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Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: February 8-14, 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.        

Notable Quotes of the Week

“A basic rule of presidential primaries is that the more quickly the field winnows, the sooner the eventual winner can reach the majority of delegates necessary to win the nomination.

We’ve seen a version of this before.

In 2016, a charismatic New Yorker with a devoted following nearly won the Iowa caucuses and won New Hampshire. A divided field kept voters from uniting around a single alternative. And his rivals remained in the race well into the spring.

His name? Donald J. Trump.”

– Lisa LererThe New York Times

“What it really comes down to is the number of candidates splintering the vote. If this number of candidates sticks around and through Super Tuesday and March 10, it just becomes almost a mathematical certainty that no one can claim a majority of delegates by July. It’s just math.”

– Addisu Demissie, former Booker presidential campaign manager

Week in Review

Sanders, Trump win New Hampshire primary

Bernie Sanders won the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday night with 25.7% of the vote. Pete Buttigieg received 24.4% and Amy Klobuchar 19.8%. No other candidate received more than 10% of the vote.

Democratic candidates must cross a 15% threshold to be allocated pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Sanders and Buttigieg each received nine delegates; Klobuchar earned six.

Donald Trump won the Republican primary with 85.6% support. He was allocated all 22 of the state’s delegates. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld came in second with 9.1% of the vote.

Seven Democrats debate electability, healthcare in New Hampshire

Seven Democratic presidential candidates debated last Friday night in Manchester, New Hampshire: Joe BidenPete ButtigiegAmy KlobucharBernie SandersTom SteyerElizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.

The candidates discussed electability, healthcare, impeachment, foreign policy, drug policy, gun policy, the Supreme Court, race, and climate change. Sanders had the most speaking time at 20.1 minutes. Yang spoke the least at 8.1 minutes.

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

Iowa caucus update

Following the Iowa caucuses, the state Democratic Party projected Pete Buttigieg will win 14 pledged delegates, Bernie Sanders 12, Elizabeth Warren eight, Joe Biden six, and Amy Klobuchar one.

Sanders, who won the popular vote, requested a partial recanvass of the results in 25 precincts and three satellite caucuses. Buttigieg also requested a partial recanvass, saying it would result in a net increase of 14 state delegate equivalents for him.

The Iowa Democratic Party will begin a partial recanvass of the caucus results on Sunday.

Bennet, Yang, Patrick end presidential campaigns

Following the New Hampshire primaryMichael Bennet and Andrew Yang ended their presidential campaigns on Tuesday night.

Bennet said, “I love our country. I love the idea of democracy. And I want to pass it on to the next generation. I feel nothing but joy tonight as we conclude this campaign and this chapter. Tonight wasn’t our night. But New Hampshire, you may see me once again.

Yang said in a speech to supporters, “While there is great work left to be done, you know I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race. I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win.”

Deval Patrick ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday. He said in a statement that  “the vote in New Hampshire last night was not enough for us to create the practical wind at the campaign’s back to go on to the next round of voting.”

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Jamal Brown is a Democratic staffer with experience in political communications. Brown graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government and women’s and gender studies in 2008. He has no previous election campaign experience.

Other experience:

  • 2018-2019: The School of the New York Times, marketing consultant
  • 2018-2019: When We All Vote, director of regional press
  • 2017-2019: Civic Advisors, strategic communications consultant
  • 2017: Civitas Public Affairs Group, senior associate
  • 2011-2016: The White House Office of Management and Budget
    • 2015-2016: Press secretary
    • 2014-2015: Deputy press secretary
    • 2012-2014: Assistant press secretary
    • 2011-2012: Confidential assistant
    • 2011: Intern
  • 2009-2011: MassEquality, member of the board of directors
  • 2008-2011: GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, senior legal assistant

What he says about Biden: “I am thrilled and honored to work for someone with a clear and established progressive record on a range of issues, including climate change, criminal justice, violence against women, marriage equality, gun control and more. To work for an individual who has not only dedicated their life to public service but [is] a leader who can admit when they’re wrong, and take the necessary steps to course correct, is rare.”

