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Top Hillary advisor: It’s true, she hasn’t ruled out jumping into this presidential race

Westlake Legal Group r-6 Top Hillary advisor: It’s true, she hasn’t ruled out jumping into this presidential race warren Tucker Carlson The Blog run primary Philippe Reines Hillary Clinton democrat buttigieg biden 2020

So the rumors are true. She really is thinking about it.

Normally you could dismiss a tease like this one on grounds that the would-be candidate who’s teasing it is just trying to stay relevant. There’s no publicity like “might run for president” publicity, right? Clinton doesn’t need to head-fake about jumping in to get the media to cover her, though. Every time she dings Trump on Twitter or elsewhere it’s amplified endlessly by the press. Tulsi Gabbard is now running as the anti-Hillary in the field thanks to one 20-second comment Clinton made about her recently in an interview. Any “she might run” publicity has a short shelf life, too: We’re only about three months removed from the Iowa caucuses. No one will believe that Hillary might still be getting in the race if she hasn’t entered by, say, Thanksgiving. The idea that she’s doing this for PR just doesn’t add up.

I think she’s looking for excuses to get in but just hasn’t gotten the clarity she needs from the polls to justify doing so. This new one from Quinnipiac is the most enticing for her to come along in awhile considering it’s the worst number Biden has pulled in a national survey since August:

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Note the numbers among women especially. Warren, the lone woman left among the plausible nominees, hasn’t even won a third of Democratic women voters (yet). Biden is down to 20 percent among them. There’s a lot of room potentially there for Hillary. And of course Clinton has always done well with black voters, her firewall against Bernie Sanders in 2016. Would it be unrealistic to expect her to immediately attract, say, a third of all Democratic women and a third of all black Democrats instantly if she were to jump in?

Because if that did happen, she’d be right in the thick of the race on day one.

There are problems, though. For starters, this Quinnipiac survey is unusual in showing Biden fading behind Warren, theoretically creating demand for a new centrist-y candidate to get in. Yesterday CNN published a poll showing him leading the field with 34 percent, fully 15 percent ahead of Warren. Two other polls recently had him at 30 percent or better while others have had him steady at 27 percent, still a respectable number in a field this big. That is, the evidence that Biden is beginning to stagger as Warren supposedly rises inexorably just isn’t there — yet. And given the sort of time window Clinton is looking at to get in, if it doesn’t arrive very soon it’ll be too late.

The other problem is that it’s possible Hillary would have her best day of polling on the day she announced and would begin to sink shortly afterward. All of her vulnerabilities would be publicized by the other candidates. Some Biden fans would resent her for trying to snatch away his chance at the nomination. Progressives would recoil at her attempt to derail the party’s journey towards socialism. Even her fans would be given pause by the inconvenient fact that she already lost once before to the guy they’re spoiling to beat next year.

But there’s this scenario too: She gets in and Biden starts to fade as neoliberals conclude, reluctantly, that he’s “lost a step” and therefore Clinton’s the only game in town. The progressive vote remains split between Bernie and Warren, enabling a surprise Clinton win in Iowa. Or, even if it consolidates behind one of them, enough moderate Democrats end up being spooked by the idea that Sanders and Warren are too radical to beat Trump that they grudgingly swing around to Hillary as the least bad (but still bad) option. There are ways to rationalize the belief that she’d do better against Trump than she did in 2016, too. Her advisor gives you one in the clip below: Trump’s not running as a populist outsider anymore but as an incumbent with a record he’ll need to defend. He’s all but certain to have “impeached” on his resume by the time Election Day arrives. Meanwhile, Hillary’s own chief scandal from 2016, Emailgate, is old news by now. And plenty of Hillary fans will tell you that she only lost to Trump because of Russian meddling. With America less likely to get caught sleeping on the threat of foreign interference next year, that’s less of a worry in 2020. Add all of that up and toss in the fact that Hillary 2020 would surely spend lots more time in the Rust Belt than Hillary 2016 did and is it *possible* that she could win?

Sure, it’s possible. You’ll never convince me that she’d have the best chance of winning among the Democratic field; a rando like Amy Klobuchar or even Joe Biden in doddering form would be a much safer gamble. But yeah, conceivably she could win. She won the popular vote once before, after all.

She’s not running, though. I think the “Hillary might run again” rumors are nothing more or less than the Clintons clinging to the *theoretical* possibility that their time hasn’t quite passed yet. It’s hard to begrudge a retired player the fantasy that there’s still a chance for them to suit up, take the field, and finally win the Super Bowl. Same here.

The post Top Hillary advisor: It’s true, she hasn’t ruled out jumping into this presidential race appeared first on Hot Air.

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The Elizabeth Warren Hype Train Begins to Go Off the Tracks

Westlake Legal Group warren-scowl-620x317 The Elizabeth Warren Hype Train Begins to Go Off the Tracks Race primary polls Politics New Hampshire Joe Biden Hyped Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story falling Elizabeth Warren Election democrats Allow Media Exception 2020

FILE – In this May 18, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at a house party campaign stop in Rochester, N.H. Rising disagreement among congressional Democrats over whether to pursue impeachment of President Donald Trump has had little effect on the party’s presidential candidates, who mostly are avoiding calls to start such an inquiry. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

The media love Elizabeth Warren. She’s everything they want in a candidate. Someone to whisper sweet nothings into their ears and make them feel really smart. She’s got plans, the right amount of shrill in her voice, and is just focus grouped enough to get them excited.

