Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: December 7-13, 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 14 new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats, three Republicans, and two Libertarians. In total, 986 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“There’s always a risk in any campaign, when two candidates go after each other and go after each other hard, it lets a third or fourth candidate rise because voters get sick of the attacks. In 2004, it was a big back and forth between Dean and Gephardt, and Kerry rose from behind and just ran up the middle and surprised everyone.”

– Steve Elmendorf, Democratic adviser

“Strange things happen at contested conventions. At the last such Democratic confab in 1952, the nominee was neither the front-runner, Sen. Estes Kefauver, nor Vice President Alben Barkley, ostensibly supported by President Harry S. Truman. Instead, on the third ballot, Democrats nominated Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson II.

Party elders felt that only Stevenson could keep Northern and Southern Democrats united, and had tried unsuccessfully to draft him to run. Only after a platform fight about civil rights; a disastrous meeting between Mr. Barkley and labor leaders; and wrangling over a loyalty oath aimed at Southern Democrats that threatened to fracture the party, as happened in 1948, did Stevenson reluctantly agree to run. Truman then arrived in Chicago and ordered some of the candidates out of the contest and favorite-son delegations to swing to the Illinois governor. The party left largely unified and mostly happy.

It is hard to see any of the Democratic ex-presidents playing Truman’s calming role in 2020.”

– Karl Rove, Republican political consultant

Week in Review

Seven Democrats qualify for December debate, down from 10 in November

Seven Democrats qualified for the sixth presidential primary debate on Dec. 19: Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom SteyerElizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.

Two candidates who participated in the Nov. 20 debate will be missing from the stage: Cory BookerTulsi Gabbard, and Kamala Harris, who withdrew earlier this month.

Thursday’s debate will take place at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in Los Angeles. PBS NewsHour and Politico are hosting the event with Judy Woodruff, Tim Alberta, Amna Nawaz, and Yamiche Alcindor moderating.

Six more primary debates are planned in 2020. The Democratic National Committee announced on Thursday the timing and location of the next four:

  • Jan. 14, 2020 (Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Feb. 7, 2020 (Manchester, New Hampshire)
  • Feb. 19, 2020 (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Feb. 25, 2020 (Charleston, South Carolina)

House Judiciary Committee approves two articles of impeachment against Trump

House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment charging Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Tuesday. Following a full day of hearings on Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee approved both articles on Friday by a party-line vote of 23-17.

A full House vote is expected next week before Congress goes on recess for the holidays.

Bloomberg builds campaign infrastructure, donates $10 million to House Democrats

Since launching his campaign in late November, Michael Bloomberg has hired 200 employees at his campaign headquarters in Manhattan and nearly 100 staffers across 15 states.

He also announced this week that he is donating $10 million to House Majority PAC to support House Democrats being targeted for supporting the impeachment inquiry.

South Carolina, Hawaii will not hold Republican primaries

Circuit Judge Jocelyn Newman upheld on Wednesday the South Carolina Republican Party’s decision to cancel its 2020 presidential primary.

The Hawaii Republican Party also canceled its presidential primary and committed its 19 convention delegates to Donald Trump.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Kayleigh McEnany is a Republican staffer with media and presidential and gubernatorial campaign experience. McEnany graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Harvard Law School.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2006 Tom Gallagher (R-Fla.) gubernatorial campaign, intern
  • 2004 George W. Bush presidential campaign, intern

Other experience:

  • 2017-2019: Republican National Committee, spokesperson
  • 2016-2017: CNN, contributor
  • 2011-2016: Various news networks, political commentator
  • 2010-12: Mike Huckabee Show, producer

What We’re Reading

Flashback: December 9-13, 2015

  • December 9, 2015: According to Facebook’s year in review, the 2016 presidential election was the most talked about topic on the platform. Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders were the second-, fourth-, and fifth-most talked about politicians, respectively.
  • December 10, 2015: The New England Police Benevolent Association, a union of police and corrections officers, endorsed Donald Trump.
  • December 11, 2015: New Day for America, a pro-John Kasich super PAC, released a digital ad criticizing Donald Trump’s steak business.
  • December 12, 2015: Hillary Clinton applauded the adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, while Bernie Sanders said it did not go far enough.
  • December 13, 2015: CNN announced the lineup for the final Republican debate of the year. Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump qualified for the primetime debate. Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, and Rick Santorum were scheduled to participate in the undercard debate.


Since 1900, which state has backed the Republican presidential candidate in the most elections?

Click here to learn more.