What We’re Reading

Flashback: February 10-14, 2016

  • February 10, 2016: Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie suspended their presidential campaigns after finishing outside of the top five candidates in the New Hampshire Republican primary.
  • February 11, 2016: The Congressional Black Caucus PAC endorsed Hillary Clinton.
  • February 12, 2016: Jim Gilmore ended his presidential campaign.
  • February 13, 2016: Six Republicans participated in the ninth presidential primary debate in South Carolina.
  • February 14, 2016: The presidential candidates reacted to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the vacancy on the court.

Since 1976, how many presidential candidates have won the New Hampshire primary and their party’s nomination after losing the Iowa caucuses?

Special guest analysis

Jim Ellis is a 35-year political veteran who now analyzes election data for major corporations, associations, and legislative advocacy firms. He is president of EllisInsight, LLC. We invited him to share analysis on the presidential election.

While Hawkeye State voters attended meetings in 1,765 precincts and submitted their first- and second-round ballots as instructed, the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) organizers experienced a major reporting system breakdown that delayed counting and verification for a period of days. At the end of the week, the IDP was able to release vote totals even though Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez was publicly calling for them to recount every ballot because of what he claimed were potential tabulation errors.

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is being credited with the win because he scored a razor-thin 26.2 to 26.1% edge in State Delegate Equivalents even though Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recorded 6,103 more votes than Buttigieg on the first ballot and 2,568 more on the second, or vote alignment, round. The quirk in the rules—which, much like the Electoral College, weighs larger population areas with a greater delegate composition—allowed the media to crown Buttigieg the winner, but it is Sanders who actually attracted the greater number of votes.

In the Iowa system, the caucus attendees vote for president, but in doing so they elect delegates to the Iowa Democratic Convention, which will be held June 13. At that time, the elected delegates will assign the state’s 41 Democratic National Convention delegates. The initial projection suggests that Buttigieg will receive 14 national delegates, Sanders 12, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) 8, former Vice President Joe Biden 6, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) one.

What we do know is that the five candidates advancing into New Hampshire with Iowa delegates are very much alive to compete for the nomination. On the outside, former New York City Michael Bloomberg appears as the sixth candidate with the financial ability to compete to the end, but it’s unclear as to whether he can amass anything close to a majority within the state delegate counts.

Perhaps the luckiest candidate in the Iowa field is Mr. Biden. His fourth-place finish with half the votes Sanders garnered was highly disappointing and well below expectations.  With the Iowa vote now lacking credibility, however, he can escape, to a degree, from what would otherwise have been a potentially major momentum setback. A rebound in New Hampshire and then Nevada is now a must for his campaign.

The Iowa result, after more than a year of campaigning for these candidates, is anticlimactic and now endangers the state from continuing to have a prominent nomination position in future elections. Tonight’s New Hampshire primary could produce an equally tight finish. Considering the Iowa debacle, it looks like the campaign will now begin in earnest in the Granite State.

Click here to learn more.



Democrats expand operations in Nevada, South Carolina

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
February 14, 2020: Democrats are sending additional staffers to Nevada and South Carolina. The Las Vegas Sun and The Las Vegas Weekly endorsed both Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar.


Daily Presidential News Briefing, Staffer Spotlight - Jamal Brown

Jamal Brown is a Democratic staffer with experience in political communications. Brown graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government and women’s and gender studies in 2008. He has no previous election campaign experience.

Other experience:

  • 2018-2019: The School of the New York Times, marketing consultant

  • 2018-2019: When We All Vote, director of regional press

  • 2017-2019: Civic Advisors, strategic communications consultant

  • 2017: Civitas Public Affairs Group, senior associate

  • 2011-2016: The White House Office of Management and Budget

    • 2015-2016: Press secretary

    • 2014-2015: Deputy press secretary

    • 2012-2014: Assistant press secretary

    • 2011-2012: Confidential assistant

    • 2011: Intern

  • 2009-2011: MassEquality, member of the board of directors

  • 2008-2011: GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, senior legal assistant

What he says about Biden: “I am thrilled and honored to work for someone with a clear and established progressive record on a range of issues, including climate change, criminal justice, violence against women, marriage equality, gun control and more. To work for an individual who has not only dedicated their life to public service but [is] a leader who can admit when they’re wrong, and take the necessary steps to course correct, is rare.”

