welcome to week twelve, one day late edition. this delay is brought to you by the weirdly confined issue to the file i wrote this in, which necessitated three days(!) of writing because of the sheer number of links this week. the opinion section is only one article long this week again, but we have some [LONGFORM] pieces and some recent polling to make up for that.
the usual note: common sense should be able to generally dictate what does and does not get posted in this thread. if it's big news or feels like big news, probably make it its own post instead of lobbing it in here. like the other weekly threads, this one is going to try to focus on things that are still discussion worthy, but wouldn't necessarily make good/unique/non-repetitive discussion starters as their own posts.
- Iowa Caucuses, from CNN & The Des Moines Register:
Twenty-four percent of Iowa’s likely Democratic caucusgoers say former vice president Biden is their first choice for president. Sanders, a Vermont senator, is the first choice for 16% of poll respondents, while Warren, a Massachusetts senator, and Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, are at 15% and 14% respectively. No other candidate cracks double digits. California Sen. Kamala Harris comes closest at 7% [...] Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke are at 2%.
- National head-to-head, from Quinnipiac:
In a first look at head-to-head 2020 presidential matchups nationwide, several Democratic challengers lead President Donald Trump, with former Vice President Joseph Biden ahead 53 - 40 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. [...]
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders over President Trump 51 - 42 percent;
California Sen. Kamala Harris ahead of Trump 49 - 41 percent;
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tops Trump 49 - 42 percent;
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg edges Trump 47 - 42 percent;
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker by a nose over Trump 47 - 42 percent.
- National Democratic Primary, from Quinnipiac:
Biden leads the presidential primary race with 30 percent among Democrats and voters leaning Democratic. [...] Sanders is next with 19 percent; Warren has 15 percent; Buttigieg has 8 percent; Harris is at 7 percent; Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke is at 3 percent; No other Democrat tops 1 percent, with 14 candidates polling at less than 1 percent.
- from Vox: Poll: a growing number of Democratic voters are prioritizing gender-related issues we begin with some polling, which suggests that the recent slate of abortion bans and heavy restrictions on abortion is having an impact on what voters prioritize. a doubling of democratic voters who prioritize women's issues has been observed across the board in the span of just a month. this might not be maintained if the slate of abortion bans gradually dies off, but at least in the immediate term you definitely seem to be seeing this in how often these issues are mentioned in the media.
- from Vox: 2020 is quickly becoming the abortion rights election. Here’s proof. also from Vox, in a similar vein some activists are considering 2020 the year of the abortion rights, and the 2020 election a defining election on them. in iowa, for example, it was ranked the top issue of caucusgoers, placing ahead of climate change narrowly. this piece is primarily a conversation focusing on the issues surrounding abortion and how activists think it will play out in this election cycle.
- from Pacific Standard: Can Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, and U.S. Cities End Exclusionary Zoning?. exclusionary zoning policies are something that's gotten attention from a few candidates, most obviously cory booker and elizabeth warren who both have plans which seek to end it. zoning policies are but one part of a greater issue in affordable housing, but the fact that candidates are even bothering to take the time to acknowledge its existence probably demonstrates something about what an issue housing is for a lot of people.
- from CBS News: Some progressives worry Puerto Rico is being left behind on 2020 campaign trail. despite the focus on the complete bottling of aid being sent to puerto rico by the trump administration, a number of progressive groups are concerned that puerto rico is being largely left out of the conversation when it comes to 2020. puerto rico has been largely ignored by candidates so far (only 3 of the candidates in the race have visited the island so far) and is still recovering from hurricane maria; nonetheless, progressives seem ready to make it a defining issue of the campaign trail.
- from Slate: The Democratic Candidates Ought to Debate Climate Change Policy. one of this week's plotlines with respect to the debates was the DNC's unwillingness to agree to a debate specifically on the issue of climate change. this has been a generally poorly received move, and the party has received considerable backlash for it as this piece is representative of. the DNC might walk this back or it might not, but regardless this seems like it will be an issue that causes future friction, especially given the DNC's expressed desire to uninvite anybody who qualifies for the debates should they engage in a non-DNC affiliated one.
- from Buzzfeed News: California’s Early 2020 Primary Is Pushing Presidential Candidates To Talk To Latino Voters. the california primary coming so early on in the cycle and being such a decisive part of it in 2020 is leading to democratic candidates placing significant priority on appealing to latino voters this year, who are likely to be a major constituency in the primary. this is a welcome change for a lot of latinos and the state of california in general, which has generally come late in the cycle previously and not played an especially significant role in most of them.
- from the Atlantic: [LONGFORM] How the Democrats Got Radicalized on Student Debt. the recent policy developments of the democrats on student debt are the focus of this article by the Atlantic. this has been a rapid change for the party; in the span of just three election cycles the party has gone from "one year of college free for “qualified students”" (the John Edwards proposal, 2008) to things like "making public college tuition-free for students from families who made less than $125,000 a year" (Clinton, 2016) and probably beyond in this cycle.