This love affair has led to an incredible amount of hype surrounding the Massachusetts Senator, who’s only accomplishment appears to be supporting an unconstitutional agency in the CFPB. It’s gotten to the point where she is routinely described as the presumptive front-runner. To be fair, I’ve bagged on Joe Biden to the benefit of Elizabeth Warren a bit in the past few months as well. I mean, he’s Joe Biden.

Following the most recent debate though, where Warren stumbled repeatedly when pressed about raising middle class taxes, we are seeing some problems emerge.

For starters, she’s still nowhere near the national front-runner.

Not only is Warren behind by double digits, Biden is enjoying his biggest lead since April, a time when it was all but assumed he’d be the nominee. There are other polls as well showing bad news for Warren. Emerson released their latest offering and she’s 6 points behind Biden. Worse, she’s 4 points behind Sanders, who just suffered a heart attack a month ago.

In fact, in the last seven polls published, six of them have Warren down by at least 6 points. The only poll which continues to show her close is YouGov, which has held an incredible house effect for Warren throughout the primaries. You can view all these results at RCP here.

But perhaps she’s leading in the early states? In New Hampshire, yes, but that’s to be expected. In Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, and California, she’s behind Biden still. If Biden wins two of those four states, he’ll enter the southern primaries all but guaranteed to clean up, leaving Warren no real path.

It should be noted that Warren hasn’t simply been a mirage. There was a time when she was leading in three of those four states depending on what polls you cite. Something has changed lately though and I think it’s easy to explain.

The last debate exposed Warren for who she is. She’s inauthentic, whiny, and way too rehearsed. Democrats love her and the media swoon when she’s reading off her talking points. When she’s pressed and shows no ability to answer real questions, she suddenly is revealed for the weak candidate she is (she consistently polls worse against Trump than Biden or Sanders). There’s also the fact that her policy platform is a socialist’s dream, complete with government controlled daycare and healthcare programs that cost 3/4 of the current budget. That’s great in New York, not so great in most of the rest of the country.

I think there was a point where moderate Democrats (moderate in that context at least), who still make up the majority of their party, looked at Warren and thought she might not be so bad. At least she didn’t have blood squirting out of her eye, right? But the more she rolls out her policies and the more she’s pressed on them, the worse she looks. In some ways, it resembles the calm before Kamala Harris’ fall. You can’t hide forever behind canned lines and media plaudits. No matter how many time people call you the “real front-runner,” at some point you’ve got to actually, you know, take over as the real front-runner. Warren isn’t doing that.

For now, she’s still in the thick of things, but the longer the status quo drags on, the tougher it will be for her. The hype train is beginning to go off the tracks.

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The post The Elizabeth Warren Hype Train Begins to Go Off the Tracks appeared first on RedState.

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Hillary telling friends: If I thought there was an opening in the primary, I’d consider jumping in

Westlake Legal Group hc-1 Hillary telling friends: If I thought there was an opening in the primary, I’d consider jumping in warren The Blog sanders primary nomination New York Times mike bloomberg Hillary Clinton gabbard entry biden 2020

A tantalizing detail from this NYT piece about establishment Dems wringing their hands over the primary. If you’re a Wall Street liberal, you’re in a bad place nowadays. After all, the Republican nominee is very much anti-liberal and two of the top three candidates on the Democratic side are very much anti-Wall Street. And even if those two can be pacified, it’s very much in doubt whether they can beat Trump head to head. Your only hope is smilin’ Joe Biden, who has yet to impress anyone on the trail or at the debates in six months of trying and who may not have the money to win a hard-fought race. He has less than half the cash on hand that some of his rivals do, notes the Times. And since he’s dependent on rich donors, he’s already maxed out much of his potential source of revenue.

That is to say (and as others have already noted this morning), this story about rich Dems asking each other “Is there anybody else?’” is really a story about them asking each other “Is there anybody else besides Biden who can get in, hold off Warren and Sanders, and beat Trump — and not end up confiscating half our wealth to fund their new programs when they do?” Klobuchar and Buttigieg have been plugging away, offering themselves as a potential cure for Biden anxiety to moderate Democratic voters, but it just isn’t happening for. (Except maybe in Iowa?) Who can save Wall Street liberals from their terrible predicament?

There may be … one person.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bloomberg have both told people privately in recent weeks that if they thought they could win, they would consider entering the primary — but that they were skeptical there would be an opening, according to Democrats who have spoken with them…

The chances that another major contender decides to run are remote: While Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bloomberg have both been encouraged to enter the race, Democrats close to them believe the only scenario under which they’d consider running is if Mr. Biden drops out or is badly weakened

Democrats who have recently spoken with Mrs. Clinton say she shares the same concerns other party elites have about the field — worried about Mr. Biden’s durability, Ms. Warren’s liberal politics and unsure of who else can emerge to take on Mr. Trump. But these people, who spoke anonymously to discuss private conversations, say she enjoys the freedom that comes with not being on the ballot.