Notable Quote of the Day

“What it really comes down to is the number of candidates splintering the vote. If this number of candidates sticks around and through Super Tuesday and March 10, it just becomes almost a mathematical certainty that no one can claim a majority of delegates by July. It’s just math.”

– Addisu Demissie, former Booker presidential campaign manager

Democrats

  • In a repeat of the 2016 election, the Nevada Culinary Workers Union declined to endorse any candidate in the Democratic primary. Union leaders criticized Medicare for All and called for more choice in healthcare.

  • Joe Biden held two fundraisers in New York City on Thursday, where he was expected to raise at least $1 million. He will campaign in Nevada Friday through Sunday, holding events in Henderson and Las Vegas. His campaign is sending nearly 50 additional staffers to Nevada and South Carolina, bringing the total number of staff in each state to 130 and 60, respectively.

  • Michael Bloomberg is airing “Cheryl,” a new ad focused on black-owned businesses, in network, cable, and local markets in 26 states. Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles endorsed Bloomberg on Thursday.

  • Pete Buttigieg is expanding his ground campaign to every Super Tuesday state beginning Monday. He also released “Primer Día,” a new Spanish-language ad, in Nevada.

  • Tulsi Gabbard is campaigning in Maine over the weekend, holding two town halls in Portland and Hallowell.

  • Amy Klobuchar is holding a town hall in Reno, Nevada, on Friday. The Las Vegas Sun and The Las Vegas Weekly endorsed both Biden and Klobuchar.

  • Bernie Sanders is holding three rallies in North Carolina and Texas on Friday. On Saturday, he will speak at a GOTV rally in Las Vegas and attend a Clark County Democratic Party event. He is also holding a campaign rally in Denver on Sunday.

  • Tom Steyer discussed coalition building in Nevada and South Carolina in an interview on CNN.

  • Elizabeth Warren is holding GOTC town halls in Las Vegas and Reno over the weekend. She issued a policy proposal to support low-income and underserved AAPI communities.

Republicans

  • The Donald Trump campaign and Republican National Committee raised $60.1 million in January. Trump will attend the Daytona 500 in Florida on Sunday.

Flashback: February 14, 2016

The presidential candidates reacted to the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the vacancy on the court.blank

Click here to learn more.



Buttigieg doubles Nevada staff, Sanders opens five Texas offices

 

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
February 13, 2020: Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are expanding their operations in Nevada and Texas, respectively. A partial recanvass of the Iowa caucus results will begin on Sunday.blankblankblank


Democratic Presidential Primary Delegate Count, 2020

Notable Quote of the Day

“While the numbers in New Hampshire are promising for Democrats, it is worth noting that the first-in-the-nation primary allows voters registered with neither party to vote in whichever primary they choose. With an uncompetitive primary on the Republican side, independent voters were free to vote in the Democratic primary.

Another caveat, as noted by FiveThirtyEight: In 2020, New Hampshire has around 89,000 more eligible voters than it did 12 years ago. That means 26 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in a primary this year, compared to 29 percent in the opening contest between Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards in 2008.”

– Adam Raymond, New York Magazine

Democrats

  • The Joe Biden campaign launched eight organizing groups in Florida on Wednesday focused on different demographic groups, including women, Latino, and Caribbean voters.

  • Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) endorsed Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.) endorsed Bloomberg on Thursday. The Bloomberg campaign is paying social media influencers to promote memes about his campaign.

  • Pete Buttigieg doubled his staff in Nevada to 100 employees. He also launched a new healthcare-focused ad in the state called “Your Choice.” California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis endorsed Buttigieg on Thursday.

  • Tulsi Gabbard is continuing to campaign in South Carolina with a town hall and roundtable scheduled Thursday.

  • Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and Rhode Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio endorsed Amy Klobuchar on Wednesday. Klobuchar is holding a town hall in Las Vegas on Thursday night.

