Connect with us

Politics

Political spending in presidential and congressional races projected to hit nearly $11 billion, shattering records – CNN

Published

 on


That far exceeds the $6.5 billion that candidates, political committees and outside groups spent to influence presidential and congressional elections four years ago.
The 2020 election “is going to absolutely crush anything we’ve ever seen — or imagined — before,” Sheila Krumholz, the center’s executive director, said in a statement. “The unanswered question is whether this will be the new normal for future elections.”
The presence of two free-spending billionaires in the Democratic presidential primary — former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and California hedge-fund founder Tom Steyer — along with a wave of small-dollar contributions helped drive spending to new highs.
The center’s estimate of $10.8 billion in overall spending is based on trends it has studied from past elections, but its researchers say an 11th hour gusher of campaign money could send the final total even higher. There already are signs of increased enthusiasm among Democratic donors as Election Day draws closer.
ActBlue, the online fundraising platform for liberal donors, said Monday it had raised $300 million for Democratic candidates and causes since Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on September 18.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, reported collecting nearly $10 million in a three-hour window Tuesday night as he and President Donald Trump faced off in their first debate. Biden’s campaign went on to collect $21.5 million online on Wednesday — the best fundraising day of the 2020 race, a campaign aide confirmed to CNN.
The coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession it has triggered aren’t an “ideal environment for political fundraising,” the center’s research director Sarah Bryner noted. “But donors across the political spectrum … have more than stepped up.”
Small-dollar donors — individuals giving $200 or less — have accounted for 22% of all the money flowing to federal committees so far, up from 14% four years ago.
And Democrats have had a clear advantage in this election cycle. Even when spending from Steyer and Bloomberg were removed from the picture, Democrats accounted for 54% of total spending to Republicans’ 39%, the researchers found.
The group expects spending in the presidential race alone to near $5.2 billion — easily topping the previous record of $2.8 billion in 2008, when adjusted for inflation.
The predicted price tag for this year’s battle to control Congress: about $5.6 billion, roughly on par with the record-setting spending in the 2018 midterm elections that saw Democratic seize control of the US House of Representatives.
Other findings:
  • Big donors also have influence. The top 100 donors have donated $756 million, or 8% of all giving. Candidate spending on their own campaigns account 18%. Bloomberg, who spent more than $1 billion of his fortune on his short-lived presidential bid, accounted for 12% of the total raised to date.
  • Women donors are opening their wallets, contributing nearly $1.7 billion this cycle — up from $1.3 billion in 2016 when Democrat Hillary Clinton sought to become the first woman elected president.
  • The pandemic has shaped how candidates spend donors’ money. Spending on travel and staging events is down, and more money is flowing to advertising.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Politics

Week In Politics: What The Polls Are Saying, Days Before Election Day – NPR

Published

 on


With just days to go, the 2020 campaign is proving to be a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency more than anything else.



SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

More than 1.5 million people have already voted in Wisconsin. Voters have cast nearly 8 million ballots in Florida, 9 million in Texas, more than the total number of votes for president there in 2016. We begin this hour with NPR senior Washington editor and correspondent Ron Elving. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Happy Halloween, Scott.

SIMON: Ron, four years ago, the pollsters said it was going one way. It went another way. How do you read the polls now?

ELVING: With extreme caution, Scott. The 2016 polls were actually pretty good on the national numbers, well within the margin of error. But some of the key states were wrong and by more than the margin of error. Pollsters in those states are acutely aware of this history, and they’ve been looking long and hard at what happened. Among other things, there was a late break among the undecided four years ago, and it favored Donald Trump. There was also some falloff among Democrats that may have been due to complacency. That’s a little less likely to happen this year. That said, this time around, it will probably take even more egregious error than we saw four years ago if President Trump is going to reverse the advantage that we now see for Democrat Joe Biden.

SIMON: And as we’ve gotten closer and closer to Election Day, the president has taken from diminishing the pandemic to really outright mocking it, even as coronavirus cases surge again to record heights.

ELVING: You know, it may be heartening to hear that message if you are someone who takes his cues straight from the president, directly from the president. We heard that from Donald Trump Jr. and Sr. this week. But let’s say you’re more inclined to trust other sources of information, such as perhaps the doctors who have been sidelined from the president’s task force in recent months. In that case, it would seem just bizarre to claim that we’re turning the corner or crushing the virus, two claims the president has made in recent days, when last week we set a new record for new cases at half a million a week. So even with a somewhat lower mortality rate, we’re still producing frightening numbers of fatalities. And we seem to be headed toward 400,000 dead early in the new year just in this country.

SIMON: And it’s only fair to wonder, Ron – isn’t it? – that the president’s dismissal of the pandemic – well, to ask, does it affect federal policy?

