2020 Campaign

Democrats Will Recommend Changes to Primary System

“A Democratic Party working group will meet in Washington, D.C. today and tomorrow to finalize a formal list of recommended reforms for the party,” ABC News reports.

“Sources close to the commission who have seen working drafts of its current report tell ABC News the panel plans to recommend dramatic cuts to the individual voting power of superdelegates and new rules around caucuses and primaries to improve access for voters and recordkeeping.”

Nate Silver: “Eliminating most unbound superdelegates + highly proportional delegate allocation + potentially huge Democratic field = high probability of a brokered convention.”

Gutierrez Weighs Possible Presidential Bid

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who announced this week that he will not run for re-election, told Politico that he is not retiring and is thinking about running for president in 2020.

Said Gutierrez: “I will be reaching out to people across the country. I am going to take the steps to guarantee FEC regulations and rules about campaign financing, first and foremost, make sure I’m following the law…  I want to build something national.”

Gutiérrez said he and his wife plan to tour the country over the next six months.

Trump Is Giving Elizabeth Warren the Perfect Platform

James Hohmann: “Trump campaigned like a populist but governs like a plutocrat. Warren finds herself increasingly well positioned to prosecute that case for Democrats. The effort to dismantle the agency she dreamed up personally pains her, and she pledges to fight tirelessly to protect it, but Mulvaney’s takeover also offers a compelling political rationale to build a 2020 campaign around — if she chooses.”

“Many of the white working-class folks who turned out for Trump across the industrial Midwest did so because they believed he was so wealthy that he could thumb his nose at fat-cat bankers. They took him at his word that he’d be tougher on the big banks and the billionaire class than Hillary Clinton because he didn’t need to give paid speeches or raise money from them for his foundation. With a White House full of Goldman Sachs alumni, the reality has not matched the rhetoric. The GOP tax plan offers additional data points.”

Also worth mentioning: “Trump seems fixated, even obsessed, with Warren. He mentions her all the time.”

Sanders Makes Moves Towards Possible 2020 Bid

“Bernie Sanders is taking steps to address longstanding political shortcomings that were exposed in 2016, ahead of another possible presidential bid in 2020,” Politico reports.

“From forging closer ties to the labor movement to shoring up his once-flimsy foreign policy credentials, the moves have provided the senator inroads into party power structures that largely shunned him in favor of Hillary Clinton last year. They’ve also empowered the progressive icon to harness his newfound political power and help Democrats fight President Trump’s administration.”

Garcetti Is Serious About Running for President

New York Times: “And in the course of an hourlong interview in his office, Mr. Garcetti, 46, a Democrat, made clear that, as unlikely as it might sound, he is considering a run for president, after announcing he would not run for governor… Mr. Garcetti’s attempt to test these waters — and the fact that he is being watched with some seriousness despite never running a national or even statewide campaign before — may say less about this city’s mayor and more about the national political landscape.”

“The success of Mr. Trump, a business executive who had never run for office before, appears to have lowered the bar on the qualifications needed to run for the White House. And the Democratic Party is grappling with a sparse bench of candidates — many of its brightest prospects are in their 70s, like Joe Biden, the former vice president, or are relatively young and little known, like Mr. Garcetti.”

Kaine Calls for End of Superdelegates

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) is urging the DNC to end its tradition of using superdelegates, Politico reports.

Said Kaine: “I have long believed there should be no superdelegates. These positions are given undue influence in the popular nominating contest and make the process less democratic.”

“The plea from Kaine — himself a former DNC chairman, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, and a superdelegate — puts him on the side of many backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary opponent in last year’s race for the White House.”

Biden Leads Trump In Possible 2020 Race

In a prospective 2020 match up, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Trump in a possible presidential race, 46% to 35%.

“Biden’s 11-point margin is actually smaller than the poll’s previous question, in which voters are asked whether they will vote to reelect Trump, or for a generic Democrat. The generic Democrat leads Trump, 48 percent to 34 percent, the poll shows.”

