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‘He could win the caucuses,’ Pollster says as Bernie Sanders leads gold-standard Iowa survey for first time

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With just three weeks until Iowa will hold the first nominating contest in the Democratic Party’s presidential primary race, Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading the field, according to results released Friday evening.

The “gold-standard” poll from Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom has Sanders (I-Vt.) at 20% followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 17%, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 16%, and former Vice President Joe Biden at 15%. The margin of error is +/- 3.7 percentage points.

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Sanders saw a five-point surge in support from November, when he secured just 15%. This is the first time in either of his runs for president that Sanders has led this poll.

“There’s no denying that this is a good poll for Bernie Sanders,” J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll, told the Register. “He leads, but it’s not an uncontested lead.”

Of the 701 likely Democratic caucusgoers surveyed Jan. 2–8, 40% say they have made up their minds about which candidates they plan to support. Selzer noted that the poll shows Sanders has “a firmer grip on his supporters than the rest of his compatriots.”

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As the Register explained:

Sanders’ supporters are more likely than those who support the other leading candidates to say their minds are made up (59%), and they are “extremely” enthusiastic about their candidate (49%). Just 32% of Warren’s supporters describe themselves as extremely enthusiastic, and 26% each for Biden and Buttigieg.

“There’s just the Bernie factor… which is (even) stronger than we saw in the last cycle,” said Selzer. “There was a thought that his support was a holdover from when he ran before and that that would evaporate… It certainly has not evaporated.”

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“For real, he could win the caucuses,” the pollster added. “His supporters are more committed and more entrenched.”

Although Warren and Buttigieg still have large “footprints” in the state, given the number of caucusgoers who name them as candidates they are considering, the results were still welcomed by Sanders’ campaign staffers and supporters.

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“Hey everyone,” tweeted Sanders 2020 speechwriter and senior adviser David Sirota, “This is exactly why #TrumpFearsBernie.”

Sanders’ campaign celebrated the development with a fundraising email Friday which declared, “There’s a new leader in Iowa, and his name is Bernard Sanders.”

“We have a ton of momentum with just three weeks to go. Now we have to finish the job,” the email continued. “Because if we do, we will take one GIANT leap forward toward President Bernie Sanders.”

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2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

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As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

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2020 Election

K-pop megastars BTS cancel Seoul concerts as South Korea coronavirus cases pass 2,000

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K-pop megastars BTS on Friday cancelled four Seoul concerts due in April as the number of novel coronavirus cases in South Korea passed 2,000.

The seven-piece boyband -- currently one of the biggest acts in the world -- had scheduled four gigs at the capital's Olympic Stadium to promote their new album, "Map of the Soul: 7".

More than 200,000 fans were expected to attend, their agency Big Hit Entertainment said in a statement, with "a number of global production companies and a large group of expert international crew" also involved.

It was "impossible at this time to predict the scale of the outbreak", it said, creating so much uncertainty it was "unavoidable" the shows were cancelled "without further delay".

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2020 Election

‘A loser’s idea of what winning looks like’: Trump ripped for bragging about coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump was mocked on Thursday after bragging that America is "way ahead in the battle with the coronavirus."

The commander-in-chief pontificated on the outbreak on Thursday and praised Vice President Mike Pence.

"Do Nothing Democrats were busy wasting their time on the Impeachment Hoax, & anything they could do to make the Republican Party look bad, while I was busy calling early boarder (sic) & flight closings, putting us way ahead in our battle with the Coronavirus. Dems called it very wrong!" Trump tweeted.

Trump was quickly criticized for his bragging, here's some of the criticism of his comments:

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