ELVING: You know, to be blunt, the COVID-19 task force – Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, some of the other people that we were hearing from back in the spring – seems to have been, let us say, dovetailed into the president’s reelection effort, perhaps co-opted to some degree by the president’s reelection effort. And maybe we shouldn’t be surprised at this point, but the idea that information is being blocked or distorted for this purpose at this point in this pandemic is chilling.

SIMON: Joe Biden question – back in the primaries, he was flailing at one point, earned a reputation as a compromise candidate, not at the head of new movements. The candidacy obviously looks pretty strong now. He’s run for office and won a lot of times. Is this at the same time mostly a referendum on President Trump?

ELVING: It is a referendum on Donald Trump, and that is just what you want if you’re challenging a president. If the controversy is about the incumbent in the midst of difficult times, that gives the out party an obvious advantage. If there’s more controversy about the challenger, the incumbent tends to win, which is why the president’s campaign has been so busy trying to generate controversies about the Bidens.

SIMON: And let’s finally remind our friends and listeners, we might not get the results Tuesday night, right? It might take several days, several weeks.

ELVING: Yes. Some of the Sunbelt states – Arizona, Florida, North Carolina – it’s possible we might get results before we go to bed. But that’s not a guarantee of anything. It’s just possible. Otherwise, we’re going to be waiting throughout the week, probably, for Pennsylvania and maybe also Michigan and Wisconsin to count their mountains of mailed-in ballots.

SIMON: NPR’s Ron Elving, thanks so much for being with us.

ELVING: Thank you, Scott.

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

A longtime fixture in U.S. politics, Biden seeks to win elusive prize – TheChronicleHerald.ca

Published

 on


By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Joe Biden, a fixture in U.S. politics for a half century as a senator and vice president, is seeking to complete a long climb to the political mountaintop that includes two previous failed presidential bids by defeating President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

If Biden beats the Republican president, a fellow septuagenarian, the 77-year-old Democrat from Delaware would become the oldest person ever elected to the White House.

Biden has sought to portray his political experience as a benefit, casting himself as a tested leader up to the tasks of healing a nation battered by the coronavirus pandemic and providing steadiness after the turbulence of Trump’s presidency.

Accepting the Democratic presidential nomination in August, Biden stressed compassion and decency, seeking to draw a contrast with the pugnacious Trump.

“I’ll be an ally of the light,” Biden said, “not the darkness.”

Trump has derided him as “Sleepy Joe” and said his mental capacity was “shot” as the president’s allies sought to portray Biden as senile.

If elected, Biden would be 78 years old upon inauguration on Jan. 20. Trump, 74, was the oldest person to assume the presidency when he was sworn in at age 70 in 2017.

Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008 before finally securing his party’s blessing this year with strong support among Black voters.

He brings to his political career a mix of blue-collar credentials, foreign policy experience and a compelling life story marked by family tragedy – the loss of his first wife and a daughter in a car crash, and a son to cancer.

Biden arrived in Washington as a young upstart. He was elected in 1972 at age 29 to the U.S. Senate from Delaware and remained there for 36 years before serving from 2009 to 2017 as vice president under Barack Obama, the country’s first Black president.

Trump has sought to turn Biden’s experience into a liability, denouncing him as a career politician. Trump has said Biden would become a puppet of the Democratic Party’s “radical left.”

The coronavirus pandemic has been front and center in the presidential race. Biden accuses Trump of surrendering in the face of the public health crisis, saying the president panicked and tried to wish away the virus rather than do the hard work needed to get it under control, leaving the economy in shambles and millions of people jobless.

Trump, who was hospitalized for three days after contracting COVID-19, has mocked Biden for regularly wearing a face mask to guard against the pathogen’s spread.

‘THE SOUL OF THIS NATION’

After serving as vice president, Biden opted not to run for president in 2016, only to watch Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. When Biden announced his 2020 candidacy in April 2019, he took aim at Trump.

“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden said, adding that if re-elected Trump would “forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation – who we are – and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”

Biden selected Senator Kamala Harris – whose father is an immigrant from Jamaica and whose mother is an immigrant from India – as his running mate, making her the first Black woman and first person of Asian descent on a major-party U.S. ticket. At 56, Harris is a generation younger than Biden.

An effort by Trump to dig up dirt on Biden resulted in the president’s impeachment in the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives in December 2019. The two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – stemmed from Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate Biden and his son Hunter on unsubstantiated corruption allegations.

In February, the Senate, controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, acquitted him of the charges after refusing to call any witnesses.

U.S. intelligence agencies and the FBI director this year concluded that Russia, after interfering in the 2016 election to harm Trump’s opponent Clinton, was engaging in a campaign to denigrate Biden and boost Trump’s re-election chances while promoting discord in the United States.

Biden’s previous two presidential runs did not go well. He dropped out of the 1988 race after allegations that he had plagiarized some speech lines from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. In 2008, Biden won little support and withdrew, only to be selected later as Obama’s running mate.

