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Poll: Support for Warren Drops to Lowest Since August in White House Race

Support for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren dropped nationally to its lowest level in four months, and nearly one in three potential Democratic primary voters say they do not know which candidate to pick with the first nominating contests less than two months away, according to a Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a town hall meeting, during his “No Malarkey!” campaign bus tour at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, Dec. 4, 2019.Support dropped by 2 percentage points for former Vice President Joe Biden to 19%. It fell by 3 points for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont to 14%, and it declined by 1 point to 6% for Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.Bloomberg, a billionaire media mogul, entered the race as the fifth-most popular candidate with 4% support.Support for Warren dropped by 2 points to 9% in the national poll, the worst showing for the U.S. senator from Massachusetts in the Reuters/Ipsos poll since August.To be sure, Warren is still among the most popular candidates in Iowa, which will be holding its nominating contest on Feb. 3, and she is also among the top candidates in other early primary states. But nationally, Warren has slipped as her rivals for the nomination criticized her proposal for extending government-paid healthcare to all Americans as too costly.Meantime, 31% of Democrats and independents said they “don’t know” which candidate to support. That is the highest level of indecision measured in Reuters/Ipsos poll dating back to mid-April.The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 719 adults who identify as Democrats, independents and politically unaffiliated. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 4 percentage points.  

Joe Biden Wins Kerry Endorsement, Touts World Experience

John Kerry, the former secretary of state and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, is endorsing Joe Biden for president, buoying the former vice president’s argument that his international experience should be a deciding factor for voters in 2020.The Biden campaign rolled out Kerry’s endorsement as it continues to hammer President Donald Trump as a dangerous and erratic commander in chief and head of state. The campaign hammered the argument Wednesday with an online ad featuring video of other world leaders mocking Trump at a Buckingham Palace reception held alongside a NATO summit.“I’ve never before seen the world more in need of someone who on day one can begin the incredibly hard work of putting back together the world Donald Trump has smashed apart,” Kerry said in a statement.That echoes applause lines Biden uses often as he campaigns.“The next president will inherit a world in disarray,” Biden said Thursday, touting his decades of foreign policy experience as a six-term Delaware senator and two-term vice president.

One US Senator Blocks Resolution Recognizing Armenian Genocide

Republican Senator Kevin Cramer prevented the U.S. Senate from voting Thursday on a resolution that would recognize as a genocide the mass killings of Armenians a century ago, saying it was not an appropriate time to pass legislation that would anger Turkey. 
The Democrat-led House of Representatives passed the resolution  405-11 in late October. But there has not been a vote in the Senate, where President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans hold a majority of seats. 
Congressional aides said the White House did not want the legislation to move ahead while it was negotiating with Ankara on sensitive issues such as Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria and the NATO ally’s purchase of an S-400 missile defense system from Russia, which could provoke U.S. sanctions. 
The resolution asserts that it is U.S. policy to commemorate as genocide the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923. The Ottoman Empire was centered in present-day Turkey. 
Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War I, but it contests the figures and denies that the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute a genocide. Threat to sovereigntyAnkara views foreign involvement in the issue as a threat to its sovereignty. It immediately denounced the House vote. 
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas tried to force a Senate vote on the resolution Thursday. 
Cramer, of North Dakota, blocked it, saying the time was not right, just after Trump held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a NATO summit in London. 
“I don’t think there’s a single member of the Senate who doesn’t have serious concerns about Turkey’s behavior,” Cramer said, adding, “At the right time, we may pass it.” 
Menendez disagreed, noting Erdogan recently visited Washington and nothing had changed. He promised to come to the Senate chamber once a week to raise the issue. 
For decades, measures recognizing the Armenian genocide have stalled in Congress, stymied by concerns about relations with Turkey and intense lobbying by the Ankara government. 
The House vote marked the first time in 35 years such legislation was considered in the full chamber, underscoring widespread frustration in Congress with the Turkish government, from members of both U.S. political parties. 

