WASHINGTON — Maybe the biggest takeaway from the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll – which shows Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren topping the 2020 Dem race — is how there are two different Democratic primary contests taking place right now.
There’s the primary between candidates and Dem voters who want big, bold change.
And there’s the primary between those who simply want to defeat Trump.
Fifty-four percent of Democratic primary voters say they prefer a nominee who proposes larger-scale policies that might cost more and be harder to pass — but could still result in major change.
Among these voters, Warren leads the pack (at 29 percent), and she’s followed by Bernie Sanders (18 percent), Biden (16 percent) and Kamala Harris (14 percent).
By contrast, 41 percent of Dem primary voters say they want a nominee who pushes for smaller-scale policies that cost less and might be easier to pass — but that bring less change.
And among these voters, Biden holds a substantial lead (at 35 percent), followed by Harris (14 percent, Warren (8 percent), Pete Buttigieg (8 percent) and Sanders (7 percent).
Similarly, Democratic primary voters are divided on what’s more important to them — a candidate who comes closest to their views on issues, or one who has the best chance to defeat President Donald Trump.
Fifty-one percent say issues are more important, and those voters break for Biden (18 percent), Warren (18 percent), Sanders (17 percent) and Harris (11 percent).
That’s compared with 45 percent who believe defeating Trump is more important, and they break Biden (at 34 percent), Warren (21 percent), Harris (16 percent), Buttigieg (8 percent) and Sanders (6 percent).
Bottom line: The big-change Democratic voters outnumber the small-change ones. But you can see a situation how Warren and Sanders could split the former group, and how Biden might lap the field with the latter.
That’s Biden’s path to victory, even in Iowa — if his candidacy holds up.
The four candidate tiers in our NBC/WSJ poll
As for the overall horserace in our poll, you can divide it into four categories.
The Top 5: Biden (26 percent), Warren (19 percent), Harris (13 percent), Sanders (13 percent) and Buttigieg (7 percent).
The 2 Percenters (the threshold to make the September debates): Andrew Yang (2 percent), Beto O’Rourke (2 percent).
The 1 Percenters: Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Cory Booker, Jay Inslee, Marianne Williamson, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet.
The less-than-1-percenters: Everyone else.
The good news for Booker, Klobuchar, Castro and even O’Rourke is that they get Democratic voters in our poll to say want to learn more about these candidates.
But that bad news for those in the 1 percent and below is that it looks like this field is going to winnow fast.
And it’s not like these candidates have NOT had moments and exposure…
Trump loses and declares victory anyway (again)
Much like he did with the government shutdown and the 2018 midterm results, President Trump lost his citizenship/census battle — but declared victory anyway.
“President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he is backing off his effort to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census and is instead issuing an executive order directing departments and agencies to better share data related to the number of citizens and noncitizens in the country,” per NBC News.
By the way, using existing databases is what the U.S. Census Bureau said Trump could have done without putting the citizenship question on the census, as NPR’s Domenico Montanaro notes.
The question we have: Who convinced Trump this was a dead end?
Tweet of the day
2020 Vision: Candidates of the corn
On Sunday, 12 Democratic presidential candidates will speak at Progress Iowa’s Corn Feed event in Cedar Rapids, per NBC’s Maura Barrett and Priscilla Thompson. (An Iowa summer wouldn’t be complete without presidential candidates and corn, right?)
The 12: Michael Bennet, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan and Marianne Williamson.
During the cattle call, candidates will be given ten-minutes on stage to address the crowd; the time-limit will be strictly enforced.
On the campaign trail today
Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke are all in New Hampshire… Kirsten Gillibrand continues her “Broken Promises Tour,” making three stops in Michigan… Cory Booker, in Boston, holds a press conference on preventing gun violence… And John Hickenlooper stumps in Iowa.
Dispatches from NBC’s embeds
Four candidates spoke at the League of United Latin American Citizens presidential forum in Milwaukee yesterday, and NBC’s Gary Grumbach and Micki Fahner have the highlights:
Julián Castro: [On his immigration plan] “One of the things that distinguishes what I put forward versus some of the critics, I’m actually talking about solving this challenge. I said we need to do a 21st century Marshall plan for Central America to partner with those countries so people can find safety and opportunity at home instead of having to come to the United States and that’s a long-term way to solve this challenge.”
Elizabeth Warren: Some of the loudest applause for Elizabeth Warren came when a question about the US Women’s National Soccer Team was posed. “When women produce then by golly women ought to be paid for it. Come on,” Warren said.
Question to Bernie Sanders: “You’ve called it ageism in the Democratic Party, some of the younger candidates asked you to pass the torch how do you view this generational change in the Democratic Party?”
Sanders: “I think we need a lot of change in this country to tell you the truth. But when you look at a candidate, age is a factor, experience as a factor in the candidates, record as a factor and most importantly what that candidate stands for is a factor.”
Beto O’Rourke: The former Texas Representative was asked about the deportations and ICE Raids allegedly planned for later this weekend, saying that they make us a “less safe” country. “When immigrant communities fear local law enforcement, fear federal law enforcement, they are less likely to report crimes, to testify in trials, to serve as witnesses, they’re no longer participating in the civic life of our communities and we are less safe as a result,” he said.
Data Download: The number of the day is … 35 percent
That’s Joe Biden’s share of the vote in a new Fox News poll of South Carolina.
