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Inside 2020

Inside 2020 (Nov 18th, 2019)

1. With eyes on a presidential run, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg flipped his position on one of the policies that defined his mayorship: stop-and-frisk. “I was wrong and I am sorry,” Bloomberg told a predominantly black crowd at a Brooklyn church on Sunday. The policy, which grew significantly in New York under Bloomberg's leadership, allows police officers to question, detain, and search civilians they deem suspicious of carrying illegal drugs or weapons. Stop-and-frisk has been panned by critics, who point to data suggesting it's ineffective and unfairly targets men of color. -- NEW YORK TIMES   

2. Mayor Pete Buttigieg said a new poll showing he's the clear frontrunner in Iowa is "extremely encouraging.” Twenty-five percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers support the South Bend mayor, according to the Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom survey released on Saturday. It's the first poll depicting Buttigieg as a standalone frontrunner in the Hawkeye state, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren earning 16 percent, and former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders at 15 percent each. Buttigieg didn't get ahead of himself, however, noting "there’s a long way to go, and there are a lot of states in this process." -- THE HILL

3. President Trump downplayed his unannounced trip to Walter Reed Medical Center on Saturday. Trump had visited the hospital for "phase one" of his annual physical, according to the White House. But the routine exam came months ahead of its expected date and the appointment broke protocol by not being listed on the president's public schedule. Along with fellow 2020 contenders former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Trump's age and health have been scrutinized one year out from the election. "Everything very good (great!)," Trump tweeted on Sunday about the visit. -- NBC NEWS

4. Back-to-back gubernatorial losses suggest President Trump's endorsements may be losing their luster, according to The Washington Post. Even after Trump campaigned in both states, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was ousted earlier this month by Democrat Andy Beshear, and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards won reelection over his Republican opponent Eddie Rispone on Saturday. GOP officials have shrugged off the losses, pointing to local factors they claim affected outcomes. But turnout trends in both states showed white suburbanites and black voters turning against the GOP. -- THE WASHINGTON POST

5. Sen. Kamala Harris' struggling campaign has left some party officials wondering if it's time for the senator to drop out. After an energized launch, Harris has failed to sustain traction in the polls, closed offices to focus entirely on Iowa, and downplayed reports suggesting her campaign is deteriorating. At their state convention over the weekend, Politico reports that California Democratic Party insiders expressed concern that, should Harris remain in the race too long without a shot at the nomination, it could produce an embarrassing loss in her home state's March primary and lure more challengers to her Senate reelection bid. -- POLITICO  

6. Iowa voters in both parties view the impeachment inquiry as a political win heading into 2020, a new poll found. Sixty percent of Iowa Republicans believe the inquiry is more likely to make it easier than harder for the president to win reelection, while 45 percent of Iowa Democrats believe impeachment would make it easier for their 2020 nominee to oust Trump, according to the CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom survey. National polling shows the electorate is nearly evenly divided on its support of the inquiry. -- CNN  

7. Deval Patrick suggested on "Meet the Press" that his campaign will accept super PAC cash. “We need to do some catch-up, so I think we've got to follow and find all sorts of above-board strategies," the former Massachusetts governor explained to Chuck Todd on Sunday. The move by Patrick, whose late entry in an overcrowded field has already irked many Democratic voters, puts him at odds with progressives Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who both have sworn off big-dollar fundraisers and corporate donations. -- POLITICO

8. Sen. Bernie Sanders pushed back on former President Obama's warning to 2020 hopefuls not to go too far left. Speaking to Democratic donors on Friday, Obama cautioned the field of contenders to prioritize moderation over revolutionary policies — a move many pundits saw as veiled criticism of Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. On Saturday, Sanders rebuked the notion that his ideas don't align with mainstream voters. “The agenda that we have is an agenda supported by the vast majority of working people,” Sanders noted, claiming his stances on health care and the minimum wage are popular among most Americans. -- THE GUARDIAN

9. Seventy percent of Americans believe President Trump's request for Ukraine to investigate a political rival was wrong, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll. The survey found 51 percent of respondents believe the president should be impeached and removed from office because of the misconduct. With a year to go before the 2020 election, the poll found most respondents are following the impeachment inquiry either "somewhat closely" or "very closely." -- ABC NEWS  

10. Joe Biden said he doesn't want to fully legalize marijuana because there's not "enough evidence" on "whether or not it is a gateway drug." The former vice president's position on cannabis stands at odds against his top Democratic 2020 rivals, who all support decriminalizing both medicinal and recreational use at the federal level. There is ample data that suggests Biden's characterization of marijuana as a potential "gateway drug" is not entirely accurate. -- THE HILL

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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