Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: November 9-15, 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

Notable Quotes of the Week

“The party could well be too capacious to coalesce around any single candidate with sufficient intensity to take down President Trump.

The Democratic electorate is extremely broad in ideological terms. During the last presidential cycle, a lifelong socialist independent who joined the Democrats only to compete for the party’s nomination managed to come in a strong second place to a center-left candidate fully supported by the Democratic establishment. Four years later, a billionaire who’s most accurately described as a liberal Republican is attracting modest but significant support among a very different kind of Democrat before he’s even officially joined the race.

The distance separating Bernie Sanders from Michael Bloomberg is impossibly vast. Yet those are the ideological boundaries of the Democratic Party in 2019.”

– Damon LinkerThe Week

“As the 2020 election approaches, both parties are sinking money and time into college campuses, driven by the idea that students—often dismissed as low-turnout layabouts—could have a huge effect in a tight race in a swing state. The mega-campuses of the Brobdingnagian public universities and community colleges in states like Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania are sometimes called ‘battleground campuses’ by organizers and activists on the ground. ‘In an election that could come down to a point or two either way in Arizona or Wisconsin, turning out voters at ASU, University of Wisconsin-Madison and other college campuses in these states could easily make the difference,’ said Andrew Baumann, a pollster for Global Strategy Group, a consulting firm that spent 2018 trying to figure out what makes the would-be college voter tick for Tom Steyer’s NextGen.”

– Kyle SpencerPolitico

Week in Review

Patrick joins 2020 presidential race, brings Democratic field back up to 18 candidates

Deval Patrick announced he was entering the Democratic presidential primary on Thursday. While he filed for the New Hampshire state primary ahead of its Friday deadline, Patrick missed earlier filing deadlines in Alabama and Arkansas.

He will campaign in California and Nevada over the weekend.

Bloomberg launches $100M anti-Trump campaign in battleground states

Michael Bloomberg is spending $100 million on digital ads critical of Donald Trump through the end of the primary season. The ad campaign will begin Friday in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. 

Bloomberg has still not formally declared his candidacy, although he has filed for the ballot in Arkansas and Alabama. Michigan also included Bloomberg in its initial list of candidates for the presidential primary ballot.

Public hearings begin in impeachment inquiry

Public hearings began in the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump on Wednesday with testimony from U.S. diplomat William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent.

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is testifying Friday.

The Trump re-election campaign raised $3.1 million in small-dollar donations during the first day of hearings.

Sanford drops Republican primary challenge to Trump

Mark Sanford ended his presidential campaign on Tuesday. “I don’t think on the Republican side there is any appetite for a nuanced conversation on issues when there’s an impeachment overhead,” Sanford said.

In addition to Trump, three notable Republicans remain in the race: Roque De La FuenteJoe Walsh, and Bill Weld. De La Fuente and Weld both made the ballot in Alabama and Arkansas. 

Ten Democrats qualify for November primary debate

Ten candidates qualified for the fifth Democratic primary debate: Joe Biden, Cory BookerPete ButtigiegTulsi GabbardKamala HarrisAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom SteyerElizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.

The debate will take place at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta on Nov. 20. MSNBC and The Washington Post are hosting the event with Andrea Mitchell, Rachel Maddow, Kristen Welker, and Ashley Parker moderating.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Tamia Booker is a Democratic staffer with experience in outreach and engagement. Her prior experience includes work on two presidential campaigns and as deputy chief of staff to Sen. Booker (to whom she is not related). Booker graduated from Florida A&M University with a degree in political science and Spanish in 2005.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Hillary Clinton (D) presidential campaign, national African American outreach director
  • 2008 Barack Obama (D) presidential campaign, youth vote director

Other experience:

  • 2017-2019: Office of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), deputy chief of staff
  • 2016: Democratic National Convention Committee, director of constituency and allied groups engagement
  • 2010-2015: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of External Affairs, associate director
  • 2008-2010: College Democrats of America, executive director

What We’re Reading

Flashback: November 12-15, 2015

  • November 12, 2015: According to an analysis of SMG Delta advertising numbers, Jeb Bush and his supporters were more than doubling the television ad spending of his nearest competitor, Marco Rubio.
  • November 13, 2015: Hillary Clinton led the Democratic field in an early superdelegate count by the Associated Press with at least 359 superdelegates.
  • November 14, 2015: The second Democratic presidential primary debate was held with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley participating.
  • November 15, 2015: Several presidential candidates discussed terrorism in interviews following the Paris terrorist attacks.


How many counties backed Donald Trump in 2016 after backing Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012?