Cuomo Bypasses Small Donors

New York Times: “At $25 million and counting, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) sits atop the largest tower of campaign contributions of any Democratic politician in America, but this monument to his prodigious fund-raising strength also reveals one of his greatest vulnerabilities, especially if he harbors presidential ambitions. He has virtually no small donors.”

“Since the beginning of 2015, Mr. Cuomo has raised more than 99 percent of his campaign money from donations larger than $1,000 and nearly 99.9 percent of his funds from donors who gave at least $200, according to an analysis by The New York Times. At one point last year, Mr. Cuomo went six months without reporting a single individual donor who gave less than $200.”

Biden Not Sure About Running In 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden “says he’s uncertain about a run for president in 2020, but he indicates he’s looking for fresh blood to lead the Democratic Party,” the AP reports.

Said Biden: “I’m just not sure it’s the appropriate thing for me to do.”

He added: “We gotta turn this ship around… I’d much prefer to be helping someone turn it around than being the guy trying to turn it around.”

Bannon Has Urged Cuban to Run for President

Mark Cuban has discussed the possibility of running for president in 2020 with Steve Bannon over the past few months, the Daily Beast reports.

Axios: “Bannon wants to break down the entrenched political system, so he might view Cuban — with his mix of social liberalism and Ayn Rand devotion — as someone he could work with on the left. And while it might seem odd that Bannon would seemingly work against Trump, don’t forget that he told Vanity Fair last month that he only gives his boss a 30% chance of lasting a full term.”

Two Mayors Who Want to Run for President

Mike Allen: “Here’s something unusual and refreshing: There are two highly ambitious Democrats who don’t even bother hiding their strong desire to run in 2020 — and to reshape the party: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.”

“When I asked top Dem donors and operatives about candidates like these, the consistent answer was that for the first time in our lifetimes, D.C. experience may be a vulnerability rather than an asset when running for president.”

Said one Democratic operative: “Mayors are fantastic. They actually do things, and that really energizes them. They don’t talk like D.C. types or cautious governors who have to wrangle with state legislatures. They tend to love their jobs and people really like them. It’s the one level of government in which Dems have a huge advantage and a deep well of talent.”

Kasich Is Already Running for President Again

New York Magazine: “Kasich 2020 is not just a media proposition. Kasich is a sitting governor exploring a run against a president of his own party — a starkly unusual circumstance. He retains a skeletal campaign staff, and they are helping him to think through his options: Should he run as a Republican in the primaries or as an Independent in the general election?”

“A primary run is plausible, strategists say, if Trump’s approval ratings among Republicans fall below the high 70s, where they’ve been, and Democrats prevail during the midterms, signaling a loosening of the stranglehold of the far-right base on the party. A third-party run is optimal if the major-party candidates represent ideological extremes. Kasich has not declared he’s running, and everyone I spoke to preempted their hypotheticals with caveats. In the Trump era, two years is an eternity…. But among the party’s intelligentsia, all agree there is a common wish that the White House be occupied by a different Republican.”

Mercers Go After Elizabeth Warren

Boston Globe: “This time the attacks are coming from someone new: Robert Mercer, a New York billionaire who is trying to remake American politics and who bankrolled former Trump chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s Republican revolution.”

“Mercer’s methods are anything but subtle. One political operative described Mercer’s approach to politics as a ‘trail of tears’ tactic, a reference to President Andrew Jackson’s forced removal of Native Americans from their homelands.”

“Given political realities — including Warren’s massive fund-raising advantage and Massachusetts’ liberal status — Mercer’s intent isn’t really to defeat her in the 2018 Senate race, according to three people with knowledge of the family’s intentions. Instead, Robert Mercer and his politically minded middle daughter Rebekah have a longer term goal: They want to sand down some of Warren’s gloss ahead of an expected presidential campaign in 2020.”