She’s not the only Democrat who’s reportedly watching Biden wobble and worrying that something must be done. There’s Bloomberg, who’s several months older than Biden; there’s another former presidential loser, John Kerry; there’s even Eric Holder, who seems convinced that there’s some sort of constituency out there for him for reasons that completely escape me. Not coincidentally, these are all people linked to the neoliberal wing of the party. Progressives seem perfectly happy with their choices thanks to the one-two punch of Warren and Sanders:

It’s the bad luck of centrists that Biden has stayed aloft in the polls to date but without gaining the sort of altitude that would inspire confidence in his ability to put Warren away. Either a very good or a very bad showing by Grandpa Joe would have been tolerable to the party’s Hillary wing. If he had gotten in and quickly began to sink, that’s fine. Plenty of time for a Bloomberg-type to jump in and fill the vacuum. If instead he had gotten in and begun to soar in the polls, putting, say, 20 points between him and the progressives, that would be fine too. Obviously a candidate in that position is a strong favorite to win. But to get in, limp along through multiple debates, and enter the fall basically tied with Warren and only 10 points or so ahead of Sanders leaves moderate Dems paralyzed. If they try to push a big-name neoliberal into the race now, won’t that help Warren by splitting the moderate vote? But if they don’t push someone into the race, Biden might falter and Warren or Bernie might win the race in a walkover next spring.

Let me ask this, though: If Hillary Clinton is the answer, what’s the question? Nate Silver wonders that too.

There’s no reason to think Clinton would do any better head to head against Trump than one of the progressive candidates would. In fact, I’d guess that her favorable rating nationally and even within the party is much worse than Warren’s or Bernie’s is. I don’t think she’d neatly fill the vacuum left by Biden either. Hillary has more diehard fans than Biden does so there’d be *some* insta-support for her, but she’s literally the one person in America who’s a proven failure at performing the core duty of this year’s nominee, which is, purely and simply, defeating Donald Trump. She’s Biden except with less of an electability argument. Progressives hate her already and would hate her even more for jumping in to try their thwart their Warren/Sanders bid for presidential power once again. Neoliberals may sympathize with her over 2016 but would also naturally look for an alternative, someone like Klobuchar with one one-thousandth as much baggage.

Her terrible political instincts haven’t gotten better over time either. If it’s true that Hillary is mulling a candidacy, even as just an emergency thing in case something happens to Biden, why would she do something as reckless as accuse Tulsi Gabbard of being a Russian asset? Nominating Hillary again would make Democratic party unity in 2020 nearly impossible even under the best circumstances but smearing a progressive candidate as some sort of Russian operative makes it that much harder. That’s piss-poor politics for someone who’s entertaining even the smallest chance of running herself and poor politics even if she isn’t considering running. After all, as I said last night, attacking Gabbard will only serve to raise Tulsi’s profile in the primary and give lefties new reason to disdain the neoliberal wing of the party.

All of which is to say that there’s no room for Hillary in the primary even if Biden quits tomorrow. Moderate Dems are right to worry about a Warren or Sanders nomination; read this shrewd Sean Trende piece about how far-left candidates risk alienating the Democrats’ secret weapon in last year’s primaries, the well-heeled suburbanites who are pretty happy with their health insurance right now. But if Biden quit, they’d have a perfectly solid option in Klobuchar to rally around — or, if they’re willing to overlook the fact that she’s an awful retail politician, they could always give Kamala Harris a second look. The age of Hillary is done. Not even the coked-up writers of the “President Trump” reality show we now inhabit could invent a plot arc that restores her to political viability. I think.

The post Hillary telling friends: If I thought there was an opening in the primary, I’d consider jumping in appeared first on Hot Air.

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Bernie Sanders: It’s “outrageous” that certain people would accuse Tulsi Gabbard of being a foreign asset

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There’s little downside to Bernie in reviving his 2016 battle with Hillary at this point, even if it means coming to the defense of another candidate. Gabbard herself understands how a war with Clinton might help galvanize progressive voters, which is why she tweeted on Friday at Clinton that “It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me.” Lefties hate Hillary for a million reasons — too corporate, too hawkish, too corrupt, and not even a winner when it mattered most. She was just strong enough to snuff out progressive populists’ dream of winning the White House in 2016 but not strong enough to do the same to right-wing populists. Go figure that Gabbard would try to harness their contempt for Clinton to jumpstart her campaign.

And go figure that Bernie, who’d be in trouble if Gabbard started getting traction among progressives, would jump in to try to leverage some of that Hillary hatred before Gabbard claims it all for herself.

I wonder if Sanders would have been as quick to piss off Clinton supporters here if he was atop the field in polling, with a stranglehold on lefty voters. In that case his mind would be on appeasing the centrist Dems whom he needed to win over. As it is, with Warren sapping him of votes he needs and Gabbard now making noise, he needs to protect his left flank first.

A Twitter pal responds: “thanks, guy who honeymooned in the soviet union at the peak of the cold war.”

Hillary has yet to comment on the backlash to her calling Gabbard a “Russian asset,” but I assume she’ll try to weasel out of it by insisting that an asset and an agent are two different things. An agent, she’ll say, is someone who works for a foreign government. An asset is someone whose worldview incidentally serves the interests of a foreign government — a useful idiot, in other words. That’s not what “asset” means in spycraft, of course, and Hillary certainly knows that, but that’s what she’ll claim in order to back away from her defamatory insistence that Gabbard is working for the Russians.

Which reminds me of how Dan Foster framed the blossoming Tulsi/Hillary war — as a conflict between a useful idiot and a more traditional idiot. I’d add that it’s an intriguing match-up between someone whose approach to Syria is conventionally terrible and someone whose approach is unconventionally terrible.

