2020 Elections

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The second night of the Democratic debates in Detroit did not stray from its predicted script: It was open season on front-runner Joe Biden right from the start.

But it was also something of a free-for-all, with every candidate for himself or herself. And the intensity and outcome of the exchanges may have come as a surprise to some of the people onstage.

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It's Night 2 of the Democratic debate in Detroit, airing on CNN beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The second set of 10 candidates is making their case as to why they should be the next president of the United States.

At the Democratic debate tonight, one particular aspect of Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for All" plan got special scrutiny.

After a back-and-forth over how to pay for the plan, CNN moderator Jake Tapper pointedly asked Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has sponsored Sanders' plan: "Would you raise taxes on the middle class to pay for Medicare for All — offset, obviously, by the elimination of insurance premiums — yes or no?"

"Costs will go up for billionaires and go up for corporations," Warren said. "For middle-class families, costs — total costs — will go down."

Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Detroit was widely expected to pit the two leading progressives in the field against each other. Instead, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts had each other's backs in fending off the other eight aspirants onstage.

They gave as good as they got, and emerged at least as strong as either was going in. That was particularly good news for Sanders, who had been perceived as ceding ground to Warren in recent months.

The first leg of the second round of Democratic presidential debates is over, and now it's on to Night 2.

Center stage features former Vice President Joe Biden, who has a lot on the line. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey has been promising attacks on Biden's racial justice record, and Biden is promising to not be as "polite" as he was in the last debate. Night 1 also drew a bold line between moderates and progressives onstage.

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Democratic presidential primary voters face at least two big questions. One is who they think can win in 2020. Another is what each candidate would do if elected.

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Updated July 30

This week's debate could be the last onstage appearance for more than half of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.

With more stringent qualification rules from the Democratic National Committee set to severely limit who will make the debate stage in September, lower-tier candidates are now facing a do-or-die moment this Tuesday and Wednesday in Detroit.

Before the first presidential debate last month, former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign signaled that he expected to be attacked by the candidates trailing him in the polls but that Biden would essentially ignore all incoming fire.

It was a classic front-runner approach. And it was punctured, hard and fast, by California Sen. Kamala Harris' attack on Biden's past opposition to federal busing policies.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris has released a health care plan just in time for the second Democratic debate, offering a role for private insurance in a "Medicare for All" system and outlining new taxes to pay for it.

The plan comes after months of questions about whether she supports scrapping private insurance — and as former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be gearing up to attack her at the upcoming debate on her support for Medicare for All.

AP FACT CHECK: Some inconvenient truths for 2020 Democrats

Jul 29, 2019
Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic presidential contenders have some inconvenient truths to grapple with.

It's not easy, for example, to summon foreboding words on the economy — accurately — when the U.S. has been having its longest expansion in history.

Health care for all raises questions of costs to average taxpayers that the candidates are loath to confront head on.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in Indianapolis Friday for the Young Democrats of America national convention. Pelosi’s remarks focused on the diversity of ideas within the Democratic Party.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg issued a generational call to arms Thursday as he addressed the Young Democrats of America’s national convention.

Exit polls from the 2016 presidential election suggest that only 1 of 6 white evangelical voters supported Hillary Clinton. It was the worst such performance of any recent Democratic nominee.

"She never asked for their votes," says Michael Wear, who directed religious outreach efforts for Barack Obama's successful reelection campaign in 2012.

Holcomb Officially Launches 2020 Re-election Campaign

Jul 13, 2019

Gov. Eric Holcomb leaned heavily into basketball references as he launched his re-election bid Saturday at the Hoosier Gym, where the movie "Hoosiers" filmed.

Progressive activists feel like this is their moment.

Their values are no longer seen as fringe ideas in the Democratic Party. Multiple presidential candidates are talking about "Medicare-for-all," reparations for slavery and bold action on climate change. And their ideas are driving the action on debate stages.

Now, as they gather in Philadelphia for the largest progressive convention of the year, Netroots Nation, they feel empowered as if this is their time to take over the party, push traditional Democrats aside and hold candidates accountable.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a really big boost to his campaign recently, announcing a staggering $24.8 million fundraising haul over the past three months.

But that hasn't changed one of the toughest realities his candidacy faces: support among black voters that barely registers in the polls.

Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET

President Trump has made undoing the Obama Administration's foreign policy record one of his top priorities. So it's no surprise that former Vice President Joe Biden — who played a key role in implementing now-abandoned agreements like the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal, sees Trump's foreign policy as a disaster.

Sen. Cory Booker is proposing a preemptive strike against using a citizenship question on the 2020 census in a way that he says could give Republicans a political advantage.

Tom Steyer, a California billionaire hedge fund manager and environmental activist, is the latest to jump into the Democratic presidential race.

Steyer has gained national attention with his quest to impeach President Trump. Steyer had previously said in January that he would not be running for president and would instead run a $40 million ad campaign to push for President Trump's impeachment.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent most of the spring as the Democratic presidential hopeful on the rise.

Her poll numbers steadily ticked up, as she carved out a spot as a policy-focused candidate whose weekly plan rollouts set much of the broader campaign agenda.

The momentum translated to fundraising. Warren took in $19.1 million in April, May and June — more than three times what her campaign raised during the first quarter of 2019, according to her campaign Monday.

Amr Alfiky / Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Looking to improve his standing with black voters, Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg pitched a plan Tuesday to tackle "systemic racism" he said exists in housing, health care, education, policing and other aspects of American life.

The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told a predominantly black audience at a Chicago meeting of Rainbow PUSH, the Rev. Jesse Jackson's civil rights organization, that his plan includes providing more opportunity for minority businesses, strengthening voting rights and reforming the criminal justice system.

Jennifer King / Miami Herald via AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrat Pete Buttigieg said Monday that he took in $24.8 million during the second fundraising quarter, more than triple what the South Bend, Indiana, mayor raised during the first three months of the year for his surprise hit presidential campaign.

This story is published in partnership with The Center for Public Integrity

The headline posed a straightforward question: "Where is the Republican ActBlue?"

Very of the moment — except it was published more than a decade ago, during George W. Bush's administration.

At the Democratic presidential debate this week, voters got a preview of how Democrats will handle what for now is an uphill battle against President Trump.

When history looks back on the first round of debates among Democrats in the 2020 presidential cycle, it will see a generational milestone.

Both nights of the twin bill in Miami put the spotlight on a national party in transition, loosening the bonds of its past and looking ahead to new personalities to propel its future.

Moderate 2020 Dems test if Biden stumbles provide opening

Jun 29, 2019
Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

These Democrats are issuing dire warnings about the prohibitive expense of big-ticket liberal promises. They bemoan that the party is ignoring politicians who found success in areas that supported President Donald Trump. One even echoes the Republican talking point that Democrats are becoming socialists.

Yet the moderates competing for the Democratic presidential nomination are running into a wall: Joe Biden.

LGBTQ Victory Fund endorses Buttigieg for 2020

Jun 29, 2019
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — A major political group dedicated to electing LGBTQ candidates has endorsed Democrat Pete Buttigieg for president in 2020.

LGBTQ Victory Fund gave the gay 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, its endorsement during a World Pride campaign event in New York on Friday.

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