The folksy Biden, known for blunt talk and occasional verbal gaffes, has often referenced his working-class roots to connect with ordinary Americans. Biden also was the first Roman Catholic U.S. vice president.

Under Obama, Biden served as a troubleshooter on matters of war and foreign affairs and on domestic issues such as gun control and fiscal policy.

Obama did not always heed Biden’s advice. Obama gave the go-ahead for the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden despite Biden’s warning that it was too risky.

Biden speaks openly about his family’s tragedies including the 1972 car crash that killed his first wife, Neilia, and their 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, weeks after his election to the Senate.

He almost abandoned his political career to care for his two young sons who survived the accident but stayed on, commuting by train from Delaware to Washington to avoid uprooting them.

In 2015, his son Joseph “Beau” Biden III, an Iraq war veteran who had served as Delaware’s attorney general, died from brain cancer at age 46. Biden’s son Hunter struggled with drug issues as an adult.

Biden himself had a health scare in 1988 when he suffered two brain aneurysms.

BLUE-COLLAR BACKGROUND

Biden was born in the blue-collar city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the eldest of four siblings. His family later moved to Delaware. Biden overcame stuttering as a boy by reciting passages of poetry to a mirror.

He was practically a political novice – having served two years on a county board in Delaware – when in 1972 he became the fifth-youngest elected senator in U.S. history.

Despite years of partisan hostilities in Washington, Biden remained a believer in bipartisanship. During his time in the Senate, Biden was known for his close working relationships with some of his Republican colleagues. In addition, a number of disaffected Republicans, including former government officials and former lawmakers, alarmed at Trump’s presidency have endorsed Biden.

Biden also advocated for America’s role as a leader on the world stage at a time when Trump was abandoning international agreements and alienating longtime foreign allies.

One of Biden’s accomplishments as a senator was helping to secure passage in 1994 of a law called the Violence Against Women Act to protect victims of domestic crimes.

While in the Senate, Biden built up a specialty in foreign affairs and at one time headed the Foreign Relations Committee. He voted in favor of authorizing the 2003 Iraq invasion before becoming a critic of Republican President George W. Bush’s handling of the war.

Biden was criticized as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 for his handling of sexual harassment accusations against Republican President George H.W. Bush’s conservative Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas by former aide Anita Hill. Liberals criticized him for doing too little to defend Hill’s allegations, which Thomas had denied.

The committee held explosive televised hearings prior to Thomas’s eventual Senate confirmation. Thomas accused Biden’s committee of conducting “a high-tech lynching for uppity Blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.”

In May of this year, Biden denied a former Senate aide’s accusation that he had sexually assaulted her in 1993, calling the claim “not true” and saying “unequivocally it never, never happened.” The allegation was made by a California woman named Tara Reade who worked as a staff assistant in Biden’s Senate office for about 10 months.

Reade was one of eight women who in 2019 came forward to say Biden had hugged, kissed or touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable, though none accused him of sexual assault. Reade publicly accused him of the assault months later.

(Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Howard Goller)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

A longtime fixture in U.S. politics, Biden seeks to win elusive prize – Reuters Canada

Published

 on


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Joe Biden, a fixture in U.S. politics for a half century as a senator and vice president, is seeking to complete a long climb to the political mountaintop that includes two previous failed presidential bids by defeating President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden during an appearance in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., September 4, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

If Biden beats the Republican president, a fellow septuagenarian, the 77-year-old Democrat from Delaware would become the oldest person ever elected to the White House.

Biden has sought to portray his political experience as a benefit, casting himself as a tested leader up to the tasks of healing a nation battered by the coronavirus pandemic and providing steadiness after the turbulence of Trump’s presidency.

Accepting the Democratic presidential nomination in August, Biden stressed compassion and decency, seeking to draw a contrast with the pugnacious Trump.

“I’ll be an ally of the light,” Biden said, “not the darkness.”

Trump has derided him as “Sleepy Joe” and said his mental capacity was “shot” as the president’s allies sought to portray Biden as senile.

If elected, Biden would be 78 years old upon inauguration on Jan. 20. Trump, 74, was the oldest person to assume the presidency when he was sworn in at age 70 in 2017.

Biden unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988 and 2008 before finally securing his party’s blessing this year with strong support among Black voters.

He brings to his political career a mix of blue-collar credentials, foreign policy experience and a compelling life story marked by family tragedy – the loss of his first wife and a daughter in a car crash, and a son to cancer.

Biden arrived in Washington as a young upstart. He was elected in 1972 at age 29 to the U.S. Senate from Delaware and remained there for 36 years before serving from 2009 to 2017 as vice president under Barack Obama, the country’s first Black president.