Biden holds a big lead over the field, more support than the next four candidates sitting behind him combined (Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker).
The Palmetto State is an important state for the former vice president, one where he’s cultivated strong relationships over the years. Biden is acutely aware of that reality—last week, he chose the state as the backdrop for his apology for his comments about working with segregationist senators.
And so far, it doesn’t look like the flap over those comments (or the attacks on his opposition to federally-mandated busing) has hurt his standing with black voters there. The Fox poll shows Biden pulling in 41 percent of the black vote in South Carolina.
The Lid: Numbers, numbers, numbers
Don’t miss yesterday’s pod, where we ran down the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll for all you auditory learners.
ICYMI: News clips you shouldn’t miss
NBC’s Monica Alba and Ben Collins have an inside look at the White House social media summit, which included appearances by some conspiracy theorists and controversial social media figures.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’s done talking about the rift with progressive freshmen Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Does Bernie Sanders need to adjust his strategy as he slips in the polls?
Trump rips Paul Ryan as ‘lame duck failure’ with ‘poor leadership.’
Trump agenda: Census retreat
President Trump dropped his effort to add a citizenship question to the Census.
The House Judiciary Committee approved subpoenas for a handful of Trump officials.
House Democrats want a briefing on Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s role in securing a plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein in 2007.
The Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services are passing the buck over the government’s treatment of migrant children
2020: Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!
Julián Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke all spoke about Hispanic issues in Milwaukee Thursday.
The records Joe Biden donated to the University of Delaware won’t be unsealed until after he leaves public life.
The Federal Election Commission will allow a security company to provide campaigns with anti-phishing services amid the worries about election interference.
Politico sits down for a one-on-one with Seth Moulton.
Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby says President Trump is opposed to Jeff Sessions running for Senate again.
Election 2019 polls: What time do polling stations open tomorrow, when do they close?
Angry Republicans, Democrats shout each other down in impeachment hearing
They can’t even agree on bathroom breaks.
A Judiciary Committee hearing Monday in the impeachment inquiry over allegations that President Donald Trump withheld aid to Ukraine for personal political gain was repeatedly interrupted by angry exchanges between members of the Republican minority on the panel and the Democrats leading the hearing.
After two stop-and-start hours in which Republicans used a parliamentary move known as points of order to slow the proceedings down, even a vote to take a 15-minute break went down strictly partisan lines.
All the Democrats voted to take a break, while all the Republicans unsuccessfully voted not to do so.
“This is so they can have a press conference” before the Republican lawyer, Stephen Castor, offered his testimony, GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz yelled. “Nobody asked for this break!”
Some Democrats did hold a press conference in the 15-minute break, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, did an interview on MSNBC. Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel, held a press conference during the break as well.
See the impeachment hearing live blog for full coverage.
The hearing resumed at noon. About two and a half hours later, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona, a Republican, asked Chairman Jerry Nadler if he could call a half-hour recess. Nadler refused, leading to another party-line vote — and no break.
Democrats called a recess about 10 minutes later.
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Back-and-forth bickering broke out shortly after the hearing started in the morning, as Republicans repeatedly demanded that Nadler, a Democrat from New York, schedule a hearing for them to call witnesses they wanted to hear from. Nadler had said he’d consider the request, while Reps. Andy Biggs of Louisiana, Collins and Gaetz insisted he had an obligation to do so immediately.
As Nadler tried to move on to testimony from the lawyer representing the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, Gaetz interrupted again.
“Is this when we just hear staff ask questions of other staff and members get dealt out of this whole hearing and for the next four hours, you’re going to try to overturn the results of an election with unelected people giving testimony?” Gaetz, a close ally of the president, shouted as Nadler hammered his gavel.
“The gentleman will not yell out. You will not attempt to disrupt the proceedings,” Nadler chided.
During another exchange, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California made a motion to set aside the Republican motion.
Collins said that objection had to be in writing — so Lofgren wrote on a notepad at her desk, ripped it off and showed it to Collins. The motion then proceeded to a vote, which was passed by Democrats.
The sniping continued into the afternoon, including a sharp exchange between Collins and Daniel Goldman, the lawyer for the House Intelligence Committee. Collins was pushing Goldman to reveal how Democrats obtained call logs from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his indicted associate Lev Parnas that showed conversations with Republican Rep. Devin Nunes and conservative journalist John Solomon.
“Who ordered the match game?” Collins said.
Goldman refused to answer.
“I’m done with you for right now. We’re done,” Collins said. “You’re not answering the question. You’re not being honest about this answer.”
Republicans had complained earlier that Democratic lawyer Barry Berke was asking questions after testifying at a different part of the hearing in the morning, and then complained that he was “badgering” Republican lawyer Castor.
“I make a point of order that he’s badgering the witness,” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin snapped.
“Sharp cross-examination is not badgering,” Nadler said, before pounding his gavel again amid more objections.
Collins then told him that hitting his gavel harder didn’t make what he was doing “right.”
About nine hours into the hearing, Castor asked between questions from members of both parties if “I could just say something for five seconds?”
“No,” Nadler said.
In his opening statement, Collins complained about how Democrats have run the inquiry, saying the committee has become a “rubber stamp” and warned that “this institution is in danger” because it has not been a fair process for the president.
“It’s all political,” Collins said. “It’s a show.”
Leigh Ann Caldwell, Dartunorro Clark and Allan Smith contributed.
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