  • Deval Patrick ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday. He said in a statement that  “the vote in New Hampshire last night was not enough for us to create the practical wind at the campaign’s back to go on to the next round of voting.”

  • The Bernie Sanders campaign is opening five offices across Texas beginning Thursday.

  • Tom Steyer will speak at the 2020 National Faith Forum in Las Vegas on Thursday.

  • The Elizabeth Warren campaign canceled more than $1 million in ads in Nevada and South Carolina and made a $67,000 ad buy in Maine.

  • The Iowa Democratic Party will begin a partial recanvass of the caucus results on Sunday, as requested by the Buttigieg and Sanders campaigns.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump made endorsements in three Republican congressional primaries in Texas on Wednesday.

  • The Atlantic profiled Bill Weldin an article titled “Why Bill Weld Is Really Running Against Trump.”

Flashback: February 13, 2016

Six Republicans participated in the ninth presidential primary debate in South Carolina.

Click here to learn more.



Virginia pilot program aims to reduce regulations

The Virginia General Assembly created a regulatory reduction pilot program in 2018 that aims to cut regulations in two state agencies by 25% before July 1, 2021. Both agencies cut regulations faster than planned, according to a progress report published in October 2019.

Under the program, the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) must reduce regulatory requirements and compliance costs by 25% by the 2021 deadline. Both agencies were ahead of the first year goal of eliminating 7.5% of their regulations. The DPOR and DCJS had cut regulations by 9.78% and 10.14%, respectively, as of October 1, 2019.

If the pilot agencies meet the 2021 deadline, the Virginia Secretary of Finance must write a report on the feasibility of adopting a 2-for-1 regulatory budget in the state. Under that budget, state agencies would have to streamline or repeal two existing regulations for every new one they create. President Donald Trump (R) issued a similar executive order at the federal level in January 2017. Executive Order 13771 included a requirement that agencies eliminate two old regulations for each new regulation issued.

Virginia Delegate Michael Webert (R) and Virginia Senator Amanda Chase (R) sponsored the legislation creating the program and Governor Ralph Northam (D) approved it on March 23, 2018.

To learn more about the Virginia General Assembly or other state approaches to address the administrative state, see here:
Additional reading:

Virginia Administrative Procedure Act

Click here to read the text of the law establishing the pilot program.
Click here to read the text of the 2019 progress report.


Arizona governor issues nation’s first 3-for-1 regulatory policy

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed an executive order on January 13, 2020, that requires state agencies to eliminate three existing regulations in order to issue a new regulation.

“If the government ever deems a new regulation absolutely necessary, it must first identify three others to eliminate,” said Ducey in his 2020 State of the State Address. “The result: New regulations will naturally mean less regulations.”

President Donald Trump (R) issued Executive Order 13771 in January 2017 that included a requirement for federal agencies to eliminate two old regulations for each new regulation issued.

Ducey’s executive order is the first state-level action to expand Trump’s 2-for-1 regulatory policy to a 3-for-1 regulatory policy. Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) issued an executive order that included the 2-for-1 regulatory mandate in January 2019 and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R) issued a similar executive order on February 3, 2020. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed a budget deal in July 2019 that included a comparable 2-for-1 regulatory requirement.

Ducey’s executive order also renewed a statewide moratorium on new agency rulemakings for the sixth year in a row. Exceptions to the moratorium must be approved by the governor and include rules aimed at “protecting public health or safety, advancing job creation or economic development, or reducing or eliminating burdens or government waste,” according to a press release from the governor.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:



Wisconsin Governor appoints White to Court of Appeals

 

On January 16, 2020, Judge Maxine White was appointed to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District 1, by Governor Tony Evers (D) to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former judge Joan Kessler. White took her seat on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals on February 7, 2020. She will serve the remainder of Evers term, which ends on July 31, 2021.

Before White was appointed to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, she served as the chief judge of Wisconsin’s First Judicial District and as presiding judge of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court’s Family Division. Before becoming a judge, White served as a legal advisor for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and as a manager for the Social Security Administration.