Tom Nichols worries that by elevating Gabbard Clinton has given her a stature that Tulsi might eventually use to divide Democrats, be it as a third-party candidate or by fighting on to the convention with her current campaign. The liberal fear is that Gabbard isn’t so much an asset of the Russians as an asset of Trump and the populist right: She sometimes seems to have more fans among the Fox News demographic, Tucker Carlson foremost among them, than she does in the Democratic Party, where she’s been stuck at two percent or so for months. The plot, supposedly, is for Gabbard to aid Trump by declaring the eventual Dem nominee a tool of warmongers and Wall Street and to demoralize Democratic voters with her criticism, possibly even as a Green Party candidate. Ironically, that’s what Hillary was worried about in her comments last week — that Gabbard would end up playing the Jill Stein role in 2020. Nichols’s point is that, doubly ironically, Clinton may have made that more likely by raising Gabbard’s profile with her paranoid “Russian asset” critique.

I don’t think Gabbard is in cahoots with Trump or anyone else. But I’ll give you a third irony: By raising the prospect of Gabbard as mischief-maker who ends up undermining the Democratic nominee, Hillary may be making the case for a more left-wing nominee than a Clinton-style centrist. Nominate Joe Biden and Tulsi’s warmonger/Wall Street attacks — if they happen — really might resonate with disgruntled progressives. Nominate Elizabeth Warren and those attacks are less persuasive. I think lefties will be looking for reasons to suck it up and support the nominee this time in the interest of ousting Trump so long as they get someone at the top who seems sympathetic to them. Not so sure Biden will hack it for them, but Warren certainly would. There just won’t be as much political space for a Stein type in 2020 with progressives spoiling to beat their orange nemesis and undo their mistake of 2016.

Two clips for you here, one of Beto O’Rourke riding to Gabbard’s rescue by claiming that Trump is the real Russian asset and one of the “View” crew largely siding with Hillary (of course) in her critique of Gabbard. Beto too probably recognizes that, as a left-wing Democratic politician circa 2019, you can’t go wrong taking sides against Hillary Clinton.

The post Bernie Sanders: It’s “outrageous” that certain people would accuse Tulsi Gabbard of being a foreign asset appeared first on Hot Air.

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Milestone: Warren now leads Biden in RCP poll average

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They’re basically tied, with Warren ahead by a mere two-tenths of a point, but (a) this is the first time Biden has trailed all year in the poll of polls and (b) it’s reeeeally hard to see how the trendlines here reverse. Biden’s probably already been damaged by the questions about Ukraine and Burisma, and Warren’s chief competition for the progressive vote, Bernie Sanders, seems likely to fade given the health concerns about him and his newly scaled-back campaign. In fact, Bernie’s health trouble may be a double whammy for Biden, not only freeing up lefties to unite behind Warren but raising new doubts about whether a man of Grandpa Joe’s age might face a health scare of his own later in the campaign.

Combine all that with the facts that Warren does better with white voters and the first two primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire are almost uniformly white and she’s starting to look like a solid frontrunner, whatever the polling numbers at this particular moment happen to say.

She’s led in four of the last five national polls tracked by RCP and the one in which she trailed, Morning Consult, comes with an asterisk: For whatever reason, their data has shown Biden ahead by double digits consistently for weeks even as the entire rest of the polling field has shifted towards Warren. That is, even Biden’s one good poll (showing him at 33 percent) is highly likely to be an outlier. Most of them have him in the mid-20s. Case in point, the new one from Quinnipiac:

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Note how competitive Warren is among all Democratic demographics, up to and including Biden’s base of black voters and whites without a college degree. He still has a double-digit lead among black Democrats, but if you were to combine Bernie’s share of that vote with Warren’s it’d be a dead heat. Again, Bernie is the X factor: If you believe (as I do) that Warren rather than Biden will inherit the majority of his voters if he drops out or loses altitude then what we’re looking at in these numbers is likely a floor for Warren, not a ceiling. Her lead is apt to increase as Sanders is marginalized.

YouGov is out with its own numbers today and the toplines turn out to be nearly identical to Quinnipiac’s:

Monmouth also had the race 28/25 for Warren in a poll conducted during the last week of September. Biden’s remaining hope is to seize on surveys that show him performing best against Trump in head-to-head match-ups and use it to hammer his electability pitch. For instance, Fox News found him leading Trump 48/39 this past week in Wisconsin(!) compared to a 45/41 lead for Warren in the same state. (Trump’s job approval there is just 44/54.) Biden also does better against Trump in Quinnipiac’s national poll, leading POTUS 51/40 compares to Warren’s 49/41 advantage. But there’s a caveat: Biden’s 11-point lead over Trump in Quinnipiac is his smallest margin so far this year, down five points from the 16-point lead he enjoyed in August. Even his electability edge may be fraying.

But it gets worse:

[Biden’s] latest fundraising round was more than $9 million behind his closest rival in the polls — Elizabeth Warren. His total also ran well behind Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.

That’s a problem for a candidate who is seeking to compete in all four early states and also build out his campaign infrastructure in the 14 states that will vote on Super Tuesday…

“The former vice president, with all the high-dollar contacts around the country — you do all the big fundraisers in the big cities. Once you do that, that’s it. If you don’t have that perpetual, low-dollar fundraising machine, you can’t compete,” [David] Kochel said, noting the massive figures reported by Biden’s top rivals. “Biden looks like he can’t compete with Warren, Bernie and Buttigieg. How’s he going to compete with Trump?”

If Warren inherits most of Bernie’s support — electoral and presumably financial — if and when he quits, or fades from, the race, how does Biden keep pace?

An amazing detail about Warren’s quarterly fundraising haul is that she’s done it without holding the sort of fundraisers for wealthy donors that Biden, among others, routinely conducts. In fact, news is breaking today that she’s done so well with her small-donor operation that she intends to extend it to the general election too:

From the day Ms. Warren announced her plan to skip traditional fund-raisers in February, she had said the pledge only applied to the primary. “I do not believe in unilateral disarmament,” she said then on MSNBC.

But she told CBS News in an interview posted on Tuesday evening that, even as President Trump has set fund-raising records, she would not change how her campaign raises money if she won the Democratic nomination.

“No, I will not be forced to make changes in how I raise money,” Ms Warren said. “Look, for me this is pretty straightforward. Either you think democracy works and electing a president is all about going behind closed doors with bazillionaires and corporate executives and lobbyists and scooping up as much money as possible. Or you think it’s about a grass-roots, let’s build this from the ground up.”

Democrats will pressure her to rethink this if she’s the nominee, knowing what an enormous fundraising advantage Trump is building for himself, but there’s strategy to Warren’s position. She watched Trump himself defeat a better-funded candidate three years ago by campaigning as a populist. She won’t get as much free media as he got in 2016 but she’ll get plenty, and it’ll be almost uniformly glowing. The press has its usual strong anti-Trump and anti-GOP incentives to side with the Democratic candidate, but on top of that they have a “first woman president” narrative to push and a kinship with a candidate who is, after all, a well-educated Ivy League liberal academic. More than anything, though, Warren wants to draw a contrast with Trump’s practice of attending lots of fatcat fundraisers for his own campaign. You can see her message coming from a mile awhile: The so-called “populist” president turns out to have been a swamp creature all along and now spends his days happily splashing around in special-interest money. I’m the real populist and to prove it I won’t hold a single fundraiser. Will that work in the midwest?

The post Milestone: Warren now leads Biden in RCP poll average appeared first on Hot Air.

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Watch: Warren Dips, Dodges, Ducks, Dives, and Dodges Answering If She’ll Raise Middle Class Taxes

Westlake Legal Group Fauxcahontas-620x413 Watch: Warren Dips, Dodges, Ducks, Dives, and Dodges Answering If She’ll Raise Middle Class Taxes Taxes primary Politics Middle class Front Page Stories Featured Story Elizabeth Warren elections donors donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., winks as she jokes with other senators on the Senate Banking Committee ahead of a hearing on the nomination of Marvin Goodfriend to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Democratic primary candidate for the 2020 presidential election and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is going to raise your taxes if she gets into office.

We know this because she’s doing everything in her power to not answer the very simple and direct question as to whether or not she is. What she wants to do instead is give you flowery talk about how “Medicare for all” is going to bring your overall medical costs down, but doesn’t want to talk about the messy business of how she plans to pay for it.

Which is, of course, raising taxes on the middle class.

The Washington Free Beacon put together a pretty nice little supercut of all the times Warren was asked point-blank if she’ll raise taxes on the middle class and you can watch her play a game of dodgeball with the question. Even people like “Hardball” host Chris Matthews seems to get frustrated with Warren’s refusal to address the question directly.

One thing that Warren has firmly established is that a White House with her in the Oval Office is going to cost you a lot of money. Not only is she going to raise taxes to pay for all the “free” stuff she plans on giving away, but she’s also going to come down hard on the businesses as well in order to make those dastardly job providers cough up their “fair share.”

So much so that even big Democrat donors are threatening the DNC that they’ll walk away and sign on with President Donald Trump for his 2020 campaign in the general election if she wins the Democratic primary.

(READ: Big Democrat Donors Threaten To Switch To Trump If Elizabeth Warren Wins The 2020 Nomination)

While Warren has momentum within the gaggle of primary candidates, it’s unlikely that she’s going to win a general election against Trump who continuously receives support in the form huge cash donations, packed rallies, and rising poll numbers.

Warren can’t even keep dyed in the wool Democrat donors.

 

The post Watch: Warren Dips, Dodges, Ducks, Dives, and Dodges Answering If She’ll Raise Middle Class Taxes appeared first on RedState.

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Blockbuster: Trump, RNC raise combined $125 million in third quarter, a new record

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How big is this number? When Obama ran for reelection in 2011, he and the DNC managed a combined $70 million in the third quarter.

Trump and the RNC didn’t quite double them up, but they got pretty close.

Consider this an unusually concrete example of the advantages of incumbency. While Democratic candidates are dividing liberal money among themselves and using it to battle each other, the GOP can focus all its energy on building a tremendous financial arsenal for next fall.

Well, mostly for next fall. A little of it will be spent this fall to try to solve the president’s impeachment problem.

The pro-Trump effort said Tuesday that it has raised more than $308 million in 2019 and has more than $156 million in the bank. Republicans aim to use the fundraising haul to fight off Democrats’ impeachment effort…

The fundraising announcement comes as the pro-Trump efforts launched their first major advertising campaign of the cycle. Trump’s team aims to devote $1 billion to his reelection.

Last week, as House Democrats launched their impeachment effort, the Trump campaign announced it would spend $8 million to air an ad attacking Democrats for trying to “steal” the 2020 campaign. The RNC said it would spend $2 million attacking Democrats for their support of impeachment.

