Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, longtime allies currently immersed in a public dispute, put aside their differences Thursday in Washington for the start of a historic impeachment trial of President Trump. They have all but accused one another of lying about what happened in a meeting between the two over a year ago, but on Thursday each refused to address the quarrel.
The dynamic illustrated the duality of running for president and holding office in the Senate during an impeachment trial, says CBS News campaign reporter Zak Hudak. Warren and Sanders are both strong contenders to win in Iowa, but while they’re in Washington, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg is touring the state.
Both senators’ campaigns, however, have made efforts to remain relevant outside the Beltway. Warren, for her part, announced endorsements from 100 Latino community leaders, including a half dozen from Iowa. Her campaign also released a video in which her three older brothers, two of whom are Republicans, make a case for her electability.
The video represented a shift in the Warren campaign’s strategy when it comes to the senator’s family. Her brothers had not spoken publicly since the poorly-received DNA test video Warren released over a year ago, although two of them attended her rally in Oklahoma City last month. But on the trail, Warren often cites the common ground she finds with them when voters ask how a progressive like Warren would unite the country.
Sanders, meanwhile, announced two new endorsements, according to CBS News campaign reporter Cara Korte. One came from Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan who will chair the senator’s campaign in the badger state. Sanders was also endorsed by the Clark County Black Caucus in the early state of Nevada. Sanders’ Deputy Iowa state director told CBS News Thursday that the campaign is focused on maintaining an aggressive trail pace as days before caucusing go by. They’re even working on bringing “major musical acts” to Iowa on behalf of the senator to keep momentum and attitudes high.
FROM THE CANDIDATES
The Biden campaign kicked off its South Carolina “Soul of the Nation” surrogate bus tour this week with senior adviser Symone Sanders stopping by four historically black colleges and universities throughout the state Wednesday. As CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell previously reported, the team expects to visit 39 counties during this week’s 4-day swing. The second day of the tour began on Thursday with a community event in Hopkins.
More than 100 voters came out to hear surrogates Bernice Scott of the “Reckoning Crew,” Valerie Biden Owens, and Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan make their pitch of why the former vice president should be the next president of the United States. “We don’t need another war, we need peace,” said Scott during her opening remarks after sharing with the group that foreign policy is important to her because she has two grandsons in the military.
Biden Owens, the candidate’s sister, then told community members that their vote in the South Carolina primary contest in 44 days would be consequential. “Joe has the guts to beat Donald Trump, he has the heart to bring our country together, and he has the experience,” said Biden Owens to a chorus of applause and outspoken comments from attendees in agreement. “It’s up to you to make the course correction in American politics. The consequences could not be higher.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar picked up her thirteenth endorsement from a current Iowa state legislator this morning. State Rep. Karin Derry, from Johnston, is a freshman representative who flipped her Des Moines suburb district in 2018. Derry, who introduced Klobuchar at an event in Johnston earlier this month, said in a statement: “Amy Klobuchar’s message of unity and progress for working families is exactly what we need to offer voters across Iowa and the country to win back the White House in November.” CBS News campaign reporter Adam Brewster notes Klobuchar leads the field in Iowa among endorsements from current state legislators.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP
CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga has confirmed President Trump will host a campaign rally in Manchester on February 10, the eve of the New Hampshire Primary, according to a senior GOP New Hampshire source. Exact details, including the venue of the campaign rally, are to be determined. And while New Hampshire voters will pick a Democratic favorite the next day during the nation’s first primary contest, Mr. Trump will also be on the ballot. The incumbent will face off against several Republican primary contenders, including former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld and former Representative Joe Walsh. The Trump campaign has announced it will host a similar rally in Des Moines leading up to the Iowa caucuses.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Spokesperson Holly Shulman called the President’s visit to New Hampshire “the best thing that could have happened to New Hampshire Democrats” in a statement released to CBS News. “With Trump reminding us of his broken promises to Granite Staters – from his refusal to lower prescription drug prices to his administration stacked with lobbyists to his efforts to end a woman’s right to choose – even more independent voters will be motivated to cast a vote in our primary and against Trump on February 11th,” the statement reads.
Mr. Trump lost New Hampshire in 2016 by fewer than 3,000 votes, a slim 0.4% margin of votes cast. The GOP hopes they can flip the state next year, and the Republican National Committee says it has already recruited hundreds of volunteer fellows on the ground. The president last hosted a campaign rally in Manchester in August of 2019, with thousands pouring into the SNHU arena.
Bernie Sanders on Thursday picked up his latest endorsement in Nevada. The Clark County Black Caucus is officially backing the senator after their first pick, Cory Booker, suspended his campaign. CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin says the campaign has invested heavily in the state, amassing more than 100 staff, 10 offices, and this week also the support of the state’s largest teachers union and an influential immigrant rights group. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign also on Thursday touted two endorsers in Nevada: former Julián Castro backer Daniel Corona, the mayor of West Wendover, and former Kamala Harris backer Joyce Woodhouse, a state senator.
IN THE HOUSE
After a successful off-year in fundraising, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has added to their set of targeted races in 2020 – Don Young’s District in Alaska, Steve Watkin’s Kansas 2nd district, the newly redrawn district in North Carolina’s 8th district, Republican Jeff Van Drew’s New Jersey 2nd district, Dan Crenshaw’s 2nd district in Texas and the special election in California’s 25th district, Representative Katie Hill’s old seat. In a memo, the DCCC states they raised nearly $125 million in 2019, with $59.6 million in grassroots contributions. About 75% of the Democrat “Frontline” members, those facing competitive 2020 re-elections, head into 2020 with more than $1 million cash on hand.
The group says Democratic challengers also raised $41 million, with $25 million on hand in total for the election year. DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos emphasized that House Democrats are on offense, and that the 2019 fundraising numbers helps them “push deeper into Republican territory and hold Republicans accountable for their attacks on working families’ health care.”
Tom Emmer, chair of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, said at a breakfast event Thursday morning that fundraising is one issue they’ll have in the upcoming fundraising quarter, and that the members need to “get their act together and raise more money.” He added, “The individual campaigns need to raise more money. They cannot expect somebody else is going to do it for them, and they’re going to hear that from me when we come back after the break and we see all the final numbers.”
CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro says Republicans need to flip 21 seats in order to win back the House in 2020.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee announced their 2020 top target states to flip state legislatures reports CBS News political unit associate producer Eleanor Watson. The targets are North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, and Arizona. This marks the first time the DLCC has announced a target list, but the committee’s president Jennifer Post said “this election is a once in a generation opportunity to flip state legislatures.”
To jumpstart efforts, the committee has made a one million dollar early investment in these states and has a goal to spend $50 million in 2020 for state legislative races. Their unveiling of 2020 targets comes less than two weeks before a special election in Texas House District 28. The runoff race between Democrat Dr. Eliz Markowitz and Republican Gary Gates has garnered national Democratic attention, with active presidential candidates like Biden and Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsing or canvassing for Markowitz.
Former presidential candidates from Texas are also showing their support. In addition to launching a “Powered by People” organization focused on flipping Texas legislature districts, Beto O’Rourke has been campaigning on the ground with Markowitz for the past couple of months. Markowitz confirmed to CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro that Secretary Julian Castro would also be heading down to canvass on Saturday.
Post said the DLCC has put specifically $35,000 in HD-28, with more than $100,000 being funneled into Texas overall so far. Post, who is heading to the district to door knock this weekend, said they would also support Markowitz with texting-campaign support and staffing.
While she mentioned how the Fort Bend-Houston district has been trending Democratic, she didn’t know if this race could be seen as a “bellwether” for their 2020 efforts. “There’s a Republican history in this district, so it would really be earth shattering if we were able to win it,” she told reporters Thursday morning. “The other nine seats in Texas are quite easier but if we’re able to win it, it says that our odds to flip Texas are even better than what we thought they were.”
While the Texas Senate chamber is in Republican control, Democrats are nine seats away from flipping the State House blue. A Markowitz win on January 28 would make it eight seats.