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals is the state’s intermediate appellate court. The court is composed of 16 judges from four districts. Selection of state court judges in Wisconsin occurs through nonpartisan elections. In the event of a midterm vacancy, the governor appoints a replacement.

Three Wisconsin Court of Appeals justices’ seats are up for election in 2020. A nonpartisan election is scheduled for April 7, 2020.

Click here to learn more.

Additional Reading:



Senate confirms four district court nominees; Trump appointments reach 192

The U.S. Senate confirmed four nominees to U.S. District Court judgeships. The Senate has confirmed 192 of President Trump’s Article III judicial nominees—two Supreme Court justices, 51 appellate court judges, 137 district court judges, and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges—since January 2017.

The confirmed nominees are:

  • Philip Halpern, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Halpern was confirmed on a 77-19 vote. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), one of Halpern’s home-state senators, voted against his confirmation. After Halpern receives his judicial commission and takes his judicial oath, the court will have three vacancies, 19 Democrat-appointed judges, and six Republican-appointed judges.
  • John Kness, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Kness was confirmed on an 81-12 vote. After he receives his judicial commission and takes his judicial oath, the court will have two vacancies, 13 Democrat-appointed judges, and seven Republican-appointed judges.
  • Matthew Schelp, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Schelp was confirmed on a vote of 72-23. After he receives his judicial commission and takes his judicial oath, the court will have no vacancies, five Democrat-appointed judges, and four Republican-appointed judges.
  • Joshua Kindred, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska. Kindred was confirmed on a 54-41 vote where Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined 52 Republicans to confirm the nominee. After he receives his judicial commission and takes his judicial oath, the court will have no vacancies, one Democrat-appointed judge, and two Republican-appointed judges.

There are 94 U.S. District Courts. They are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading:



Five Democratic candidates will debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday

The Democratic Party will hold its ninth presidential primary debate on Feb. 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada, three days before the state’s presidential caucuses take place.

Five candidates have already qualified for the debate: former Vice President Joe Biden, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. All five received at least one delegate following the Iowa caucuses.

Candidates can also qualify for the debate by receiving 10% support or more in four national, Nevada, and/or South Carolina polls. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has three of the necessary four polls.

Neither Rep. Tulsi Gabbard nor investor Tom Steyer has passed 3% in any eligible poll released between Jan. 15 and Feb. 18, the qualifying period for the event.

The debate, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC, will be held at the Paris Theater. Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Hallie Jackson, Vanessa Hauc, and Jon Ralston will moderate the event.

Democratic primary voters will have one last chance to see the candidates debate before the Super Tuesday primaries. The tenth debate will be held on Feb. 25 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Click here to learn more.

 



President Trump announces intent to nominate two Article III judgeships in New York

On February 12, 2020, President Donald Trump (R) announced his intent to nominate Jennifer Rearden to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Saritha Komatireddy to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Following nomination by the president, a federal judicial nominee completes a questionnaire that is reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee then holds a hearing to question the nominee regarding their judicial philosophy and their previous rulings. The committee also sends the nominee’s home state senators a blue slip, permitting them to express their approval or disapproval of the nominee.

After the hearing, the committee votes to approve or return the nominee. If approved, the nominee is reported to the full Senate for a vote. If returned, the president may renominate the person. If the Senate confirms the nomination, the individual receives commission to serve as a federal judge for a life term. If the individual is not confirmed, they do not become a judge.

The U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York are two of 94 U.S. District Courts. They are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system.

The president has announced 245 Article III judicial nominations since taking office on January 20, 2017. The president named 69 judicial nominees in 2017 and 92 in 2018.

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Additional reading:

 



Pennsylvania statewide filing deadline passes on February 18

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Pennsylvania is on February 18, 2020. In Pennsylvania, prospective candidates may file for the following federal and state offices:

• 18 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
• State auditor general, attorney general, and treasurer
• 25 seats in the Pennsylvania State Senate and 203 seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

The primary is scheduled for April 28, and the general election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Pennsylvania’s filing deadline is the 13th to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next statewide filing deadline is on March 2 in Nebraska.

Pennsylvania has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.

Click here to learn more.

Additional reading: