Steyer spends $1.4 million on national and early state ad campaign

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

July 10, 2019: Tom Steyer spent $1.4 million on a national and early state ad campaign introducing himself to voters. Marianne Williamson’s Iowa state director, Brent Roske, has joined John Delaney’s campaign.

 Facebook Ad Spending (July 1 - July 7)

Notable Quotes of the Day

“Campaigns offer a chance not only to tell people what kind of president you’ll be, but to show it. [Elizabeth Warren is] running her campaign the way she intends to govern: willing to question existing power structures, making decisions grounded in evidence, and always fighting to build something more progressive, more inclusive, more joyful — and more democratic — than what came before.”

– Joe Rospars, 2020 Warren chief campaign strategist

“Quality has cost. I’d rather have Jim Margolis [who is working for Kamala Harris] on my side and pay some fees than ‘Larry’ in a cubicle in-house who is learning media buying. Not having a pollster is just running on outsized hubris and ego, I think. But maybe [the Warren campaign has] an in-house pollster next to Larry.”

– Mike Murphy, former Right to Rise PAC chief strategist


  • The third Democratic primary debate will be held in Houston, Texas, on September 12 with an optional second night on September 13. ABC News and Univision will host the event.

  • More than a dozen Democratic presidential candidates have called on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to resign for his involvement in negotiating a plea agreement for Jeffrey Epstein in a 2008 sex trafficking case.

  • Michael Bennet spoke about prescription drug costs and the advise and consent responsibility of the U.S. Senate during an event at the Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.

  • According to financial disclosure forms released Tuesday, Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, made more than $15 million in the two years following his departure from the vice presidency through book deals and speaking engagements. They paid $5.2 million in taxes over those two years and donated $1.3 million.

  • Teen Vogue interviewed Cory Booker about his gun violence prevention policy and experience living in a neighborhood with gun violence.

  • VICE News released a video profile of Steve Bullock on the campaign trail while other candidates were participating in the first Democratic debates.

  • Julián Castro said Tuesday that in addition to decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings, he advocates repealing the law that makes it a felony to reenter the U.S. after deportation.

  • In an interview with the USA Today editorial board, John Delaney discussed his BetterCare healthcare system, the Green New Deal, criminal justice, and foreign policy. “This election is going to be fought in the center,” Delaney said.

  • Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at the “Politics & Eggs” event in Manchester, New Hampshire, and discussed conservative positions she previously held on gun legislation and immigration.

  • The Mike Gravel campaign shared its transportation policy, which calls for nationalizing railways, redirecting funding from highways to public transportation, and creating an interstate bikeway system.

  • Kamala Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a bill Wednesday that would make it easier for people with criminal records to obtain federal housing assistance.

  • In an interview with The Des Moines RegisterJohn Hickenlooper said he had rebooted his campaign and planned to spend more time campaigning than fundraising.

  • In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Jay Inslee spoke about climate changeand the Trump administration.

  • Amy Klobuchar discussed her work as a prosecutor and the Jeffrey Epstein case in an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews.

  • Wayne Messam is hosting a meet and greet in South Carolina Saturday.

  • Seth Moulton co-wrote an op-ed in the Salem Gazette on addressing combined sewer overflow and water infrastructure issues in Massachusetts.

  • In a Medium post, Beto O’Rourke discussed his campaign trip through Tennessee.

  • Tim Ryan discussed the U.S. economy and China tariffs in an interview with Bloomberg.

  • Bernie Sanders wrote an op-ed in Fortune outlining his plan to cancel $1.6 trillion in student debt and make public colleges, trade schools, and apprenticeship programs tuition- and debt-free.

  • Tom Steyer spent $1.4 million on two ads promoting his campaign. The ads will run for two weeks nationally on CNN and MSNBC and locally in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.

  • The Elizabeth Warren campaign has not hired an outside polling firm and is producing TV and digital media internally, according to a Politico report. Her campaign has over 300 staffers.

  • Brent Roske resigned from Marianne Williamson’s campaign as Iowa state director to join Delaney’s campaign. Paula Roby will serve as the interim Iowa state director for Williamson. 

  • Andrew Yang said that his Universal Basic Income proposal would acknowledge the work of caregiving and empower women to leave exploitative jobs or relationships.


  • Donald Trump invited Republican lawmakers, political strategists, and conservative social media personalities to the White House to discuss the “opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.”

Special Guest Analysis: Trump and Ballot Policies

Jim Ellis is a 35-year political veteran who now analyzes election data for major corporations, associations, and legislative advocacy firms. He is president of EllisInsight, LLC. We invited him to share analysis of the presidential race.

Several states have pending legislation that would require presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to qualify for their 2020 ballot. The move is targeted at President Trump who has yet to release his tax returns. But, would denying ballot placement in opposition states actually hurt him?

A contrary argument exists to suggest that Mr. Trump and other Republican candidates in states like California and New York might actually receive some tangential benefits from the President not appearing on the ballot.

First, Trump’s name being absent on opposition state ballots wouldn’t change the Electoral College outcome. He will likely concede the most non-competitive places at the outset and spend no campaign money in doing so. Therefore, his ballot placement in these states becomes irrelevant.

Second, when Mr. Trump then loses the national popular vote, he can claim the count is illegitimate because he was barred from competing in several states that would have obviously changed the final totals. Additionally, it might make attempting to change individual Electors’ votes in the 21 states that do not legally bind them to their state total a more difficult argument if no national popular vote tally exists.

Third, without Mr. Trump’s name on the ballot in places like California and New York it’s possible that other Republican candidates could see a slightly more favorable political climate because the sharp edge found in the presidential contest would be removed, at least to some degree. Thus, some anti-Trump voters may become disinclined to participate if they actually can’t vote against him, causing them to believe the process would become a useless exercise.

In summation, should income tax disclosure legislation actually be enacted the Democrats and not President Trump might well become victims of their ballot chicanery.

Flashback: July 10, 2015

Several Republican presidential candidates attended the annual National Right to Life convention in New Orleans, Louisian