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Void Financial Records Subpoena

President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to void a subpoena from the House of Representatives that seeks the president’s financial records from his accounting firm.
The justices already have shielded the documents from being turned over while they consider whether to hear Trump’s case and his separate appeal of a court order that requires the same accounting firm, Mazars USA, to give his tax returns to the Manhattan District Attorney. The court could say as early as mid-December whether it will hear and decide the cases by the end of June.
Yet another case involving House subpoenas for Trump’s records from New York banks also is headed for the Supreme Court, and the justices are likely to prevent the handover of any documents for the time being.
The two court cases involving House subpoenas are distinct from the ongoing impeachment inquiry. 

US House Speaker Denies Hating Trump, Declares ‘Don’t Mess With Me’

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said she does not hate President Donald Trump, but called him a coward and cruel on certain policies and asserted “don’t mess with me” during a testy news conference as she moved ahead with an impeachment process that could remove him from office.At the close of the news conference, an indignant Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. Congress, took strong exception to a reporter’s question as to whether she hated Trump, a Republican. The reporter explained he was asking because some Republicans have said a dislike of Trump is driving impeachment.
“I don’t hate anybody,” Pelosi said. “I was raised in a Catholic house. We don’t hate anybody. Not anybody in the world. So don’t you accuse me,” she said, pointing at the reporter.
Earlier on Thursday, Pelosi said she directed the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment – formal
charges – against Trump over his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival, a historic step that sets up a
fight over whether to oust him from office.
Responding to the question about hating Trump, Pelosi criticized the president on policy, calling him a “coward” on
failing to take steps against gun violence, “cruel” for seeking to remove protections for “Dreamers” immigrants and “in denial” about climate change. But Pelosi said those were issues to be settled in an election, while the impeachment inquiry was aimed at preventing abuses of presidential power as outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
“This is about the Constitution of the United States and the facts that led to the president’s violation of his oath of
office,” she said, tapping the podium for emphasis. She also said that she continued to pray for the president.
“As a Catholic, I resent your using the word hate in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone. I was raised in
a way that is … a heart full of love, and always pray for the president,” Pelosi added. “So don’t mess with me,” she said, “when it comes to words like that.”
Trump responded to Pelosi’s comments with a Twitter post, saying, “Nancy Pelosi just had a nervous fit,” adding that she hated his accomplishments under his administration.
“She hates that we will soon have 182 great new judges and sooo much more. Stock Market and employment records,” Trump added.
“She says she ‘prays for the President.’ I don’t believe her, not even close. Help the homeless in your district Nancy,”
Trump wrote, adding “USMCA?” – a reference to a pending trade agreement with the United States and Canada that Pelosi has not brought to the House floor for a vote.Nancy Pelosi just had a nervous fit. She hates that we will soon have 182 great new judges and sooo much more. Stock Market and employment records. She says she “prays for the President.” I don’t believe her, not even close. Help the homeless in your district Nancy. USMCA?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 5, 2019 

Klobuchar Returns to Iowa With Plan For a Changing Economy

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar on Thursday rolled out a plan to help Americans succeed in a changing economy, as she returns to Iowa looking to quickly build support with weeks to go before the first votes are cast for the party’s 2020 nomination.
The Minnesota senator’s plan, which she will discuss during a three-day swing that include forums with the Teamsters and the Iowa Farmers Union, includes tax credits to help retrain workers who lose their jobs to automation and support for workers and communities that have relied on the fossil fuel industry. It also calls for more investment in cybersecurity, encouraging small manufacturers to innovate and several measures to help the growing number of “gig”, workers, such as Uber drivers, including by allowing them to form unions and by making it easier to file their taxes.
Klobuchar is trying to move closer to the top tier of candidates after seeing her support slowly grow throughout the fall, thanks to two strong debate performances that also helped the campaign bring in its highest level of donations since she joined the race in February. She has used the money to increase her advertising and hire more staff in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote, and to open offices in the next two states, Nevada and South Carolina.
She has touted her slow-but-steady approach to the race, noting her conservative spending in the early months of the campaign has allowed her to stay in a contest that has had more than two dozen candidates. California Sen. Kamala Harris became the latest to drop out of the race, saying on Tuesday that she didn’t have the funds to continue.
But Klobuchar continues to poll a distant fifth in Iowa, behind Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. And the time is getting short for Klobuchar to execute her strategy before Iowa’s Feb. 3 caucus.
Her campaign announced on Wednesday that it has hired a longtime political operative and former Iowa Democratic Party executive director, Norm Sterzenbach, to serve as its Iowa caucus adviser, calling the move “the latest sign of strength heading into 2020.”
Sterzenbach, who was the state director for former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign before O’Rourke dropped out, brings expertise in caucus math and geography that Klobuchar’s campaign said will be a big asset heading into the final weeks.

