- Bernie Sanders is now faraway the frontrunner with recent polls giving him 27 to 32 percent support nationally. Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg are vying for second place with an average of 16-18 percent support each.
- Sanders also leads in the few polls that have been taken in Nevada, where Democrats caucus on Saturday.
- Biden is still ahead in the endorsement primary, winning nine more endorsements from prominent Democrats this month, but Bloomberg is catching up fast, with twenty endorsements in February.
- Bloomberg is also making inroads with black voters. He has been endorsed by three members of the Congressional Black Caucus. A Quinnipiac University poll (PDF) gives the former New York mayor 22 percent support from African Americans, trailing only Biden, who has 27 percent.
- Bloomberg is spending more money on television commercials than all the other candidates combined.
- Michael Bennet, Deval Patrick and Andrew Yang have ended their presidential bids after failing to qualify for delegates in New Hampshire. Read more “Democratic Primary News”
- Lisa Nandy has won the endorsement of the Jewish Labour Movement, one of the party’s largest affiliated socialist societies.
- Keir Starmer has been endorsed by most affiliated groups and trade unions, most recently the TSSA transport union.
- Rebecca Long-Bailey, the most left-wing candidate who is seen as outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn’s ideological successor, has also qualified for the third and final voting round by members.
- Emily Thornberry fell short. Read more “Labour Leadership Election News”
Angela Merkel’s heir apparent, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has unexpectedly quit, throwing the race to succeed the German chancellor wide open.
Kramp-Karrenbauer is stepping down as leader of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a position she has held since 2018. She will remain as defense minister.
Merkel elevated Kramp-Karrenbauer from the prime ministership of Saarland, on the border with France, to national politics in order to prepare her for a run in 2021. Although Kramp-Karrenbauer is socially more conservative than Merkel (she opposed marriage equality), she was seen as likely to defend the chancellor’s centrist legacy.
Merkel has said she will not serve a fifth term. Read more “Kramp-Karrenbauer Quits, Throwing Race to Succeed Merkel Wide Open”
Poland’s ruling conservative party’s obsession with bending the legal system to its will is creating what the Financial Times calls a parallel legal system: one set of judges are loyal to Małgorzata Gersdorf’s still-independent Supreme Court while another obey the government-friendly Constitutional Tribunal. Read more “Judicial Reforms Create Parallel Legal System in Poland”
- Bernie Sanders is now the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to FiveThirtyEight, which takes into account the Iowa caucus results and recent polls. The runner-up: no one. FiveThirtyEight believes there is a one-in-four chance no candidate will have a majority of the delegates by the time Democrats convene in Milwaukee in July. (Those odds will change.)
- Joe Biden‘s support in New Hampshire, which votes on Tuesday, has collapsed from a high of 22-23 percent a month ago to 13 percent.
- Biden did benefit the most in terms of fundraising from the departure of Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris from the race.
- Michael Bloomberg could benefit the most from the inconclusive Iowa caucuses. He is up to an average of 10-11 percent support in national polls, has surpassed Sanders in the endorsement primary, doubled his spending on television commercials and doubled his field staff to more than 2,000 (the biggest of any campaign).
- But Sanders raised the most money in January: $25 million.
- South Carolina Republicans are plotting to vote for Sanders in the February 29 primary.
- California, the biggest state voting on March 3, Super Tuesday, with 415 pledged delegates at stake, is making it easier for non-Democrats to vote. Read more “Democratic Primary News”
- Bernie Sanders is going into Monday’s Iowa caucuses with an average of 24 percent support in the polls, followed by Joe Biden at 20 percent.
- Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren both poll around 15 percent in the state, which is the minimum needed to qualify for delegates.
- Nationally, Biden still leads with an average of 27 percent support against 23.5 for Sanders.
- Sanders raised the most money in 2019 ($96 million), but billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, who are largely self-funding their campaigns, outspent the other candidates ($388 million combined).
- Bloomberg‘s Super Tuesday strategy may be working. The former New York mayor has moved into fourth place in national polls.
- John Delaney has ended his presidential bid. Read more “Democratic Primary News”
- Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Keir Starmer have won enough nominations from Labour Party affiliates to qualify for the third and final voting round in the contest to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.
- Emily Thornberry is still short.
- Jeff Phillips has withdrawn, saying she is not the candidate to unite Labour, and endorsed Nandy.
- Len McCluskey, the Unite union boss who backs Long-Bailey, has responded to suggestions that centrist lawmakers might quit if the Corbyn loyalist prevails: “Good riddance.” Read more “Labour Leadership Election News”
- Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren have been endorsed by The New York Times.
- Warren has also been endorsed by The Des Moines Register, the top newspaper in Iowa.
- Bernie Sanders has once again apologized to a fellow candidate for the tactics of his supporters. In an op-ed that Sanders’ campaign promoted in their newsletter, failed congressional candidate Zephyr Teachout accuses Joe Biden of corruption. Another Sanders ally, Nina Turner, earlier accused Biden of “betraying” black voters. Sanders has apologized, just like he apologized to Warren for instructing supporters to describe her as the candidate of wealthy white liberals. It’s the same pattern NBC described at the time: “Sanders, his supporters and his surrogates go on the attack; Sanders downplays or dismisses the attacks; and the party becomes more divided.”
- Iowa Democrats caucus in a week from now, on February 3. Read more “Democratic Primary News”
- Keir Starmer has been nominated by eleven constituency parties, one trade union (Unison) and one affiliate (environmental group SERA).
- Rebecca Long-Bailey has won the support of Momentum, although the far-left pressure group founded to support outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn only gave its roughly 40,000 members the choice between endorsing and not endorsing her.
- Long-Bailey has also been nominated by three local parties and one affiliated trade union.
- Lisa Nandy has been nominated by one trade union.
- Jess Phillips and Emily Thornberry have yet to receive any nominations. Read more “Labour Leadership Election News”
- 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 first choice of many 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”