2020

The Trump administration is doing just about everything it can to slow the flood of undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans coming to the U.S. and claiming asylum. But alleviating our growing border crisis is impossible unless Congress changes our immigration laws.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, was right when he said Tuesday during a congressional hearing on border security that there is “absolutely no justification whatsoever for Congress to sit on the sidelines and watch as this crisis continues to unfold.” The emergency on the border is “getting worse and worse as Congress sits on its hands and does absolutely nothing” to help.

The border pandemonium is literally fatal. Since December, six migrants have died while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Five were children. This isn’t the fault of the Trump administration’s policies that aim to stanch the stream of illegal immigrants. It’s the result of a border patrol collapsing under the weight of hundreds of thousands of migrants making a dangerous and debilitating journey to the U.S. and needing urgent medical care as soon as they arrive.

In fiscal 2018, border agents apprehended nearly 106,000 “family units,” meaning families that made their way illegally onto U.S. soil and, more often than not, claimed asylum. We’re only halfway through this year, and that number has tripled to more than 316,000.

Why is this happening? It is because everyone south of the border knows that to secure indefinite legal protection to stay in the U.S., they need simply to arrive with children, who by law must not be detained for more than 20 days. When the child is released by border patrol, as it inevitably will be, so too is the person who came with them. That’s why the number of apprehensions of supposed families dwarfs apprehensions of single adults.

News media and Trump’s critics blame administration cruelty for the crisis. They’ve started referring to detention centers as “concentration camps” (see P.xx). But the crisis is caused by our nonsensical asylum laws, which are well intentioned but incapable of dealing with the sort of massive run on the border we’re seeing today. Our laws act as a magnet for illegal immigrants, encouraging migrants to make dangerous journeys with children, across Mexico, and enter our country without documentation.

Asylum claims at the border are rising rapidly. The vast majority of migrants who claim asylum, 90%, pass a first screening. They’re ordered to show up at court on a specified date that, because of a backlog of about a million cases, may be five years later. In that time, they’re allowed to work legally within the U.S. Even so, some 40% don’t show up for their court hearings, having disappeared into the country, perhaps forever.

Kevin McAleenan, acting homeland security secretary, is calling for reform, so the asylum process can no longer be abused by migrants who aren’t really fleeing persecution in their own countries but are simply looking for a better way of life in the biggest economy in the world. That’s the lure of the United States. Congress should raise the bar for who can qualify for asylum, McAleenan argues, and make it much easier to remove people quickly if they don’t meet the standard.

Asylum laws are to provide a safe haven to people who arrive at our door with a well-founded fear of persecution. If you’re genuinely fleeing drug gangs out to kill you and your family in Mexico or Canada, you should be let in. If you are persecuted by Iran and can get a flight to America, this country should grant you asylum and keep you safe.

But our crisis is from South American and Central American migrants fleeing El Salvador or Venezuela and merely passing through Mexico. Most arrivals at our southern border are not Mexicans.

The question is, why didn’t they stop in Mexico? And why should they become this country’s responsibility? There are many good reasons to prefer the U.S. to Mexico — more jobs, more freedom, more welfare — but none of these are remotely valid reasons to grant asylum.

These are simple economic migrants, encouraged by massive loopholes in the law and the fecklessness of a Congress unwilling to doing anything about them. Trump has leaned on Mexico to absorb more of them, and that seems to be working. But for a lasting reform, Congress needs to change the law.

More border security, which Democrats say implausibly that they want, and fewer detained migrants: Shouldn’t everyone jump to these reforms?

The problem is that House Democrats have little political incentive to work with Republicans and the White House on any measure that would reduce the flow of illegal immigrants. Democrats are loath to cooperate with the GOP while they, at the same time, hope to drag Trump down to defeat in the 2020 election. It is certainly true that most Democrats are at best muddled on the immigration question and at worst fully in favor of opening the southern border to anyone who wants to come into the country.

But the party of the Left cannot deny that we have a crisis at the southern border. If Democrats are honest, they’ll admit it’s caused by our asylum laws, and they will help fix them.

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Diamond League - Shanghai
FILE PHOTO: Athletics – Diamond League – Shanghai – Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai, China – May 18, 2019 Noah Lyles of the U.S. celebrates winning the Men’s 100m REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – Noah Lyles overcame an apparent false start to run the fourth-fastest 150 meters of all time on a wet elevated straightaway in Boston on Sunday.

After television footage showed the world and Olympic 200m favorite leaving the starting blocks early, Lyles was given a second chance and romped to a personal best 14.69 seconds in the Adidas Boost Boston Games.