So there’s another reason why Democrats may have warmed up to impeachment: It’s helping to offset the mammoth lead Trump has on fundraising for the general election, forcing him to spend some of his cash to fight the effort to drive him from office. If I’m right that impeachment will end up as a wash politically, with opinions for and against Trump so hardened that no one ends up being swayed either way by the process, then getting Trump to deplete some of his war chest might be the chief benefit Democrats get from it.

But wait. Are we sure Trump and the RNC are *losing* money on impeachment on balance? Granted, they’re spending some — but how much are they making?

In addition to taking numerous fundraising trips to collect reelection cash, Trump’s cash haul got a boost in recent days as House Democrats endorsed an impeachment inquiry. The Trump campaign brought in $8.5 million dollars online in two days after the impeachment push began.

How do you suppose the Trump campaign will do fundraising-wise in the 24 hours after Democrats actually go ahead and impeach him?

I’m curious to see a breakdown of how much of the $125 million came from small donors and how much came from fatcats. (In 2011, Obama’s haul came from 600,000 individual donors, 98 percent of whom gave $250 or less.) I can imagine the numbers being strong from both groups. Trump is extremely popular within his own party and the “siege effect” from impeachment may increase that popularity, or at least increase the enthusiasm of hardcore fans. There’s bound to a broad base of smaller donors, and they’re apt to become more eager to show their support in the fourth quarter as the Democrats close in on him. Meanwhile, rich donors are warily watching Elizabeth Warren’s ascendance in the Democratic primary and imagining their wealth going up in smoke in 2021. They’re surely pouring money into Trump’s campaign as well, knowing that he’s a weak incumbent by historical standards and may need extra financial help to hold her off next year. If you can spend thousands now by donating to Trump to save millions later in new taxes if Democrats sweep to power, that’s an investment worth making.

One more number for you:

The Republican National Committee’s most recent financial disclosure showed that the organization held $53.8 million cash on hand at the end of August. The Democratic National Committee, by contrast, had $8.2 million on hand at that time.

Trump proved in 2016 that a financial disadvantage is no bar to winning the presidency, something the Democratic nominee will find comfort in next year. I wonder how big a difference the RNC’s financial advantage will make in Senate races, though. It looks like they’ll have lots of cash on hand that can be shoveled as needed at candidates like Susan Collins and Cory Gardner who are stuck in tough purple-state races. Trump’s fundraising bonanza might not be enough to win him an election but it could be enough to ensure that the GOP keeps the Senate. That, not Trump, may be the only thing that keeps Warren away from rich people’s money.

Here’s Steve Bannon imagining that the end result of impeachment might be … another Hillary Clinton candidacy. That won’t happen, but it’s understandable that Bannon would want to go back to that well. Can’t go wrong as a right-winger promoting Clinton as a face of the Democratic Party.

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Bye-bye Biden? Warren leads in new national poll, tied for lead in another

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Bear in mind, these results are trickling in *before* Democratic voters have digested the allegations of corruption made against Biden in the Ukraine matter. Even if they opt not to believe them, how many will conclude that swing voters will believe them next fall and start discounting Biden’s alleged “electability” advantage?

Imagine if Trump ends up being impeached for trying to make trouble abroad for a candidate who was never going to be his general election opponent anyway.

A game-changing new poll from Quinnipiac:

Westlake Legal Group q Bye-bye Biden? Warren leads in new national poll, tied for lead in another YouGov warren Trump The Blog Quinnipiac primary New Hampshire harris democratic biden 2020

Not only is 27 percent the best Warren’s ever done in a national poll, it’s also the first time she’s led Biden outright in any national poll. As usual, she leads him in enthusiasm too: Fully 70 percent of Dems say they’d be excited to see her as nominee versus 56 percent who say the same of Biden.

The real alarm bell for Grandpa Joe, though, is the split among black voters, as Philip Klein rightly notes:

Back in a July poll, Warren was essentially in a three-way tie for second place, with 15 percent nationally, according to Quinnipiac. In that poll, she was at 20 percent among white voters, but way back at six percent among black voters. In a Wednesday poll, she has vaulted to the top, with 27 percent overall, just edging out Joe Biden, at 25 percent. But now among black voters, she’s in second place, at 19 percent.

In California, it’s a similar story. A new LA Times poll finds Warren jumping to a 29 percent to 22 percent lead in the delegate-rich state overall, but, she’s only trailing Biden 32 percent to 24 percent among black voters. Sen. Kamala Harris, who is both black and from California, was at 18 percent among the group.

Not only is Warren now second to Biden among black voters, trailing him 40/19, but Bernie Sanders has 12 percent of that group. If Bernie fades and black progressives begin drifting towards Warren, suddenly she’d be competitive with Joe among voters who are supposed to be his “firewall,” the group that will offset his losses among other demographics by preferring him overwhelmingly. Blacks no longer prefer him overwhelmingly, according to today’s Quinnipiac data. And given the general drift towards Warren in all polling lately, it’s likely that his lead among them will shrink rather than grow.

Could the Quinnipiac poll be an outlier? Seems unlikely. This new data that dropped this morning from YouGov confirms that the race is a coin flip right now, with Warren and Biden neck and neck in the mid-20s.

When Democratic voters are asked whom they’re considering voting for, Warren leads Biden 54/47. There are other polls lately that look like this too — Emerson recently had Biden up 25/23 and NBC/WSJ had it 31/25 in mid-September. There’s no reason, in other words, to think Quinnipiac and YouGov are “bad polls” for Biden or “good polls” for Warren. They seem to accurately reflect the state of the race at the moment, before the impact of the Ukraine stuff has been felt. In fact, as of today, Warren is the first candidate besides Biden to crack 20 percent in the RCP poll of polls since May. She seems to be for real.

