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Trump’s 2020 fundraising numbers sound big – but they’re actually a terrible sign for him

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- Commentary

President Donald Trump is the first president in history to file papers to run for re-election on the day he was sworn in to office. That allowed him to set up a re-election campaign right away, and to use the Office of the President as a fundraising prop, something he loves to do.

For example, on Wednesday the President traveled to Texas, where he held not one, not two, but three campaign events – including a fundraising dinner.

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But tucked in between all those campaign events, was this entry on his official schedule: “The President delivers remarks and signs an Executive Order on Energy and Infrastructure.”

That allowed him to hand taxpayers the bill for some of his trip.

Sunday night and Monday morning headlines heralded Trump’s fundraising prowess:

“The Trump campaign amassed a vast $30 million reelection war chest at the start of 2019, as much as the top 2 Democratic challengers combined,” Business Insider wrote.

Trump Raises $30 Million in First Quarter, Smashing Democratic Numbers,” New York Magazine touted.

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Trump of course should be raking in the dough. He’s been running for over two years now, and has a full and experienced team in place.

But is $30 million historic? Incredible? A great sign for Trump’s re-election prospects?

Not according to CNBC’s chief Washington correspondent, John Harwood, a man who knows numbers and politics.

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(And by the way, President Barack Obama didn’t launch his re-election bid until April 4, 2011. Q2 of 2011 would be April, May, and June.)

Trump’s had two years, a full team, and only took in $30 million?

As the headlines say, that $30 million is “as much as the top 2 Democratic challengers combined.” But don’t forget, there are 18 announced Democratic challengers. That’s a lot of competition. And many Democrats may be waiting to donate until the field narrows down a bit, or until everyone has announced.

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$30 million may sound like a lot, but $45 million sounds like a lot more.

Sometimes, like in fundraising and in crowd size, size does matter:

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2020 Election

Christian Nationalism was the big loser of last night’s debate

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If you’re pondering the question of who won last night’s final Democratic primary debate, one possible answer, depending on your perspective, is secular Americans. Religion, after all, hardly came up in the raucous affair hosted jointly by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in Charleston, SC.

As divisive as Sanders is within some sectors of the party, a CBS News Instant Poll found that Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is nothing if not secular, made the best impression on Democratic voters who watched the debate. He was followed closely by Biden, Warren, and Buttigieg, with Klobuchar, Bloomberg, and Steyer bringing up the rear.

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Please, can we not let the 2020 election turn into another Boomer Greatest Hits retread?

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On Monday morning, feeding my unhealthy habit, I pressed the Twitter application on my iPad and was immediately confused. The year, as far as I knew, was 2020, yet there was a vicious debate scrolling in my feed over the civil war that engulfed Nicaragua when I was a small child. Red-hot arguments about the Sandinistas versus the Contras were being rolled out, as if that conflict was being freshly fought, instead of part of the era when MTV actually played music videos.

Swiftly, the provocation that set off this re-litigation of this proxy Cold War conflict became clear: Republican-turned-Never-Trumper pundit Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, a Nicaraguan-American, had tweeted Sunday night that she was in the second grade when the Sandinistas brought in the "Cuban education model" under which children "had to recite communist, revolutionary, anti-American slogans."

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How the coronavirus has infected Trump’s presidency — and is spreading throughout the global economy

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Nobody saw this coming. Turns out it may not be Bernie, Mike, Joe, Liz, Pete—or even Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff—who bring down Donald Trump.

While it’s still early, there are indications that the coronavirus is the pandemic that could torpedo, among other things, the booming economy Trump has always taken credit for and assumed would sweep him back into office in 2020.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 2000 points Monday and Tuesday on coronavirus-fueled. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control warned Americans that they should “work with us to prepare for the expectation that this could be bad” and outlined how schools and businesses should prepare if the virus spreads. San Francisco announced a state of emergency Tuesday.

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