Tuesday, July 2, 2019


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If You Read Just One Quote About the Biden-Harris Feud….

Politico: “’I think they believe that their victory hinges upon the establishment believing he’s the only candidate that can beat Trump,’ a Harris adviser said of Biden’s camp. ‘If that starts to unravel then the game is up.’”

My take: Give that quote zero Pinocchios

Under normal political physics, if Candidate A effectively attacks the frontrunner, the frontrunner is wounded — but Candidate A is not necessarily the beneficiary.  In this case, the early polling and media coverage suggest that Candidate A (Kamala Harris) is in fact benefiting, because the attack was skillfully done, sheathed in the story of Harris-as-a-young-girl, and played into the media’s current favorite Biden meme (that he’s a man out of time).

If You Want to Understand What Keeps Biden Afloat With the Establishment…

Read this Jerry Seib Wall Street Journal column.

My take: Winning the general election basically involves winning back Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Establishment Democrats and columnists believe Biden can beat the president in those three places. Until another candidate convinces the establishment Biden isn’t the only game in town in those three states, Biden will continue to win the elite electability argument.

If You Look at Just One Number in the CNN Poll Besides the Biden Drop…

The Gang of Four candidates (Biden, Harris, Warren, and Sanders) account for 68% of the total vote in a field of two dozen.

My take: There are now, barring an amazing Biden resurgence, two scenarios.  In one scenario, Biden holds onto around 20%-30% of the vote nationally and in the key states, making it very difficult for anyone to break the Gang of Four’s hold on the first tier.  Also under this scenario, Biden can stay the quasi-frontrunner, albeit a weak one, until one of the other three consistently passes him in the polls. That would require breaking his hold on certain demographic groups.

In the other scenario, Biden continues to drop.

In that second scenario, the question is begged: does the bulk of the support Biden loses go to one of the other members of the Gang of Four, or can Pete Buttigieg or someone else harvest enough of it to move into the first tier?

Under the current dynamics and math of the race, the former is more likely than the latter.  However, if you consider the $25 million that Mayor Pete raised in the second quarter, both online and via bundling, you would have to add…

If You Want to Remind Yourself About One Thing Regarding How Elections Work…

Remember that campaigning and candidates matter.

My take: Getting a big pot of money drives 36 hours of positive news coverage. Now we have to see if Team Pete can spend the money in a way that actually allows him to rise.  Biden must maintain his national footprint to stay afloat as the national frontrunner. That means he can’t camp out in the Hawkeye State.

Right now, for Buttigieg (and many of the other candidates in the race), beating Biden in Iowa is the most rational and linear way to try to win the nomination.   Watch to see who has the discipline to focus on campaigning and organizing enough in Iowa this summer to be in a position to beat or wound Biden there.  Key to recall: Biden did so poorly in Iowa in 2008 that he dropped out of the race.

If You Want to Know the Status of US-North Korea Disarmament Talks….

Read this New York Times news story and this David Ignatius’ column.

My take: Trump wants a deal; Kim wants a deal; South Korea wants a deal; Pompeo wants to get Trump what he wants; Trump’s special envoy for the negotiations, Steve Biegun, wants to use flexibility to get a deal; John Bolton will hurl his body in front of any attempt to get a deal that allows the North to maintain the development of nuclear weapons coupled with long-range missile technology. 

There is momentum towards a deal, but an agreement is still far, far away and more likely to not happen than happen.


Top sports story: Tyler Skaggs, 27-year-old Angels pitcher, dies in Texas
ESPN

Top business story: Markets lose steam as Trump threatens to open a European front in the trade war
Reuters

Top entertainment story: Taylor Swift’s battle for her masters splits the musical community
Yahoo Entertainment


Big Four

Iowa

Candidates flock to Iowa for Fourth of July celebrations after Florida debates.

In Iowa, Amy Klobuchar uses her stump speech to criticize President Trump.

Ice Cream Social(ist): Sanders visits Tuesday, opens office Wednesday.

Kim Reynolds: ‘I won’t be the governor to’ legalize marijuana in Iowa.


New Hampshire

Law expands protections for juvenile sex-trafficking victims.


Nevada

New Nevada law restores right to vote for ex-felons.


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