Sanders holds first rally in three weeks Saturday

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

October 18, 2019: Marianne Williamson is the first 2020 presidential candidate to complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. On Saturday, Bernie Sanders will hold his first campaign rally in three weeks in Queens, New York. 

     Each Friday, we highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.
Daily Presidential News Briefing - Staffer Spotlight - Lis Smith

Lis Smith has worked in campaign communications for over a decade, including in the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. Smith co-founded 50 State Communications in June 2016. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in government and anthropology in 2005.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Martin O’Malley presidential campaign, deputy campaign manager
  • 2013 Bill de Blasio mayoral campaign (New York, N.Y.), chief spokeswoman
  • 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, director of rapid response
  • 2010 Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) gubernatorial campaign, communications director
  • 2009 Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) gubernatorial campaign, press secretary
  • 2009 Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) gubernatorial campaign, press secretary
  • 2008 Dan Seals (D-Ill.) U.S. House campaign, communications director
  • 2007 Bruce Lunsford (D-Ky.) gubernatorial campaign, traveling press secretary
  • 2006 Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) U.S. Senate campaign, press secretary

Other experience:

  • 2013-2015: O’PAC (Martin O’Malley political action committee), senior communications advisor
  • 2013-2015: Democratic Governors Association, senior communications advisor
  • 2011-2012: Democratic Governors Association, communications director

What he/she says about candidate:

What she says about Buttigieg: “I saw in him something that I’ve never, ever seen in someone, you know, where you sort of have that moment, this magic, and clearly he’s taken off.”

Notable Quote of the Day

“Trump, throughout the election and the first three years of his presidency, has run a base strategy. Many presidents wouldn’t bother to come to Texas, but he spends a lot of time in Florida, Alabama, Texas and other Southern states revving up the base to make sure that his support does not dissipate. If he doesn’t hold his base, he is cooked.”

– Cal Jillson, Southern Methodist University political scientist


  • Michael BennetJohn DelaneyTulsi GabbardKamala HarrisAmy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer will speak at the Linn County Democratic Hall of Fame Banquet in Iowa Sunday.
  • Joe Biden spoke Thursday about the Violence Against Women Act and Trump administration at the Democratic National Committee’s 2019 Women’s Leadership Forum Conference in Washington, D.C.
  • Cory Booker will campaign Sunday at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
  • In a CNN interview Thursday, Steve Bullock said he supported an impeachment inquiry that goes to the Senate.
  • Pete Buttigieg will speak at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics Friday.
  • Julián Castro will make his tenth campaign trip to Nevada over the weekend, including an event with the Las Vegas chapter of the National Organization for Women.
  • Klobuchar will campaign across Iowa Friday through Sunday as part of her “All of America Bus Tour.”
  • The Los Angeles Times profiled Wayne Messam’s campaign Thursday. Messam said of his candidacy, “I’m still technically in the race.”
  • Beto O’Rourke will campaign in Alabama Friday and Saturday, including speaking at the Alabama Democratic Conference in Birmingham. More than 5,000 people attended O’Rourke’s rally in Grand Prairie, Texas, Thursday.
  • Bernie Sanders will hold his first campaign rally in three weeks Saturday in Queens, New York. The Sanders campaign is also launching a $1.3 million television ad buy in Iowa.
  • Joe Sestak is on the sixth day of his walk across New Hampshire with a stop in Raymond.
  • Steyer will campaign in Iowa Sunday and Monday, including a stop at the University of Northern Iowa.
  • Elizabeth Warren hired Elizabeth Henderson as Tennessee state director Thursday, making Warren the first candidate to have a state director in Tennessee. 
  • Marianne Williamson is the first 2020 presidential candidate to complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, answering questions about her personal beliefs, professional background, and political priorities. Click here to read her responses.
  • Andrew Yang spoke about foreign policy in an interview on The Rachel Maddow Show.


  • Mark Sanford will campaign Friday in Illinois and Iowa as part of his “Kids, We’re Bankrupt and We Didn’t Even Know It” Tour.
  • Roughly 20,000 people attended Donald Trump’s Thursday night rally in Dallas, where he criticized the Democratic presidential candidates and spoke about the ceasefire in Turkey.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: October 18, 2015

Donald Trump discussed the September 11 terrorist attacks and George W. Bush, social media, the U.S. Department of Education, and foreign policy in an interview on Fox News Sunday.