Trial Set for Man Charged With Threatening Muslim Candidate

A federal trial is scheduled to begin Thursday for a North Carolina man charged with anonymously threatening to lynch a Muslim-American man campaigning for a state Senate seat in Virginia.Court records say jury selection for Joseph Cecil Vandevere’s trial is set to get underway Thursday morning in Asheville, North Carolina.Vandevere was charged in June with interstate communication of a threat to injure a person in connection with a tweet directed at Qasim Rashid. The tweet included a picture of a lynching and read, “VIEW YOUR DESTINY.”Rashid posted a screenshot of the threatening tweet in March 2018 and reported it to the FBI. Rashid, a Democrat, lost his Nov. 5 bid to oust an incumbent Republican state senator in Virginia.In September, U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn Jr. rejected Vandevere’s argument that his indictment must be dismissed on grounds of First Amendment free speech.

Kamala Harris Exit Points to Hurdles Facing Minority Candidates

Kamala Harris cloaked her presidential campaign in the promise of becoming the first black woman in the White House. That wasn’t enough for donors and supporters, including black voters.The California senator abruptly withdrew from the race on Tuesday after her once-promising campaign failed to coalesce around a message that would resonate with voters. And without clear support from voters, Harris couldn’t raise the money needed to keep going.Responsibility for the collapse of a presidential campaign almost always rests with the candidate. But Harris’ exit also demonstrates the unique challenges facing candidates of color in the 2020 campaign. As Democratic voters of all races almost singularly obsess over who is seen as best positioned to defeat President Donald Trump next year, candidates who aren’t white are largely seen as not fitting the bill.With less than two months before voting begins, those judgments — right or wrong — are becoming fatal as donors watch these cues to decide when to pull back.”It’s the money, it’s the support, it’s the polls… It’s an assumption for black candidates that their campaigns are long shots,” said Quentin James, the founder and executive director of CollectivePAC, an organization aimed at building black political power. “We’re left to wonder why is it that a candidate’s race still impacts how much money they can raise or how much support they get from institutional Democratic donors.”Of course, Barack Obama, the first black president, is one of the most successful Democratic fundraisers, still collecting millions of dollars for the party nearly three years after he left the White House. And plenty of white candidates have had money problems this year.Among the Democratic presidential candidates on stage at the debate held in Miami, June 27, 2019, were former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and N.Y. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, couldn’t raise enough money for his presidential bid and chose to run for the U.S. Senate instead. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is a powerhouse fundraiser in her home state but couldn’t translate that success to her presidential campaign and dropped out in August. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock ended his campaign this week, also bemoaning money trouble.But other white candidates have had success that women and candidates of color have said isn’t available to them. Harris, for instance, is the highest-ranking black woman in the U.S. government. But the $35.5 million she raised during her campaign falls far short of the $51.5 million that Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old white mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has collected.Other white candidates with big questions about their electability have also hauled in substantial sums of money. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has raised $61 million — more than any of his rivals — despite debate over whether his policies are too liberal. Concerns over the 78-year-old’s candidacy also grew after he had a heart attack in October. He has since returned to active campaigning.Former Vice President Joe Biden is legendarily gaffe-prone and also faces questions about whether, at 77, he’s too old to manage the demands of the presidency. But he’s raised $37.7 million, topping Harris even though he launched his campaign more than two months after she did.This is not just about Harris. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker has struggled to raise money. In September, he pleaded with supporters to donate $1.7 million in 10 days to keep him in the race. On the debate stage last month, he turned his closing statement into another pitch for cash, raising over $500,000 in nine hours. Although he has met the fundraising threshold for this month’s debate, low polling numbers may keep him off the stage for the first time.Senator Cory Booker works his way through the spin room after the 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Houston, Sept. 12, 2019.”People assume he’s going to be in this all the way because he’s credentialed and such a serious candidate,” said Jenna Lowenstein, Booker’s deputy campaign manager. “We saw it coming, that this was going to narrow this way, that it was going to be because of money. We’ve really been looking for every opportunity when eyeballs are on us to make direct appeals because every time we do it, it works.”Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro — a Latino whose successful 10-day, $800,000 fundraising push in October brought his campaign back from the brink — may miss the debate stage for the second time in a row.FILE – Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, center, waves to people in the audience as his wife Diane Bemus, left, looks on at the conclusion of ceremonies for the unveiling of his official state portrait, Jan. 4, 2015, at the Statehouse, in Boston.Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who’s black, entered the Democratic presidential race just last month, and he has almost no chance to qualify for the December debate.Neither businessman Andrew Yang, who’s Asian, nor Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who’s American Samoan and Hindu, has yet qualified for this month’s debate, meaning the debate field could be all-white for the first time this cycle.The rapidly shifting dynamics strongly suggest that a Democratic field that began as the most diverse in history is unlikely to yield a person of color as its nominee. That raises structural questions about how modern campaigns function.Small-dollar donors tend to be overwhelmingly white, older and well-off with disposable income — in many ways, the opposite of the Democratic Party’s voter base. For someone like Castro, the lone Latino candidate, he’s speaking to supporters who are not part of the traditional donor class, or in a position to support him financially even if they like his message, said campaign manager Maya Rupert.Democratic presidential candidate former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration, Nov. 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.”Our donors are a part of this campaign in a way that’s probably true of a lot of campaigns, but is also tied to being able to get on the next debate stage and remain viable,” she said. “We very much meant it in October when we said, ‘We don’t see a path forward if we’re not able to raise this amount.’ People have to understand the urgency.”There have also been challenges with bigger donors. Just last week, Booker super PAC Dream United closed after being unable to raise the money it had hoped to use to buttress his campaign.The failed effort points to “a lurking fear that a black candidate is less electable,” said Steve Phillips, who launched the effort in December 2018.”There are many more people of color who are able to contribute more than $2,800,” said Phillips. “We had people who were prepared initially to write seven-figure checks, but who then were reluctant to pull the trigger. It became clear that these fears about electability were larger than we originally anticipated. What you see in the polling numbers among black voters you also see in the giving numbers.””There’s a fear,” he continued, “that this would be wasted support because of their fears about whether the rest of the electorate will back a person of color.” 

