Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: October 28-November 1, 2019

 Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing

Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the events that matter in the 2020 presidential election. 

Now, we’re bringing you the highlights from our daily briefings in a weekly format so you can stay up-to-date on the 2020 election with one weekly email.

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Number

There are 12 new candidates running since last week, including one Republican and one Libertarian. In total, 916 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Democrats have declined most sharply in rural America, but it’s ‘Regional Metros’ that should concern the party most in 2020.

Not only do these smaller cities and suburbs make up an outsize share of the vote in key states — compared with both rural and ‘Global Metro’ areas — but Democrats still have plenty of room to fall from Clinton’s 45 percent share in 2016. If Democrats can maintain altitude in the ‘Regional Metros,’ their gains since 2016 in ‘Global Metros’ should be enough to overtake Trump and reoccupy Air Force One. If they can’t, Trump could very well win re-election while losing the popular vote again.

For now, Democratic presidential primary candidates are drawing enthusiastic crowds to rallies in places like New York, Seattle, Austin and San Francisco. But to beat Trump, Democrats will need to ask themselves which candidates’ proposals will fly in Erie, Saginaw and Green Bay.”

– David Wasserman, NBC News

“Recent data show manufacturing jobs are disappearing across Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio, states critical to Trump’s reelection chances. On Tuesday, Murray Energy, a major mining firm with close ties to the president, became the latest of many coal companies to file for bankruptcy this year, rattling communities across Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. The news followed recent layoffs at a prominent steel manufacturer in northeastern Ohio and General Motors’ final decision this fall to shutter its massive plant at Lordstown, Ohio.

The turmoil in the manufacturing and mining sectors threatens to undermine Trump’s claim to a booming economy — the bedrock of his and his Republican allies’ campaign strategy — in places where it matters most. While Trump’s economy is benefiting high-tech manufacturing and energy sectors in other regions, the manufacturing slump across the Rust Belt may test whether Trump can retain his appeal to blue-collar workers without having fully delivered on his promise to fatten their bank accounts.”

– Josh Boak and John Seewer, Associated Press

Week in Review

Major moves for Trump this week

Donald Trump announced Oct. 27 that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed during a military raid in northwest Syria. He highlighted the event in a campaign ad that aired during the final night of the World Series on Wednesday.

Trump also headlined a fundraiser this week in Washington, D.C., that raised $13 million for Take Back the House 2020, a joint fundraising committee benefiting House Republicans.

On Thursday, the House approved a resolution establishing procedures for the impeachment inquiry into Trump, marking the first impeachment-related congressional vote. The 232-196 vote ran along party lines with no Republicans supporting the measure and two Democrats opposing it.

Staff changes in Biden and Harris camps

Joe Biden announced this week that Molly Ritner, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s former political director, will serve as his director of Super Tuesday states. Super Tuesday will take place on Mar. 3, 2020.

Jessica Meijía and John Laadt will work as Biden’s state directors in California and Massachusetts, respectively.

Kamala Harris is restructuring her campaign, sending more staffers to Iowa and reducing staff at her Baltimore headquarters. Her campaign manager, Juan Rodriguez, is also reducing his salary. 

Biden, Yang, and Williamson launch ad campaigns

Joe Biden released new ads in Iowa focused on his Scranton upbringing, which will air on broadcast and digital media channels as part of a $4 million campaign. 

Marianne Williamson launched her first television ad on Wednesday in South Carolina. The ad focuses on her reparations proposal.

Andrew Yang also released his first television ad in the early primary states. The ad focuses on children with special needs and healthcare and is part of a six-figure digital ad campaign.

Buttigieg is fourth candidate to qualify for December debate

Pete Buttigieg gained his fourth and final poll to qualify for the Democratic presidential primary debate on Dec. 19. He joins Joe BidenElizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders.

Four candidates have reached the fundraising threshold of 200,000 donors or more: Kamala HarrisAmy KlobucharBeto O’Rourke, and Andrew Yang. Harris needs one more qualifying poll to make the debate stage, Klobuchar and Yang need three each, and O’Rourke needs four.

Candidates have until Dec. 12 to reach the polling and fundraising thresholds.

Trump primary opponents debate, likely to be left off the ballot in Minnesota

Politicon hosted a Republican debate with Mark SanfordJoe Walsh, and Bill Weld in Nashville, where they discussed impeachment and the future of the party. The Republican National Committee did not sanction the debate.

In Minnesota, the state parties decide which candidates make the presidential primary ballot. The Minnesota Republican Party sent a letter to the secretary of state listing its “determination of candidates” for the presidential primary ballot next March; only Donald Trump was listed.

Twitter rejects political advertising

Twitter announced Wednesday that it will no longer accept political advertising on its platform beginning Nov. 22.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Tim Hogan is a Democratic staffer and spokesman with experience in the early caucus state of Nevada. Hogan has worked as a congressional staffer for both Klobuchar and fellow 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D). He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in political science and government in 2008.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Hillary Clinton (D) presidential campaign, rapid response spokesman and primary/caucus communications director for Nevada, Arizona, and Kentucky
  • 2012 Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) U.S. House campaign, press secretary
  • 2011 Kate Marshall (D-Nev.) U.S. House campaign, press secretary
  • 2010 Nevada State Senate elections, Democratic caucus campaign manager

Other experience:

  • 2017-2019: The Hub Project, national press secretary
  • 2015: Office of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), senior communications advisor
  • 2013-2015: Office of Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), deputy chief of staff and communications director
  • 2011-2012: The Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, digital director
  • 2010-2011: Nevada State Senate, Democratic caucus communications director
  • 2010: Earth Day Network, press assistant and outreach coordinator
  • 2009-2010: Office of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), press intern

What We’re Reading

Flashback: October 28-November 1, 2015

  • October 28, 2015: Fourteen Republicans, split into undercard and primetime debate segments, participated in the third Republican primary debate.
  • October 29, 2015: Donald Trump made his second presidential campaign visit to Nevada.
  • October 30, 2015: Hillary Clinton introduced her criminal justice platform during a rally in Atlanta.
  • October 31, 2015: Donald Trump released his platform for veterans’ healthcare and employment services.
  • November 1, 2015: Ben Carson spoke about religion and creationism during a campaign event at one of Nashville’s largest churches.


In the 2016 presidential election, which state had the highest percentage of eligible voters cast ballots?