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Inside 2020

Inside 2020 (Nov 5th, 2019)

1. President Trump is trailing top Democrats by double digits in a new Washington Post/ABC News Poll. The results, released Tuesday morning, reveal stark partisan divides on the president's approval rating and his chances at reelection. Former Vice President Joe Biden had the largest edge over Trump in a hypothetical matchup, 56 percent to 39 percent, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren bested the president 55 percent to 40 percent and Sen. Bernie Sanders led 55 percent to 41 percent. The Democrats' wide margins, however, stand in contrast to other national polls showing tighter potential matchups, suggesting it may be an outlier. -WASHINGTON POST

2. Democratic candidates are getting testier as the race enters a new phase. Speaking to ABC News, Sen. Bernie Sanders joined former Vice President Joe Biden in attacking Sen. Elizabeth Warren's "Medicare For All" plan, while former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro and Sen. Kamala Harris targeted a surging Pete Buttigieg with pointed criticisms. The increased infighting, analysts note, comes as the Iowa caucus looms three months ahead. -POLITICO

3. An aide to Tom Steyer has resigned after reportedly stealing data from presidential rival Sen. Kamala Harris. An internal investigation found Dwane Sims, Steyer's deputy South Carolina state director, accessed an old account he'd used while working for the state's Democratic Party to steal volunteer data gathered by the Harris camp. In a statement, Steyer and his team said they "extend [their] deepest apology to Sen. Kamala Harris and her campaign." -AXIOS

4. Forty-six percent of voters said with certainty that they will not vote for President Trump in 2020 — a worrisome sign for the incumbent. In the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday, just 34 percent said Trump will definitely get their vote. The same poll taken in December 2011 found a substantially lower percentage of voters, 37 percent, said they would not vote to reelect then-President Barack Obama, who defeated Mitt Romney a year later. One reason the president should still feel optimistic? State-level polling finds the battlegrounds have Trump-friendlier electorates. -NBC NEWS

5. Sen. Elizabeth Warren's growing campaign is "rattling" big wigs on Wall Street. The Massachusetts senator's focus on raising taxes on the wealthy and implementing tougher corporate regulations is unnerving figures in the financial sector who view a Warren administration as an existential threat, the New York Times reported. "What scares the hell out of me is the way she would fundamentally change our free-enterprise system,” said Steven Rattner, a Democratic donor who manages the wealth of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. -NEW YORK TIMES

6. Sen. Bernie Sanders caught the Chicago Teachers Union president off-guard with a congratulatory phone call captured on tape. In their impromptu chat, featured in a podcast for Chicago teachers, the presidential hopeful applauded Jesse Sharkey and said he was looking forward to working with the union in the future. "You guys have won a victory that will not only be for Chicago but be for the whole country," Sanders noted. Many Democratic candidates, including Sanders, had vocalized support for Chicago teachers as an 11-day strike over pay and staff shortages upended business as usual in the Windy City in October. -CHICAGO TRIBUNE 

7. Sen. Kamala Harris said it's "nonsense" to think black Americans are more homophobic than other voting groups. In response to openly gay Pete Buttigieg's struggle to win over black voters in South Carolina, Rep. Jim Clyburn told CNN there's "no question" the South Bend mayor's sexuality is a sticking point among the state's older black population. Harris — one of the few candidates of color in the presidential race — blasted Clyburn's remark: "To label one community in particular as being burdened by this bias as compared to others is misinformed, it’s misdirected, and it’s just simply wrong." -POLITICO

8. A competitive Senate map is putting the pressure on purple state Republicans. The GOP will have to play tough defense to protect their majority next November, holding many seats in states that Hillary Clinton either won or narrowly lost. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Martha McSally of Arizona, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Susan Collins of Maine are the most vulnerable Republican senators up for reelection in 2020, according to an analysis by Roll Call. Democrats will have to flip four seats — or three, should President Trump lose the White House — to capture a blue majority. -ROLL CALL

9. Pete Buttigieg told Iowans he'll take his Christian faith to Washington. Citing scripture at a campaign event, the South Bend mayor explained, "When I’m president, you’ll never have to look at the White House and scratch your head and think, 'Whatever happened to, "I was hungry and you fed me, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Whatever you’ve done to the least of these, you have done to me"?'" Buttigieg, who routinely discusses his personal faith on the campaign trail, has climbed into the top tier of the Democratic primary in recent Iowa polls. -WASHINGTON EXAMINER 

10. Democrats aren't sure how to deal with the "lock him up" chants they're hearing on the campaign trail. The chant, which surfaced again at a rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders in Minneapolis on Sunday, suggests candidates will have to grapple with how to address the sentiment directed at a president on the brink of impeachment. Trump originated the line with "lock her up" — an attack against Hillary Clinton — throughout the 2016 campaign. At a World Series game in October, the president was booed and taunted with the "lock him up" chant in Washington, D.C. -VOX 

Robbie Couch is a writer and reporter whose work has been published on HuffPost, GOOD magazine, Upworthy, and more. In previous roles, Robbie has written about politics, pop culture news, and social issues

Editor: Kim Lyons, Inside Managing Editor and Pittsburgh-based freelance journalist.

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