Trump has sought to turn Biden’s experience into a liability, denouncing him as a career politician. Trump has said Biden would become a puppet of the Democratic Party’s “radical left.”

The coronavirus pandemic has been front and center in the presidential race. Biden accuses Trump of surrendering in the face of the public health crisis, saying the president panicked and tried to wish away the virus rather than do the hard work needed to get it under control, leaving the economy in shambles and millions of people jobless.

Trump, who was hospitalized for three days after contracting COVID-19, has mocked Biden for regularly wearing a face mask to guard against the pathogen’s spread.

‘THE SOUL OF THIS NATION’

After serving as vice president, Biden opted not to run for president in 2016, only to watch Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. When Biden announced his 2020 candidacy in April 2019, he took aim at Trump.

“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden said, adding that if re-elected Trump would “forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation – who we are – and I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”

Biden selected Senator Kamala Harris – whose father is an immigrant from Jamaica and whose mother is an immigrant from India – as his running mate, making her the first Black woman and first person of Asian descent on a major-party U.S. ticket. At 56, Harris is a generation younger than Biden.

An effort by Trump to dig up dirt on Biden resulted in the president’s impeachment in the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives in December 2019. The two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – stemmed from Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate Biden and his son Hunter on unsubstantiated corruption allegations.

In February, the Senate, controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, acquitted him of the charges after refusing to call any witnesses.

U.S. intelligence agencies and the FBI director this year concluded that Russia, after interfering in the 2016 election to harm Trump’s opponent Clinton, was engaging in a campaign to denigrate Biden and boost Trump’s re-election chances while promoting discord in the United States.

Biden’s previous two presidential runs did not go well. He dropped out of the 1988 race after allegations that he had plagiarized some speech lines from British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. In 2008, Biden won little support and withdrew, only to be selected later as Obama’s running mate.

The folksy Biden, known for blunt talk and occasional verbal gaffes, has often referenced his working-class roots to connect with ordinary Americans. Biden also was the first Roman Catholic U.S. vice president.

Under Obama, Biden served as a troubleshooter on matters of war and foreign affairs and on domestic issues such as gun control and fiscal policy.

Obama did not always heed Biden’s advice. Obama gave the go-ahead for the 2011 raid in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden despite Biden’s warning that it was too risky.

Biden speaks openly about his family’s tragedies including the 1972 car crash that killed his first wife, Neilia, and their 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, weeks after his election to the Senate.

He almost abandoned his political career to care for his two young sons who survived the accident but stayed on, commuting by train from Delaware to Washington to avoid uprooting them.

In 2015, his son Joseph “Beau” Biden III, an Iraq war veteran who had served as Delaware’s attorney general, died from brain cancer at age 46. Biden’s son Hunter struggled with drug issues as an adult.

Biden himself had a health scare in 1988 when he suffered two brain aneurysms.

BLUE-COLLAR BACKGROUND

Biden was born in the blue-collar city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the eldest of four siblings. His family later moved to Delaware. Biden overcame stuttering as a boy by reciting passages of poetry to a mirror.

He was practically a political novice – having served two years on a county board in Delaware – when in 1972 he became the fifth-youngest elected senator in U.S. history.

Despite years of partisan hostilities in Washington, Biden remained a believer in bipartisanship. During his time in the Senate, Biden was known for his close working relationships with some of his Republican colleagues. In addition, a number of disaffected Republicans, including former government officials and former lawmakers, alarmed at Trump’s presidency have endorsed Biden.

Biden also advocated for America’s role as a leader on the world stage at a time when Trump was abandoning international agreements and alienating longtime foreign allies.

One of Biden’s accomplishments as a senator was helping to secure passage in 1994 of a law called the Violence Against Women Act to protect victims of domestic crimes.

While in the Senate, Biden built up a specialty in foreign affairs and at one time headed the Foreign Relations Committee. He voted in favor of authorizing the 2003 Iraq invasion before becoming a critic of Republican President George W. Bush’s handling of the war.

Biden was criticized as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 for his handling of sexual harassment accusations against Republican President George H.W. Bush’s conservative Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas by former aide Anita Hill. Liberals criticized him for doing too little to defend Hill’s allegations, which Thomas had denied.

The committee held explosive televised hearings prior to Thomas’s eventual Senate confirmation. Thomas accused Biden’s committee of conducting “a high-tech lynching for uppity Blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.”

In May of this year, Biden denied a former Senate aide’s accusation that he had sexually assaulted her in 1993, calling the claim “not true” and saying “unequivocally it never, never happened.” The allegation was made by a California woman named Tara Reade who worked as a staff assistant in Biden’s Senate office for about 10 months.

Reade was one of eight women who in 2019 came forward to say Biden had hugged, kissed or touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable, though none accused him of sexual assault. Reade publicly accused him of the assault months later.

Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Howard Goller

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending