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Inside 2020

Inside 2020 (Nov 15th, 2019)


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1. Michael Bloomberg is pouring $100 million in anti-Trump digital ads into four key battleground states. The ads — which will run in Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — won't feature the former New York City mayor, even though the billionaire may still announce a run for the presidency. Instead, the ads, which will begin airing today and run through the primary season, will aim to define and attack Trump early in the campaign and help curb the president's hefty fundraising advantage over the Democrats. -- NEW YORK TIMES

2. Former President Barack Obama reportedly advised 2020 candidate Deval Patrick to stay focused on the urgency to defeat President Trump. Obama, who has been close friends with Patrick since before his own run for the White House, also encouraged Patrick to make an affirmative case for his candidacy and show up even in the places he thinks he might lose, according to the Associated Press. Patrick's personal ties to Obama could pose a challenge for former Vice President Joe Biden, who's tried to differentiate himself from the rest of the field by touting his relationship with the popular former president. -- ASSOCIATED PRESS

3. Ten Democratic candidates have qualified for the next primary debate next week in Atlanta. The lineup for the debate, which will be hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, includes former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie Sanders, businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Notably, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro did not qualify to be on stage. -- CNBC  

4. Several 2020 candidates reacted to yesterday's school shooting in Santa Clarita, California. The incident at Saugus High School, which left at least two students dead, renewed urgent calls for tougher gun safety laws from every leading Democratic candidate. In a Thursday evening tweet, President Trump said the White House was communicating with local authorities and monitoring the situation, but did not push for any legislative action. -- ABC NEWS

5. As marijuana laws remain a divisive issue in Washington, two-thirds of Americans are now in favor of legal recreational use, according to two recent polls. The Pew Research Center found 67 percent of Americans back legalization, while Gallup found that figure stands at 66 percent. The Trump administration has sent mixed messages on its stance on the issue, with the president expressing contradicting views with his own Justice Department. Most Democratic candidates support full legalization of both medicinal and recreational cannabis at the federal level. -- VOX 

6. Former Vice President Joe Biden has responded to North Korean state media characterizing him as a "rabid dog" who "must be beaten to death with a stick." A Biden campaign spokesman said in a statement that, "it's becoming more and more obvious that repugnant dictators, as well as those who admire and ‘love’ them, find Joe Biden threatening." The statement was seen as a swipe at President Trump, whose relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has been criticized by Democrats. -- USA TODAY

7. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said impeachment is about protecting the integrity of the next presidential election. Speaking to CNN, the Democrat from New York said Congress needs "to move quite quickly because we’re talking about the potential compromise of the 2020 elections,” she explained to Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. "And so this is not just about something that has occurred; this is about preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year.” -- YAHOO NEWS

8. President Trump's reelection efforts raised $3.1 million on the first day of public impeachment hearings, according to campaign manager Brad Parscale. In a tweet shared on Thursday, Parscale said the figure represents "one of [the campaign's] best fundraising days ever" and characterized House impeachment efforts as a "total scam." Trump and the Republican National Committee have a well-financed war chest heading into 2020, which raised $125 million in the third quarter alone. -- BOSTON HERALD

9. Democratic voters, happy with their presidential choices, want a shrinking 2020 field — but they're not getting one, CNN reports. Despite voters' wishes, more candidates are joining the race, which remains fluid and competitive. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced on Thursday he has launched a bid, while speculation continues to grow surrounding former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's potential candidacy. -- CNN

10. If voter turnout among black Americans return to 2012 levels next November, Democrats will likely win the electoral college, according to a new analysis. Voter turnout from black Americans dipped in 2016, and was particularly consequential in several battlegrounds Trump won. But a new study by the Center for American Progress found that, should voting rates return to 2012 levels, Democrats would flip four critical swing states — Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — and win the electoral college 294 to 244. -- INTELLIGENCER 

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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