Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: November 2-8, 2019

 Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing

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

This email brings you the highlights from our daily briefings in a weekly format so you can stay up-to-date on the 2020 election with one, easy-to-read summary.

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Number


There are 14 new candidates running since last week, including one Republican and two Libertarians. In total, 930 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Tuesday’s results continued to demonstrate GOP problems in the suburbs since Trump took office. The latest was in northern Kentucky in the Cincinnati suburbs, where Bevin won in 2015 and Beshear won in 2019. Or in northern Mississippi, in the Memphis suburbs where the GOP margin in DeSoto County dropped from 61 points to 20 points, according to Ryan Matsumoto, a contributing analyst to Inside Elections. These are just the latest pieces of evidence after Democrat Dan McCready’s overperformance in the Charlotte suburbs from 2018 to the 2019 special election in North Carolina’s 9th District. It should be particularly concerning for President Trump in his efforts to win Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia, and Texas in 2020.”

– Nathan GonzalesRoll Call

“Yes, Trump went to Kentucky on Monday night to stump for Bevin. And, yes, he told the crowd at a Lexington rally that losing the governor’s race would send ‘a really bad message.’

But every other major GOP candidate seeking statewide office in the Bluegrass State won their race. The governor’s mansion in Mississippi is going to stay red (after Trump also stumped in that state recently). And Virginia isn’t a purple state so the Democrats’ sweep there isn’t as foreshadowing as it might be in other states.”

– Ledyard KingUSA Today

Week in Review

Bloomberg signals 2020 presidential bid, files for Alabama primary

Michael Bloomberg reportedly will file for the Alabama Democratic presidential primary before the filing deadline on Friday.

Although Bloomberg has not announced a formal decision about running for president, Axios reported that he is looking to meet other upcoming filing deadlines in Arkansas, New Hampshire, Florida, California, and Texas.

With an estimated net worth of $52 billion, Bloomberg will self-fund his campaign.

November debate reaches 10 candidates, December reaches six

Tulsi Gabbard qualified this week for the fifth Democratic presidential, becoming the 10th candidate to make the stage. The debate will be held on Nov. 20 at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar both reached the polling threshold to qualify for the December debate. In addition to meeting fundraising thresholds, candidates need to receive 4 percent support or more in four national or early state polls or 6 percent support or more in two single state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada.

In total, six candidates have qualified for the December debate in Los Angeles. GabbardTom Steyer, and Andrew Yang are on the cusp: each has at least one qualifying poll.

Trump rallies for Republican gubernatorial candidates

Donald Trump held three rallies across the South this week to support gubernatorial candidates in MississippiKentucky, and Louisiana.

Republican Tate Reeves won the race in Mississippi, while the Kentucky race remains too close to call with Democrat Andy Beshear leading Republican Matt Bevin by roughly 5,000 votes. Beshear has declared victory in the race. Bevin is considering asking for a recount and has yet to concede.

The Louisiana gubernatorial runoff election takes place on Nov. 16.  Incumbent John Bel Edwards (D) faces Eddie Rispone (R). If Edwards wins, the state will remain as divided government. A Rispone victory would give Republicans a trifecta.

Two Steyer aides face allegations of improper conduct

A South Carolina aide to Tom Steyer resigned this week after allegedly downloading the Kamala Harris campaign’s volunteer data file. 

Another aide, Pat Murphy, allegedly offered local Iowa political figures compensation in exchange for an endorsement of Steyer, according to an Associated Press report. Press secretary Alberto Lammers said no officials in Iowa had received contributions and the campaign did not authorize Murphy’s actions. 

Five candidates hit Iowa and New Hampshire airwaves with new ads

  • Steve Bullock is airing his first two television ads in Iowa. One highlights his statewide victory in a red state and the other features state Attorney General Tom Miller.
  • Pete Buttigieg released his sixth television ad in Iowa, which focuses on his speech at the Liberty and Justice Dinner in Iowa. 
  • Julián Castro is airing a new ad in Iowa comparing his policies to Trump’s as part of a $50,000 ad buy.
  • Bernie Sanders is airing “Fight for Us,” his first television ad in New Hampshire. The ad will run for two weeks and is part of a $1 million ad buy.
  • Andrew Yang is also spending $1 million on his first ad in Iowa, “New Way Forward.”

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Emmy Ruiz is a Democratic campaign staffer with experience in California, Nevada, and Texas. Ruiz is a partner at consulting firm NEWCO Strategies. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in English language and literature in 2006.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Hillary Clinton (D) presidential campaign, Colorado and Nevada state director
  • 2012 Barack Obama (D) presidential campaign, Nevada general election director
  • 2008 Hillary Clinton (D) presidential campaign, canvass director and regional field director

Other experience:

  • 2019: NEWCO Strategies, partner
  • 2013-2014: Annie’s List, political director
  • 2013: Organizing for Action, comprehensive immigration reform campaign manager
  • 2012-2013: Obama Inaugural Committee Office of Public Engagement, deputy director
  • 2011-2012: Organizing for America, Nevada field director
  • 2009-2011: Democratic National Committee, Texas field director
  • 2011: U.S. Agency for International Development, Yes Youth Can field consultant
  • 2008-2010: Young Democrats of America, national field manager
  • 2006-2007: American Red Cross, development coordinator/grant writer

What We’re Reading

Flashback: November 4-8, 2015

  • November 4, 2015: Ben Carson topped the RealClearPolitics polling average for the first time. Donald Trump previously held the first position for 107 days.
  • November 5, 2015: Bernie Sanders signed a joint fundraising agreement with the Democratic National Committee.
  • November 6, 2015: Reps. Kristi Noem and Mike Pompeo endorsed Marco Rubio.
  • November 7, 2015: Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live on NBC.
  • November 8, 2015:  Joan Kato replaced Jim Farrell as Bernie Sanders’ Nevada state director.


How many noteworthy candidates were running for president at this point in the 2016 election?

  1. Eight→
  2. Fourteen→
  3. Twenty→
  4. Twenty-six→