Klobuchar qualifies for December debate: Campaign update

Emma Kinery

Klobuchar is the sixth candidate to qualify for the Democratic debate in Los Angeles in December.

Klobuchar announced Wednesday she qualified with 4% in the Quinnipiac University poll of Iowa released Tuesday. Participants need to meet a threshold of 4% in at least four Democratic National Committee-approved national or early state polls, or 6% in two early state polls, and 200,000 unique donors. She joins Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris who have all also qualified for the sixth debate on Dec. 19.

Ten candidates have qualified for the fifth debate, on Nov. 20 in Atlanta, Georgia: Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar answers a question about how she will create more jobs.

Warren, Buttigieg, Sanders, Biden in Iowa Tie

Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are statistically tied in Iowa, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Warren leads with 20% support among likely Democratic caucus-goers, trailed by Buttigieg at 19%, Sanders at 17% and Biden with 15%. All fall within the poll’s margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

“It’s a race that is up for grabs,” wrote Mary Snow, a polling analyst for Quinnipiac University. “Half of likely Democratic caucus-goers who support a candidate say they may change their minds before Feb. 3.”

The poll of 698 Iowa likely Democratic caucus-goers was conducted from Oct. 30 through Nov. 5. – Emma Kinery

Pressley Backs Warren, Splitting With Squad’

Representative Ayanna Pressley endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren for president, splitting with a group of progressive first-term congresswomen who backed Bernie Sanders last month.

“I’m proud to call her my senator. I can’t wait to call her our president,” Pressley, who like Warren represents Massachusetts in Congress, said in a video endorsement .

Pressley is one of the first major endorsements Warren has received from Democratic officials. Representative Katie Porter, another first-term lawmaker, endorsed Warren last week over her state’s senator Kamala Harris.

“You’ve all heard of the senator’s plans but here’s the thing: The plans are about power,” Pressley said in the video. “Who has it, who refuses to let it go, and who deserves more of it. For Elizabeth and me, power belongs in the hands of the people.”

Pressley belongs to a group of four progressive congresswomen known as “the Squad.” The other three members, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, endorsed Sanders after the fourth Democratic primary debate and have all held rallies for him since. Warren has pulled well ahead of Sanders in polls as they compete for the progressive bloc of the Democratic electorate. – Emma Kinery

Booker Sets Plan to Revitalize Smaller Cities

Cory Booker wants to create a national competition for small and midsized cities to apply for at least 50 grants to fund economic growth and development.

“No one should have to leave their home to find economic opportunity in America,” the New Jersey senator and Democratic presidential candidate said in a release from the campaign.

The City 2030 Project would allocate $25 billion over the next decade to municipalities of fewer than 600,000 people. Funds can go toward investment in infrastructure, education, economic development programs and cultural institutions. The proposal also calls for an additional $25 billion over 10 years for the formation of a Community Justice Fund that would provide micro-grants to historically black and brown communities.

The $50 billion cost would come from uncollected taxes, which the campaign says accounted for $55 billion of lost revenue in 2018. – Emma Kinery

Andrew Yang Spends $400,000 in First Ad Buy

Andrew Yang made his first buy of broadcast air time, reserving $403,810 in four Iowa markets.

The entrepreneur and long-shot presidential candidate will begin airing ads on Thursday and run them for a week, according to Advertising Analytics, which tracks political commercials. More than half of the money will be spent in the Des Moines market.

Yang raised $9.9 million in the third quarter, Federal Election Commission records show, with much of that total coming online. That was more than established politicians like Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker took in, but was still far behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg. His campaign hired more staff after announcing the total.

Until the television buy, Yang’s paid media operation had been limited to digital platforms. He spent an estimated $1.6 million on Facebook and Google ads this year, according to Bully Pulpit Interactive’s 2020 Campaign Tracker. – Bill Allison

Gabbard Has Reaffirmed No Third-Party Bid

Tulsi Gabbard has reassured the Democratic National Committee that she won’t mount a third-party campaign if she is denied the party’s nomination, Chairman Tom Perez said Wednesday.

“She’s told us and she’s told the American people: I am not running as a third party candidate,” Perez told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “We’ve spoken to every campaign last week regarding the pledge, and every campaign took that pledge, and took it with enthusiasm.”

That means Gabbard reissued her pledge after Hillary Clinton suggested that the under-card candidate was being groomed by Republicans for a third-party run. Clinton was channeling the sentiments of numerous Democrats who are skeptical of Gabbard’s intentions, and Gabbard depicted the comment to followers as evidence of a conspiracy to stop her.

Gabbard is polling among Democrats at 1.7%, according to the RealClearPolitics average of national surveys. – Sahil Kapur

Coming up

President Donald Trump plans a rally Wednesday in Monroe, Louisiana, where Governor John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the Deep South, is facing Republican challenger Eddie Rispone, who describes himself as a conservative businessman, in a Nov. 16 runoff vote.

The major Democratic candidates – including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg – will appear Nov. 17 at the Nevada Democratic Party’s First in the West dinner, a major event that in 2015 drew thousands to hear from the Democratic presidential hopefuls.