Labor dispute leaves Democratic debate in limbo

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
December 16, 2019: All seven candidates who qualified for the Dec. 19 debate said they would not cross picket lines to participate in the event. Michael Bloomberg opened his first state headquarters in North Carolina.        

There are seven new candidates running since last week, including one Democrat and one Green. In total, 993 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quote of the Day

“Trump is impervious to everything, good or bad. He just stays at 41.7 [approval rating]. I don’t care how many good stories about the economy come, I don’t care about how many bad stories come, it still comes up 41.7.”

– James Carville, Democratic strategist


  • The seven candidates who qualified for the Dec. 19 primary debate—Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom SteyerElizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang—and Cory Booker and Julián Castro signed a letter calling on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to lower its debate qualification rules. The letter said the requirements had unintentionally excluded diverse candidates.
  • DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said on Saturday that the qualification rules were extremely low. She continued, “The DNC will not change the threshold for any one candidate and will not revert back to two consecutive nights with more than a dozen candidates.”
  • All seven candidates who qualified have also said they will not participate in the debate at Loyola Marymount University—where a labor dispute is taking place—if it means crossing the picket line.
  • WBUR is airing an episode of On Point featuring Michael Bennet on Monday.
  • Biden issued his gun safety plan along with a statement on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting on Saturday. He said he would repeal a federal law preventing gun manufacturers from being subject to civil liability, require background checks for all gun sales, and incentivize states to enact red flag laws, among other policies.
  • Michael Bloomberg opened his first state headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sunday.
  • Booker issued his education plan on Friday, calling for a $200 billion investment in school infrastructure, pay increases for teachers in high-poverty districts, and support for high-quality public charter schools.
  • Buttigieg attended several fundraisers on Saturday and Sunday in Seattle.
  • Castro, who had reportedly missed the deadline to appear on Virginia’s state primary ballot last week, was initially left off the list of filed candidates because of missing paperwork. Castro’s filing was sent to the Democratic Party of Virginia according to state Elections Commissioner Chris Piper.
  • Tulsi Gabbard spoke at the Spratt Issues Conference in Greenville, New Hampshire, on Saturday.
  • Deval Patrick will make his seventh trip to New Hampshire on Monday with a town hall in Manchester.
  • Sanders will hold a rally in Coachella Valley, California, on Monday.
  • Marianne Williamson is holding an event with Deepak Chopra at the New York Society for Ethical Culture on Monday.


  • Donald Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and other senior advisers gave a presentation on Thursday in Arlington on the Trump campaign’s re-election strategy, including remaking state parties and targeting smaller counties in swing states.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: December 16, 2015

Investor Warren Buffett endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Click here to learn more.