Biden Says He Would Consider Harris for Vice Presidential Slot

A day after U.S. Senator Kamala Harris ended her 2020 presidential bid, former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic nomination, said on Wednesday he would consider her as a potential running mate.Biden, with whom Harris clashed during a Democratic debate earlier this year, praised her after a campaign event in Ames, Iowa.”Senator Harris has the capacity to be anything she wants to be,” Biden told reporters, according to a video posted by CBS News. “I talked to her yesterday. She’s solid. She can be the president one day herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice.”FILE – Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., left, speaks with Astrid Silva, right, at an immigration roundtable at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Las Vegas, June 14, 2019.Biden and Harris had a contentious exchange over forced busing in public schools in the first Democratic debate in Miami in June. It was a standout moment for Harris, who saw her fortunes briefly rise in her party’s contest for the right to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in next year’s election.But any rift appears to have been closed. Biden praised Harris effusively on Tuesday after she dropped out. Harris was close friends with Biden’s son Beau, before he died of brain cancer in 2015.Biden told reporters on Wednesday that “of course I would” consider Harris to be his running mate.Earlier this year, Harris, 55, was viewed as a prime contender in the crowded Democratic presidential field. But organizational and financial woes, along with her struggles to make a compelling case for her candidacy, derailed her campaign.The U.S. senator from California could potentially bring much to a ticket. A former prosecutor, state attorney general and only the second black woman elected to the Senate, she is still considered a rising star within the party.After Harris’ exit, 15 Democrats are left to battle for the party’s nomination. 

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