- Cory Booker has dropped out of the presidential contest.
- Bernie Sanders is criticized for going negative. His campaign has accused Joe Biden of “betraying” black voters (Biden is the favorite candidate of black voters) and Elizabeth Warren of being the candidate of wealthy white liberals. NBC reports it’s bringing back memories of 2016: “Sanders, his supporters and his surrogates go on the attack; Sanders downplays or dismisses the attacks; and the party becomes more divided.”
- Biden still leads in the endorsement primary, but it’s slow going. Only a third of Democratic governors, senators and representatives have endorsed a candidate. Party leaders may be waiting to see what happens in the first few primaries before making up their minds. Or perhaps this will be like the Republican primary of 2016, when “the” party collectively decided not to decide.
- Michael Bloomberg has said that, even if he loses, his campaign — the biggest and most expensive of the Democratic candidates — will remain in place to help defeat Donald Trump. He has also shot down criticism, notably from Warren, that he’s trying to buy the nomination, saying, “Do you want me to spend more or less?” Read more “Democratic Primary News”
- Five candidates have qualified for the second round of the Labour leadership election in the United Kingdom: Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry won the required 10 percent support from lawmakers to make it into the next nominating round.
- Clive Lewis pulled out after receiving only five endorsements. Some of his supporters switched to Thornberry, who received 23 endorsements, only one more than needed.
- Keir Starmer won the most endorsements by far (89), including from former leader Ed Miliband. Read more “Five Candidates Qualify to Succeed Corbyn as Labour Leader”
- Julián Castro, Barack Obama’s housing secretary, has ended his presidential bid.
- Bernie Sanders out-fundraised the other candidates in the final quarter of last year, bringing in $34.5 million against $22.7 million for Joe Biden. President Donald Trump raised $46 million for his reelection campaign in the same period.
- Trump’s airstrike against Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Iraq has divided Democrats. Only Sanders and Andrew Yang opposed it outright. Read more “Democratic Primary News”
Spain’s electoral commission is trying to sidestep the courts in order to ban Catalan separatist leaders from office.
The commission ordered Catalan president Quim Torra to step down on Friday, although he is appealing a similar ban from office by the Catalan High Court.
It also barred separatist party leader Oriol Junqueras from taking his seat in the European Parliament, despite the European Court of Justice ruling that he must. Read more “Spain’s Electoral Commission Sidesteps Courts to Ban Catalan Leaders”
Spain’s Pedro Sánchez is closing in on a deal with Catalan separatists to remain in power.
The caretaker prime minister has the support of the far left to form a new government, but he also needs the backing of regional parties, who hold the balance of power in Congress.
Sánchez’ Socialist Party does not have a majority of its own. Read more “Sánchez Close to Forming Coalition Government in Spain”
Boris Johnson could win a 28-seat majority in parliamentary elections on Thursday, according to one projection that correctly forecast the outcome of the last election.
YouGov, which accurately predicted no party would win a majority in 2017, gives the Conservatives 339 out of 650 seats, up 22, with 43 percent support.
Other polls show similar support for the ruling party: 42 to 45 percent.
YouGov’s 34 percent for Labour is on the high end. Other polls giving the second party in the range of 32-33 percent. That could give Jeremy Corbyn 231 seats in Parliament, down 31. Read more “Conservatives Projected to Win Majority in British Election”
- California senator Kamala Harris has ended her presidential bid.
- Support for Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has fallen from a high of 26 percent to under 15 percent since she announced her Medicare-for-all plan.
- Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is officially in the race and trying an unconventional strategy: bypassing the first four primary states.
- Former vice president Joe Biden remains at the top of the field with 25 to 30 percent support. Read more “Democratic Primary News”
Earlier this month, I argued that lurching to the left would be a risky strategy for Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), but that the alternative — continuing to rule in a grand coalition with the center-right — is too.
A change could scare off centrist voters, who have an alternative in Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats or Germany’s pragmatic Green party. But the grand coalition has wearied leftists, who have an alternative in the Greens and the far-left Die Linke.
Not making a choice has been worst of all. The SPD has fallen below 15 percent support in recent surveys, behind the Christian Democrats and Greens and neck and neck with the far-right Alternative for Germany. Read more “Germany’s Social Democrats Elect Left-Wing Leaders”
Maciej Szpunar, an advocate general at the European Court of Justice, has argued in favor of Catalan politicians who were elected to the European Parliament in May but have been prevented by the Spanish government from taking their seats.
Former regional president Carles Puigdemont and former regional health minister Toni Comín, both of the center-right Together for Catalonia party, have been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since 2017 to avoid arrest for leading a failed independence bid that year.
Oriol Junqueras, the former leader of the Republican Left, stayed in Spain and was sentenced to thirteen years in prison last month for misuse of public funds and sedition against the Spanish state. Read more “Top European Lawyer Argues in Favor of Catalan Politicians”
- Beto O’Rourke has dropped out.
- Joe Biden has pulled ahead of the other candidates in the endorsement primary.
- Elizabeth Warren has released a plan to pay for Medicare-for-all.
- Kamala Harris has pulled out of New Hampshire and is focusing entirely on Iowa.
- Biden is at 27 percent support in recent polls, followed by Warren at 21, Bernie Sanders at 17, Pete Buttigieg at 8 and Harris at 5.
- Biden is down from a high of 40 percent in May, when Warren was polling at just 8 percent. Read more “Democratic Primary News”