Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: January 11-17, 2020

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.

State Spotlight

Notable Quotes of the Week

“To better understand which candidates did well or poorly Tuesday night, we plotted how favorably respondents rated the candidates before the debate vs. how debate-watchers rated candidates’ performances afterward — and Elizabeth Warren, in particular, seemed to have a breakout evening according to this metric. She not only received the highest marks for her debate performance, but her scores were high even relative to her pre-debate favorability rating.

That said, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden also received medium-to-high marks for their performances, but because of their relatively high pre-debate favorability ratings, we expected a lot of voters to already be predisposed to viewing their debate performances in a positive light. So while they still did pretty well on the debate stage, they didn’t exceed expectations the way Warren did. Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer, on the other hand, tied for the lowest overall debate grades, putting them only barely above where we’d expect them to be given their pre-debate favorability ratings.”

– Aaron Bycoffe, Sarah Frostenson, and Julia Wolfe, FiveThirtyEight

“Voters will head to the polls to cast the first in-person ballots in the Democratic presidential primary season on Friday — but not in Iowa’s famous first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Thanks to generous early-voting laws, Iowa’s neighbor to the north, Minnesota, has the distinction of offering the first chance for any voter to turn out and cast a ballot in the 2020 presidential campaign. …

Minnesota’s early voting is a reminder that even though most observers are counting down until Iowa, some votes will be cast before then, no matter what strategies or surprises the candidates and the political fates have in store during the next few weeks.”

– Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC News

Week in Review

Impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins

The impeachment trial of Donald Trump began on Thursday after the impeachment managers from the U.S. House of Representatives presented two articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate.

Chief Justice John Roberts and 99 senators—including Michael BennetAmy KlobucharBernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren— were sworn in.

Democrats debate childcare, healthcare in Iowa

Six Democratic presidential candidates debated Tuesday night in Iowa: Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren.

The candidates discussed foreign policy, trade, electability, healthcare, childcare, climate change, and impeachment. Warren had the most speaking time at 18.9 minutes. Steyer spoke the least at 12.4 minutes.

For highlights from the debate for each candidate, click here.

Booker ends presidential campaign

Cory Booker ended his presidential campaign on Monday. “Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win—money we don’t have, and money that is harder to raise because I won’t be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington,” he said in a statement.

Bloomberg meets with Democratic lawmakers, nets three congressional endorsements this week

Michael Bloomberg met with members of the Congressional Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, and Black caucuses on Thursday. He also spoke with representatives in the New Democrats and Blue Dog Coalition.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), the co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, and Rep. Harley Rouda (Calif.) endorsed Bloomberg on Thursday and Friday, respectively.

He received his first congressional endorsement from Rep. Max Rose (N.Y.) on Monday.

Three sets of Iowa results will be released

The Iowa Democratic Party will release three election results following the Feb. 3 caucuses: the number of delegates each candidate received, the first vote of caucusgoers, and the final vote that features only viable candidates who crossed the 15 percent threshold after caucusgoers realigned their votes in the caucus process.

In the past, only the delegate totals were made public.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Analilia Mejia is a government and political affairs strategist with experience in union and worker advocacy and organizing primarily in the New Jersey area. Mejia received her bachelor’s degree as well as two master’s degrees—public policy and labor relations—from Rutgers University.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2012: New Jersey Democratic State Committee, Latino vote director
  • 2009: New Jersey Democratic State Committee, deputy Latino vote director

Other experience:

  • 2014-2019: New Jersey Working Families Alliance, executive director
  • 2009-2014: Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
    • 2011-2014: Political director (New Jersey; multi-state northern region), SEIU Local 32BJ
    • 2009-2011: Assistant director of politics and policy, SEIU
  • 2007-2009: UNITE HERE, assistant political director (Chicago)
  • 2003-2007: New Jersey Immigration Policy Network, director of policy and government affairs

What she says about Sanders: “No other candidate has consistently fought for organized labor as a building block for the middle class like @BernieSanders Period. Full stop. #UnionStrong”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: January 13-17, 2016

  • January 13, 2016: As part of a $4.6 million ad buy, Jeb Bush released an ad focused on drug policy and his daughter’s experience with addiction.
  • January 14, 2016: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump participated in a Fox Business Network primary debate in South Carolina. Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum met in the undercard debate.
  • January 15, 2016: Lindsey Graham endorsed Jeb Bush.
  • January 16, 2016: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz spoke at the South Carolina Tea Party Conference.
  • January 17, 2016: Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders participated in the fourth Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina.

Trivia Corner

What is the latest month in which a major party held a presidential nominating convention?