“But wait,” you say, “national polls are interesting but ultimately don’t matter. Iowa and New Hampshire are what matter.” Right, true — but Warren’s surging there too. I already posted this new Monmouth poll of New Hampshire yesterday but it’s worth eyeballing the numbers again:

Westlake Legal Group m-5 Bye-bye Biden? Warren leads in new national poll, tied for lead in another YouGov warren Trump The Blog Quinnipiac primary New Hampshire harris democratic biden 2020

She’s just three points behind Biden in the RCP polling average of the state right now. And Iowa? Warren has led the field there in the last two polls taken, 24/16 over Biden in an Iowa State survey taken in mid-September and 22/20 in a Des Moines Register poll conducted a few days later. She’s up 2.7 points in the RCP average.

If you had to make a bet on the Democratic primaries at this particular moment in time, Warren running the table would look like a fairly solid bet. The question is whether South Carolina’s mostly black Democratic electorate would stick with Biden if he lost the first two states or if they’d break for Warren if she won them. The signs there aren’t great for Biden either, per Politico:

Biden’s level of support in South Carolina makes it his firewall state, but even in South Carolina there are troubling signs of erosion. While he remains on top, among black voters, who are more than 60 percent of the Democratic electorate, Biden has plummeted 19 points in Tyson’s polls. That’s a potential leading indicator of the problems he could face after South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary when many of the minority-heavy Southeastern states — as well as Texas and California — beginning voting on Super Tuesday, March 3, and thereafter.

As strange as it is to imagine after the Democratic field initially ballooned to more than 20 candidates, the actual race could be over quickly once Democrats start voting. Which means Trump will never have a chance to use the Ukraine matter against Biden — but Warren will have lots of chances to use it against Trump. Good lord.

Exit question: Kamala Harris is now at three percent nationally, per Quinnipiac? Was even Scott Walker’s 2016 flameout as embarrassing as this?

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War: AOC endorses progressive primary challenge to centrist House Dem colleague

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This was of mild interest until I saw the reaction from the Democrat whom she’s trying to oust.

Now it has my full attention.

Background: Democrat Dan Lipinski represents a safe-ish blue district in Illinois, having succeeded his father in office 15 years ago. He stands out in the House caucus as being a centrist among centrists. How centrist? He, uh, didn’t endorse Obama in 2012. He didn’t vote for ObamaCare in 2010 either. He’s pro-life. And he supported DOMA before the Supreme Court flushed it.

I mean, in fairness to AOC, if you’re looking for someone in Congress who meets the description of “DINO,” it’s Dan Lipinski.

In 2018, after running effectively unopposed for years, he faced the same sort of dangerous primary challenge from the left that Ocasio-Cortez herself successfully mounted against Joe Crowley in New York. Lipinski held on in his race, though, defeating progressive Marie Newman 51/49, a margin of about 2,000 votes. Newman’s running against him again in 2020 and trying to line up big-name left-wing support to push her over the top this time. And so AOC faced a dilemma. On the one hand, nothing would be more natural for her than to back a grassroots progressive “change the party” primary effort in Illinois like the one that swept her into Congress last year in Queens.

But on the other hand, some of her House Democratic colleagues resent her because they fear she’s lining up challengers to them in their districts. You may remember that that issue figured in complaints about her now former chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti. Chakrabarti was one of the co-founders of the far-left Justice Democrats PAC, the same group that supported AOC against Crowley and is now supporting Newman against Lipinski. His outspoken criticism of centrist Dems in the House and his relationship with the PAC made Democrats from blue districts nervous that he and AOC might try to get them primaried. Hence AOC’s other option here — renounce support for any primary challenges this year in the name of comity, which would improve her relationships with her House colleagues. But it would also piss off progressives who sent her to D.C. to try to remake the party in their image.

Play nice or support the revolution: That was her choice in deciding whether to stay out of Lipinski’s race or support Newman. She chose revolution.

“Marie Newman is a textbook example of one of the ways that we could be better as a party — to come from a deep blue seat and to be championing all the issues we need to be championing,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview.

Of Mr. Lipinski, she said: “The fact that a deep blue seat is advocating for many parts of the Republican agenda is extremely problematic. We’re not talking about a swing state that is being forced to take tough votes.”…

“This campaign is about putting someone in place that is in alignment directly with the district on issues like affordability for the middle class and working families, the Green New Deal,” Ms. Newman said in an interview on Monday, adding that she and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez “share some very similar values.”

Former RNC guy Doug Heye has seen this movie before on the right side of the political aisle:

Targeting Lipinski was the safest, most judicious way for Ocasio-Cortez to dip a toe into the process of primarying her own colleagues. He’s waaaay out on the right wing of the party, after all. And she’s not the first progressive Democrat in Congress to endorse Newman in this race: Rep. Ro Khanna has already done so, notes the Times, and the head of the DCCC had to cancel a fundraiser for Lipinski earlier this year when the left howled at her for trying to prop him up. (The Democratic leadership and the DCCC continue to support his reelection, however.) Lipinski’s also a white guy and some of the House Dems who have been most worried about AOC-backed primary challenges (e.g., Lacy Clay) are black, fearing that their very blue districts make them a prime target for a primary challenge by Justice Democrats. Focusing on Lipinski may be a signal from Ocasio-Cortez that she’ll avoid targeting minority lawmakers. It’s simply the least controversial primary challenge that AOC could possibly have supported.

