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Inside 2020

Inside 2020 (Jul 23rd, 2019)

Editor's note: We've had Inside 2020 on hiatus for a few weeks but with the second Democratic debate approaching, we're ramping back up. We want to hear what would make this newsletter most useful to you, just hit "reply" and let us know. 

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1. The women running for president are (still) grappling with the "likability" factor. Vox has a detailed explainer on how pollsters focus on whether a woman candidate is likable versus whether she's qualified. "Voters are perfectly willing to vote for a man for executive office that they think is qualified that they don’t like, but they are not willing to vote for a woman they think is qualified that they don’t like," according to Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. A CNN/University of New Hampshire poll conducted earlier this month found former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders tied for most "likable" among Democrats running for president, with 20 percent each. Sen. Kamala Harris was the highest-ranked woman on the poll, with a 5 percent rating, Sen. Elizabeth Warren scored a 4 percent and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard had 2 percent. Nineteen percent of respondents answered "don't know/not sure." -- VOX

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2. Democrats seeking reelection to the House in 2020 are, so far, outpacing their Republican counterparts in fundraising, campaign filings show. Although it's early days for 2020 House elections, from April to June, Democrats already have raised $17.6 million more than GOP candidates, the Washington Post found. Much of that haul comes from small-dollar donors; Rep. Katie Porter of California, for instance, said her average donation amount was $42. Democrats took control of the House in 2018, adding 40 seats. --WASHINGTON POST

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3. Sen. Bernie Sanders said his campaign will limit the hours its staffers work to ensure they are earning at least $15 an hour. The Washington Post reported that field organizers on the campaign frequently work 60-hour weeks, which put their hourly pay closer to $13. Sanders has made the $15 per hour minimum wage a staple of his presidential campaign. He told the Des Moines Register that he was upset that the staffers had taken their case to the media. "That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it's improper," he said. Earlier this year, the Sanders campaign was the first to announce its employees would be part of a labor union. --FOX

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4. A new poll finds President Trump's approval rating among independent voters ticked up this month. Trump had a 42 percent approval rating among independent voters surveyed in an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll July 15-17, up from a 35 percent rating in June. The president's overall approval rating in the poll was 44 percent. Fifty-three percent of all voters polled, however, said they would definitely vote against Trump in 2020. -- NPR

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5. Former special counsel Robert Mueller is set to testify before Congress on Wednesday before two House committees: Judiciary and Intelligence. The report generated by Mueller's months-long investigation didn't find that President Trump's campaign conspired with Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential elections. Democrats are expected to ask about the parts of the report which suggests the president may have obstructed justice, and whether he would have sought charges against Trump if he were not the president. --NBC NEWS

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6. The Trump campaign store is selling red plastic straws with the word TRUMP on them because "liberal paper straws don't work," the site says. A pack of 10 of the straws is priced at $15. Campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted "I'm so over paper straws," and "Making Straws Great Again" in announcing the straws. Parscale tweeted Monday that the store has sold more than 140,000 of the straws in the past few days.-- SLATE

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7. ICYMI: The lineup for round two of the Democrats' 2020 presidential debates is set. The first night, July 30, will include Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio; Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, former congressmen Beto O'Rourke of Texas and John Delaney of Maryland; former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and writer Marianne Williamson. On July 31, Sen. Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden will be joined by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; New York Mayor Bill de Blasio; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and businessman Andrew Yang. -- CNN

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This newsletter is curated by Inside Managing Editor and Pittsburgh-based freelance journalist Kim Lyons.  

Edited by Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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