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