- from Grist: Joe Biden says he’ll take the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. Here’s why that matters. joe biden, in rolling out his climate plan next week, also became the latest candidate to take the "no fossil fuel money" pledge, which most candidates have also taken (and which counterintuitively allows candidates to take donations of less than 200 dollars from the fossil fuel industry). biden's acceptance of this--even though it is far from binding--is particularly significant because it suggests that the progressive wing of the party has basically forced people's hands on this.
- from In These Times: [LONGFORM] Hold the Applause. Biden’s Climate Plan Is Mostly Fluff. meanwhile, In These Times has an extensive critique of biden's climate plan; primarily it notes that biden's plan when you strip it down is not that special and is essentially shared by the rest of the field which has rolled out plans so far at its best moments. at others, it is actively misleading, relies on technological optimism as a crutch, or implies biden supports things like the green new deal which he for the most part does not.
- from the Atlantic: Joe Biden Has the Most to Lose at the Debates. the Atlantic has a piece on joe biden, his near total lack of experience with debates in the past decade, and his debate prep in light of that fact. biden's last serious debate was of course 7 years ago when he faced off against then-VP candidate paul ryan; however, as far as debating other democrats goes, he hasn't done that in a decade. the majority of his prep is centered around trying to stave off the inevitable questions about his record and his positions while presenting himself as a viable alternative to both other democrats and to trump (not that most people necessarily need convincing on the last point)
- from the Guardian: Biden abruptly drops support for 'discriminatory' abortion rule. in policy news, biden decided to do a weird and wholly unnecessary flip-flop on the hyde amendment after originally affirming his continued support for it ,and then having to immediately walk his support of it back when it turned out that literally nobody else but him supported it in the democratic primary. great look, joe.
- from Pacific Standard: Green Jobs and New Technology: A Look at Biden and Warren's Latest Climate Plans. this small article from Pacific Standard compares warren and biden's climate plans together on a number of issues, since they are actually fairly similar in a number of respects despite their ideas being relatively different as a whole.
- from the Guardian: Elizabeth Warren gains momentum in the 2020 race plan by plan. warren has continued her quiet, but consistent rise in the polls; she's currently pushing some of her best numbers thus far in the campaign in multiple polls. this is good for her campaign of course, but it's also a bit of a potential quagmire for progressives because with sanders and warren both splitting the difference of mostly the same voting demographics, it's unlikely that biden will relinquish his lead over the primary any time soon.
- from the Guardian: Watch Elizabeth Warren blast Biden for his stance on abortion funding. biden drew a massive amount of criticism from democratic candidates over supporting the hyde amendment, probably the strongest of which came from elizabeth warren. in warren's words here: "We do not pass laws that take away that freedom from the women who are most vulnerable"
- from Jacobin: Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan for Everything — Except Health Care. jacobin has an article focusing on the conspicuous absence of an actual healthcare plan from all of warren's ideas so far in the campaign. warren has been pretty vague about what her healthcare policy actually is despite firmly falling into the progressive camp, and she's not really committing to anything in particular yet, to which jacobin encourages her supporters to press her. in their words:
The entire country is desperate for health care security, and Warren is in a position to argue intelligently and emotionally in support of a bold, progressive solution, just as she has for so many other important issues. Her voice can help the single-payer movement in a significant way. Together with Sanders, she could make Medicare for All an unambiguous and uncompromising demand of the progressive left in the 2020 campaign. The longer she stays silent, the weaker the Medicare for All movement becomes in the face of relentless attacks from right and center.
- from CNN: Kamala Harris rolls out proposal that would require states to prove abortion laws were constitutional. kamala harris has basically proposed a section 5 provision for abortion rights, which would create a standard where states or polities with a history of unconstitutionally restricting abortion rights would have to prove the constitutionality of their restrictions before they go into effect. this mirrors section 5 of the voting rights act, and would be implemented by harris if she becomes president.
- from NBC News: Kamala Harris ramps up in early primary states. harris has largely lagged behind other candidates, but seems to be finally kicking her campaign in the early states into full gear this week. harris has been relatively low-key with her scheduling so far, only attending around 50 events, but she seems to be intending to gradually pick up the pace, which is probably a good idea because she still has a name recognition problem.
- from Buzzfeed News: Beto O’Rourke Wants Term Limits For Congress And The Supreme Court. beto o'rourke wants to do a bunch of stuff, but in particular he seems to want to implement term limits for congress; he has a plan which would "limit members of Congress to serving 12 years and create 18-year Supreme Court terms."
- from the Texas Tribune: Beto O'Rourke's proposed election reforms seek to simplify voting registration, get big money out of politics. that plan is also part of a broader scheme to reform politics. the crux of his ideas revolve around elections, where he wants "a national transition to same-day voter registration and automatic voter registration when any citizen visits a government office, with pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds" along with "let[ting] people vote without ID as long as they sign a "sworn written statement of identity."" o'rourke wants to "mak[e] Election Day a federal holiday, expanding early voting to two full weeks before Election Day and relocating polling stations to more convenient places." o'rourke also wants to reform campaign finance, among other thing spporting "encouraging low-dollar donations by making contributions up to $500 tax-deductible and matching those donations with public funds" and "requir[ing] campaigns to disclose donations over $1,000 within 48 hours" among other things.