To everyone, that is, except Dan Lipinski. Here’s that reaction I mentioned up top. Hoo boy.

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Those first two paragraphs sound almost Republican, which I suppose is on-brand for Lipinski. But there’s a method to his madness, perhaps: Primary elections in Illinois are open, meaning that you don’t need to register as a member of a party beforehand to vote in its primary on Election Day. Lipinski’s apparently going to try to use AOC against Newman by highlighting her support, hoping that the district’s Republican minority will flood into the Democratic primary and hand him a victory to spite her. Between that, his incumbency, and his family legacy, there’s at least a chance that he’ll hold the seat despite her best efforts. Imagine if the Ocasio-Cortez endorsement ends up as the kiss of death in a blue district.

She didn’t care for Lipinski’s response, by the way:

One last note on this via Jon Ward. If AOC was hesitant to jump into Lipinski’s race, she may have felt obliged after she surprised a few people last week by endorsing Ed Markey for reelection to the Senate in Massachusetts. Left-wing revolutionaries aren’t supposed to back incumbents who are being challenged by young progressives, right? The difference with Markey is that he’s the sponsor in the Senate of her Green New Deal plan. She owed him one and she delivered. We’ll see if it helps him fend off a primary challenge from Joe Kennedy.

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And then there were two: New WSJ/NBC poll has Biden and Warren breaking from the pack as Harris collapses

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This is a big deal if it’s part of a trend, and maybe it is. After all, it was just a week ago that Elizabeth Warren pulled 26 percent in a YouGov poll, her best total ever. Now here she is again breaking into the mid-20s with Bernie Sanders a distant third in the mid-teens.

Is this now a two-way race?

Because increasingly it feels like a two-way race.

Biden fans will find solace in the fact that he kept pace with Warren’s surge, losing just one net point to her since July. But read the fine print here. When we combine first- and second-choice totals for the candidates (and we should since the race is still heavily in flux at this early point) we find Warren at the head of the pack, not Grandpa Joe.

Westlake Legal Group 1-3 And then there were two: New WSJ/NBC poll has Biden and Warren breaking from the pack as Harris collapses wsj warren The Blog primary poll o'rourke nbc National harris democratic biden beto

Who’s leading in voter enthusiasm, you ask? Right, Warren again. Back in March, just 20 percent of Democrats said they were enthusiastic about her as nominee. Today 35 percent do. The trends for Bernie and Biden are in the opposite direction, with enthusiasm for Sanders dipping from 28 to 25 percent since March and enthusiasm for Joe sliding all the way from 33 percent to 23. Dems are going to find themselves in quite a spot if Biden ekes out the nomination on “electability” grounds despite no one getting excited for him while Warren has to settle for second place despite galvanizing the base.

The divide among white voters is especially interesting since, as Liam Donovan notes, Iowa and New Hampshire are almost entirely white. Warren is surging ahead among white college grads but Biden remains in front with working-class whites. Who wins that death struggle in the early states?

Another race-related development worth nothing: Warren has now crept into second place among black Democrats. It’s a very distant second to Biden, just 13 percent compared to his 49, but if she starts taking chunks of his base he’s finished.

And speaking of finished. Although it’s not news that her polls have slipped significantly since July, the fact that she’s now down to a dismal five percent here suggests that Officer Harris has retired from the 2020 force. She’s now fifth when candidates are measured by their first- and second-choice totals behind Pete Buttigieg, and it seems perfectly plausible that she’ll have been passed by Andrew Yang the next time NBC polls the race. This poll is no outlier either: The last three surveys tracked by RCP had her at six, four, and six points. Imagine being a millionaire liberal who’s been approached by Harris for your support. What could she possibly say at this point to convince you to cut her a check instead of Warren or Biden or even Sanders? Hopefully this poll will kickstart the “Harris is a surprisingly weak, cynical, inauthentic candidate” takes in the media, because she really is all of those things and more attention should be paid to it.

One last point. There’s a running debate among politics nerds about whether Bernie is hurting Warren or Biden more by remaining in the race. You might think the answer is obvious — he’s hurting Warren because they’re both far left and some of his voters would surely be with her if he dropped out. But Bernie also appeals to older working-class white voters, the same people who gravitate to Grandpa Joe. Not all voters are ideologues. For some, if they can’t get the geriatric socialist nominated for president, they’ll take the geriatric centrist. I mention all that because this graph from NBC’s story about the poll caught my eye:

Westlake Legal Group n-2 And then there were two: New WSJ/NBC poll has Biden and Warren breaking from the pack as Harris collapses wsj warren The Blog primary poll o'rourke nbc National harris democratic biden beto

Clearly Bernie does seem to be hurting Warren more than Biden right now. Given the reports today of dissension within the ranks of Team Sanders, you wonder if some Berniebros will begin grudgingly leaning him on this fall to do the right thing and endorse Warren if there’s further separation between the two in polling.

Oh, almost forgot: Now that we have two separate post-debate polls showing Beto O’Rourke’s numbers stuck in the toilet, I think we can safely conclude that last week’s gun-confiscation stunt was a bust.

In lieu of an exit question, via Jeff Dunetz, here’s the Trump campaign’s new tribute to the mental health of the Democratic frontrunner, who’s probably not really the frontrunner anymore at this point.

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