Spotlight 2020: Updates from the Democratic Campaign front

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The horror of last weekend’s shootings permeated the speeches of democratic candidates on their trails. Candidates condemned the shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio–demanding gun control legislation–but a right-leaning article criticizes the presidential hopefuls for using recent mass shootings to boost their poll numbers. “But for the Democratic presidential candidates, the El Paso atrocity was like a loose football in the Super Bowl. A mad scramble broke out over who would be first and most savage in indicting President Donald Trump for moral complicity in mass murder,” the article claims.

The week started with Former Vice President Joe Biden maintaining a substantial lead in the polls. Biden and the rest of the top tier of candidates appeared to be expanding their lead over a packed field: Senator Elizabeth Warren continuing her upward trend to 21%, followed by Bernie Sanders with 14%. Kamala Harris dropped 5 points to 7%, followed by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 5%. No other candidate had registered above 2% in most national polling.

On Thursday, Andrew Yang became the latest to qualify for the September democratic debate stage. He will be joined by Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. Andrew Yang’s rise has been attributed to his performance in the second debate–one which led him to raise more than $1 million from 38,000 individuals. His “out-of-the-box” proposals to better the economy have been discussed by media across the political spectrum. With about 17 days left to reach the requirements–2 percent in four polls and a threshold of 130,000 unique donors–Julian Castro and Tom Steyer just might clinch two more spots yet.

The week ended with Biden, who has come under fire for his “gaffes” in Iowa. In his speech, Biden said, “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids...” before trying to correcting himself by adding: “...wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.” In his tweet, Mayor de Blasio suggests that his blunder might have been a sinister Freudian slip: “To quickly dismiss @JoeBiden’s words as a mere slip of the tongue is as concerning as what he said. We need to have a real conversation about the racism and sexism behind ‘electability.’”

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