- from CBS News: Beto O'Rourke says Biden "absolutely wrong" on abortion stance. o'rourke was extensively interviewed by CBS News the other day, during which he also threw some criticism at biden for his bad stance on the hyde amendment:
"I hope Joe Biden rethinks his position on this issue," O'Rourke said. "Perhaps he doesn't have all the facts. Perhaps he doesn't understand who the Hyde Amendment hurts the most...lower income communities, communities of color. I would ask that he rethink his position on this."
- from Buzzfeed News: Pete Buttigieg’s Struggle To Win Over Latinos Could Limit His Rise In California. pete buttigieg is going to need to do a lot of things if he wants to win the nomination, and one of them is win over latinos who currently are not going to him in nearly the numbers he needs. in california in particular, the biggest state in the primary his bump in the polls is really being limited by his current lack of appeal to the latino community (to which he is trying to rectify things, but not necessarily doing the best job). he's made overtures toward the latino community, but he's still going to need to do a lot more than what he currrently has on the card if he wants to compete with them.
- from NBC News: Buttigieg's big accomplishment that he never mentions on the campaign trail. buttigieg incidentally has one proposal which might actually endear him to the latino community's undocumented members but which he has yet to really play up on the campaign trail. in south bend he organized a "Community Resident Card" program through a private organization and basically turned it into an acceptable form of ID accepted by most of the businesses and services in the city, which allowed undocumented immigrants in south bend to participate in life without having to worry about immigration services.
- from Reuters: Presidential hopeful Inslee unveils plan to reclaim U.S. leadership on climate issue. jay inslee not only has plans on climate change, he also has plans on how to make the US a leader on climate change internationally. according to reuters, inslee's plan on taking the reins internationally "ranges from rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, an international accord to fight climate change that Trump opposes, to more ambitious ideas like overhauling U.S. trade and immigration policies to prioritize climate change, and blocking U.S. financing for foreign fossil fuel projects."
- from Buzzfeed News: Gov. Jay Inslee Says He Is Running For President To Do “Everything Humanly Possible” To Defeat Climate Change. buzzfeed interviewed jay inslee primarily on climate change here and he goes into a bit more detail about his campaign, but probably the most interesting thing about this interview is inslee's non climate policies, which he also goes into a bit here. (he does not want to change the law federally on sex work, leaving it up to the states, for example.)
- from TIME: [LONGFORM] Bernie Sanders Wants to Change America. But He May Have to Change Himself First. this longform piece from TIME focuses on the bernie sanders campaign and bernie himself, mostly in how his own successes in 2016 have so far been his worst enemy in 2020 because other candidates have come to emulate him. in many respects 2020 will probably be a campaign which sees bernie reinvent himself in ways that he didn't previously have to consider in 2016, when he was an upstart radical challenging hillary clinton and trying to push for radical positions that are now basically mainstream in the party because of him.
- from Vox: Cory Booker’s plan to fix the housing crisis and make renting affordable. cory booker has policy on fixing the housing crisis, and in summary it's: tax credits for renters, federal incentives for affordable housing, “baby bonds” as ways to make housing more affordable, protections for renters against evictions, and aid for the homeless.
- from Buzzfeed News: This Democratic Presidential Candidate Has A Sweeping Plan To Eliminate Lead Poisoning. the apparently nameless julian castro hasa plan to deal with lead poisoning in america, which is something that no other candidate has put forward before now. his plan is pretty straightforward:
He would ask Congress to allocate $5 billion per year for 10 years to replace lead pipes and address lead contamination in paint and soil “in areas of highest need,” as well as an additional $100 million per year toward preventing lead poisoning in children.
For people whose blood has high levels of lead, Castro’s plan includes provisions for treating lead poisoning under universal health care, mandatory lead testing for children under 2 years old, and “support services including counseling, tutoring, education on nutritional needs.”
- from RollCall: Think Kirsten Gillibrand has no chance? She’s heard that before — and won anyway. kirsten gillibrand might be well behind most of the frontrunners, but she's no stranger to longshot races. as this RollCall article notes, gillibrand's first big victory came in a district that was something of a longshot, and despite the expectation that gilibrand would lose. obviously a congressional race is not a presidential race, but we're also early and technically speaking, nobody is out of it yet.
- from the Guardian: 'For the NRA, the gig is up': Eric Swalwell on why gun control is a winning issue. from one perennial 1%er to another, we now turn to eric swalwell, who the guardian snagged an interview with on the issue of gun control, the topic which motivated his run. in his view gun control is a winning issue primarily because of the massive toll mass shootings have already wreaked on the country and the fact that most people support restrictions on guns.
- from the Guardian: Want to defeat Trump? Attack Biden. this opinion piece by bhaskar sunkara echoes a similar refrain from a number of people, which is that biden is out of step with the party and needs to be halted because his policies essentially make him an empty suit.