Retired Jamaican Usain Bolt, the man Lyles would like to succeed in the Olympic 200m, holds the world best of 14.35 seconds in the infrequently run event.

“What did the guy at the start say? Green card. Then it was a green card,” Lyles said after officials told NBC Sports there was no conclusive evidence that the star of the meeting had false started.

But four-time Olympic sprint medalist Ato Boldon, the network’s analyst, disagreed. “In any other meet, Noah is out of this race,” he said.

Once the red-clad Lyles got moving in the restart, there was no stopping him as he left British runnerup Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake 0.41 seconds in his wake.

The United States has not won an Olympic medal in the men’s 200m since 2008 and Lyles is aiming to change that.

“I made it my mission,” said the talented sprinter with Bolt-like showmanship. “We are not out of this. We are coming back.”

His goal is gold in both September’s world championships in Doha and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Despite the wet conditions, Bahamian Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Britain’s 100m European champion Zharnel Hughes and South African sprinter Akani Simbine had impressive performances.

Miller-Uibo clocked 16.37 seconds, a mere 0.14 off her world best in the women’s 150m.

Hughes claimed the 200m straightaway race in 20.00 seconds and Commonwealth Games winner Simbine clocked 9.92 seconds in the 100m.

The women’s 100m went to world 60m indoor champion Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast in 11.09 seconds with world outdoor gold medalist Tori Bowie, who is coming back from injuries, third in 11.22.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors
FILE PHOTO: Jun 10, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse gestures during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

June 16, 2019

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse is seeking another title with another team.

Just days after the Raptors won the NBA championship in six games over the Golden State Warriors, Nurse said Sunday a deal was “just about done” to make him the coach of the Canadian national team.

“I’m getting ready to take another situation soon because I think it’s going to be make me a better coach,” said Nurse, who has extensive experience coaching internationally.

First up: the World Cup this summer. Team Canada will open play in the 2019 World Cup in China on Sept. 1 against Australia.

It has scheduled a warmup game against Nigeria on Aug. 9 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and also will play two pre-tournament games against Australia in Perth on Aug. 16 and 17.

“I expect we’ll have Canada’s most talented team ever, with most of our NBA players proudly representing their country,” Glen Grunwald, president and CEO of Canada Basketball said in May.

Prospective players for Team Canada are Kelly Olynyk (Miami Heat), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks), R.J.Barrett (Duke, projected top-three pick in NBA draft), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets) and Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Nurse, 51, was as an assistant coach with Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.

“I learned a lot as a coach in that run and I’m hoping this experience will do the same,” he said.

He presumably also would coach Canada in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s a unique time with the World Cup and the Olympics within a short 13-14 month window. And it fits in OK. I’m just giving up some vacation time,” he said.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

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New polls show former US vice president Joe Biden and four other Democrats leading President Donald Trump, were an election to be held today

New polls show former US vice president Joe Biden and four other Democrats leading President Donald Trump, were an election to be held today (AFP Photo/SCOTT OLSON)

Washington (AFP) – A nationwide Fox News poll released Sunday shows President Donald Trump trailing former vice president Joe Biden and no fewer than four other Democratic contenders as early campaigning for the 2020 election begins to gain steam.

A separate survey of battleground states, by CBS, shows Democrats strongly favor Biden as the candidate most likely to beat Trump in next year’s elections.

The Fox poll showed Biden leading Trump by 49 percent to 39 percent among all registered voters nationwide, while Senator Bernie Sanders held nearly the same advantage over the president, at 49 percent to 40 percent.

Holding edges of 1 or 2 points over Trump — albeit within the poll’s 3-point margin of error — were Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

The polling comes more than 500 days before the November 3, 2020 election, an eternity in the political world. One widely viewed tweet this week shows five presidential candidates in recent decades who trailed at this point in their campaigns — including Trump — but who went on to win.

The president does not officially launch his re-election campaign until Tuesday, at a rally-style event in a huge arena in Orlando, Florida.

– Battleground states –

Still, the Fox poll, conducted June 9 to June 12, is seen as heartening by Democrats eager to chip away at Trump’s popularity, particularly in key battleground states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Trump’s campaign recently dismissed leaked data from its own pollsters showing Biden with double-digit leads in battleground states. The campaign at first denied the data, but then acknowledged it, branding it as “ancient” because it dated from March.

But the new CBS poll confirms a clear Biden lead in battleground states among Democratic voters, as the crowded race for that party’s nomination begins to take shape.

