A roundup of campaign news items of interest for Tuesday, November 12, 2019:
BUTTIGIEG LEADS, BUT MOST IOWANS’ DECISIONS NOT FIRM: A new poll on the Democratic presidential primary race in Iowa shows South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg in the lead.
But the most critical takeaway from the new Monmouth University poll is that fewer than 3 in 10 likely Iowa Democratic caucus participants are firm in their choice at this point in the race.
“Iowa caucus-goers are used to changing their minds up to the last minute. In fact, some probably even look forward to waiting until caucus night to settle on a candidate. This all translates to a race that is extremely fluid and will probably stay that way up to February 3,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a news release.
While Buttigieg has been surging in recent polling on the race in Iowa, the new Monmouth poll is the first to show him in the lead. Buttigieg was at 22 percent in the poll, Joe Biden at 19 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 18 percent and Bernie Sanders at 13 percent.
The poll’s margin for error was plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.
The poll also asked Iowa Democrats’ second choices. When first and second choices were combined, the leaders were Buttigieg (37 percent) and Warren (and 35 percent).
SANFORD SUSPENDS CAMPAIGN: Mark Sanford, a former South Carolina governor and U.S. representative seeking the Republican nomination for president, announced his intention to suspend his campaign.
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He cited the overwhelmingly polarized climate swirling around the congressional impeachment inquiry as a phenomenon that makes deliberate conversation and debate on substantive issues impossible at this time in Republican circles. He pledged to continue building awareness on the issue of debt and deficits warning that we are marching toward “the most predictable financial crisis in the history of our nation.”
“From day one, I was fully aware of how hard it would be to elevate these issues with a sitting president of my own party ignoring them,” Sanford said in a statement. “Impeachment noise has moved what was hard to herculean as nearly everything in Republican Party politics is currently viewed through the prism of impeachment.”
Since September, Sanford had a dozen events over six days in Iowa.
WARREN ADDS TO ANTI-CORRUPTION PLATFORM: Creating a new “corporate perjury” law in order to penalize companies that attempt to mislead federal agencies is a part of Warren’s newly expanded anti-corruption policy.
The U.S. senator from Massachusetts used the example of Exxon in the 1980s withholding reports from the company’s scientists saying fossil fuels were warming the planet and spreading misinformation about global warming.
Warren also proposed banning agencies and courts from considering non-peer-reviewed, industry-funded research, and giving the public the tools to fully participate in the federal regulatory process, according to her campaign.
“My plan to end Washington corruption prevents companies like Exxon from using industry-funded fake research to mislead federal regulators,” Warren wrote in a social media post accompanying the policy announcement. “And if bad actors like Exxon break the rules and deliberately lie to government agencies, my plan will treat them the same way the law treats someone who lies in court — by subjecting them to potential prosecution for perjury.”