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Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are gaining in Iowa poll

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Former Vice President Joe Biden is still leading in the latest Iowa caucus poll, but two of his fellow Democrats competing for the presidential nomination are making gains — Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

While Biden is at the head of the pack with 24 percent of respondents selecting him as their “first choice,” he is followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont with 16 percent, then Warren with 15 percent and Buttigieg with 14 percent, according to a survey by The Des Moines Register and CNN. The next candidate is Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who only has 7 percent of the support.

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This is a sign of considerable progress for both Warren and Buttigieg. In a poll taken by the Des Moines Register in March (this data point comes from The New York Times), Biden had 27 percent and Sanders had 25 percent, with Warren only polling at 9 percent and Buttigieg only polling at 1 percent. Buttigieg claimed that the poll has vindicated his strategy for campaigning, saying outside of an event for Democrats in northeastern Iowa that “it shows that campaigning works. We’ve invested a lot of time and a lot of effort, not just nationally but getting to be known in Iowa, and obviously that’s led to some growth.”

There was a positive data point in the poll specifically for Warren: An equal number of the voters who plan on caucusing in person, 61 percent, say that she is on their list of their options — that is, she is either their first choice, their second choice or is being actively considered – as they do for Biden. The only other candidates who are also regarded as serious options in this way by more than 50 percent of that subset of Iowa voters are Sanders (with 56 percent) and Buttigieg and Harris (with 52 percent each).

During an appearance on CNN on Sunday, Sanders told anchor Dana Bash that “what I think is that four years ago, you know, there were only two of us in the race, and we split the vote about 50% each. This time we’ve got a whole lot of candidates and I don’t think anybody is going to reach 50%.”

He added, “We’re not going to get 50% of the vote in Iowa. I don’t think anybody will.”

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He also claimed that “I think we have a very strong chance of being the candidate who will defeat the worst president in the modern history of this country, Donald Trump.”

Biden’s candidacy has been harshly criticized for the former vice president’s moderate positions, which some have argued put him out of touch with the party’s liberal base, as well as because of criticisms that he has engaged in inappropriate touching around women (he has not been accused of sexual misconduct).

More moderate Democrats have expressed concern about whether Sanders’ left-wing views would make him unelectable against Trump.

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“The election is going to be determined, most likely, in the upper Midwest, in the same battleground states that Donald Trump won last time and shocked Hillary Clinton,” Marshall told Salon. “That means Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan. You could also throw in Iowa. So does Bernie Sanders expand the map for Democrats in these places? Does he appeal to mainstream voters? And I don’t see any evidence of it. I think that’s the great challenge for Bernie Sanders and I’m not sure how he surmounts it.”


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2020 Election

Rising star Warren weathers attacks at Democratic White House debate

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Surging White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren faced a barrage of attacks from fellow Democrats at the party's fourth 2020 debate Tuesday, cementing her status as a frontrunner in the race to challenge Donald Trump.

The president himself loomed large as the dozen Democratic contenders trained their fire on him, calling for his impeachment and assailing a Syria troop pullout that Joe Biden slammed as "shameful."

"The impeachment must go forward," thundered Warren, the progressive senator who is neck and neck with former vice president Biden at the head of the 2020 nomination race -- a stance loudly echoed by her fellow Democrats on stage.

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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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