A belief among Democratic voters that Biden is best positioned to defeat Trump in 2020 was cited by three-quarters of Democrats as a decisive factor in their support.

– Warren on the rise –

The CBS News/YouGov Battleground Tracker survey, conducted May 31 to June 12, said Biden had the backing of 31 percent of Democratic primary voters in 18 key early-voting states.

Biden was trailed by senators Elizabeth Warren (17 percent), Sanders (16 percent) and Kamala Harris (10 percent).

The poll, with a 1.5 percent margin of error, looked at states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — which hold primary elections in February, at the top of the electoral calendar — as well as states in the upper Midwest, where Trump eked out narrow but decisive victories in 2016.

Elizabeth Warren has been steadily rising in the polls, only recently reaching statistical equivalency with Sanders, whose support has been slipping.

Sanders acknowledged on Sunday that “polls go up and polls go down” but insisted that the survey showed he was the strongest candidate to defeat Trump.

“I think we can win in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan and some of the other battleground states,” the self-styled democratic socialist said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Democrats begin more earnestly winnowing down their field of nearly two dozen candidates when they hold successive nights of televised debates on June 26 and 27.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old New Yorker who has emerged as a heroine to young progressives, suggested Sunday that Democrats could be in trouble in 2020 if they fail to nominate an energizing candidate with working-class appeal.

She said she would support the 76-year-old Biden if he wins the nomination but added on ABC that “we have to really factor in the enthusiasm of voters … an issue that we had in 2016.”

“We need to pick a candidate that’s going to be exciting to vote for — all people, women, people of all genders, races, income levels.”

But the Fox poll found that Democratic voters, by roughly three-to-one, wanted a nominee who would provide “steady, reliable leadership” rather than a “bold new agenda.”

Washington (AFP) – A nationwide Fox News poll released Sunday shows President Donald Trump trailing former vice president Joe Biden and no fewer than four other Democratic contenders as early campaigning for the 2020 election begins to gain steam.

A separate survey of battleground states, by CBS, shows Democrats strongly favor Biden as the candidate most likely to beat Trump in next year’s elections.

The Fox poll showed Biden leading Trump by 49 percent to 39 percent among all registered voters nationwide, while Senator Bernie Sanders held nearly the same advantage over the president, at 49 percent to 40 percent.

Holding edges of 1 or 2 points over Trump — albeit within the poll’s 3-point margin of error — were Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, as well as Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

The polling comes more than 500 days before the November 3, 2020 election, an eternity in the political world. One widely viewed tweet this week shows five presidential candidates in recent decades who trailed at this point in their campaigns — including Trump — but who went on to win.

The president does not officially launch his re-election campaign until Tuesday, at a rally-style event in a huge arena in Orlando, Florida.

– Battleground states –

Still, the Fox poll, conducted June 9 to June 12, is seen as heartening by Democrats eager to chip away at Trump’s popularity, particularly in key battleground states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Trump’s campaign recently dismissed leaked data from its own pollsters showing Biden with double-digit leads in battleground states. The campaign at first denied the data, but then acknowledged it, branding it as “ancient” because it dated from March.

But the new CBS poll confirms a clear Biden lead in battleground states among Democratic voters, as the crowded race for that party’s nomination begins to take shape.

A belief among Democratic voters that Biden is best positioned to defeat Trump in 2020 was cited by three-quarters of Democrats as a decisive factor in their support.

– Warren on the rise –

The CBS News/YouGov Battleground Tracker survey, conducted May 31 to June 12, said Biden had the backing of 31 percent of Democratic primary voters in 18 key early-voting states.

Biden was trailed by senators Elizabeth Warren (17 percent), Sanders (16 percent) and Kamala Harris (10 percent).

The poll, with a 1.5 percent margin of error, looked at states including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — which hold primary elections in February, at the top of the electoral calendar — as well as states in the upper Midwest, where Trump eked out narrow but decisive victories in 2016.

Elizabeth Warren has been steadily rising in the polls, only recently reaching statistical equivalency with Sanders, whose support has been slipping.

Sanders acknowledged on Sunday that “polls go up and polls go down” but insisted that the survey showed he was the strongest candidate to defeat Trump.

“I think we can win in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan and some of the other battleground states,” the self-styled democratic socialist said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Democrats begin more earnestly winnowing down their field of nearly two dozen candidates when they hold successive nights of televised debates on June 26 and 27.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 29-year-old New Yorker who has emerged as a heroine to young progressives, suggested Sunday that Democrats could be in trouble in 2020 if they fail to nominate an energizing candidate with working-class appeal.

She said she would support the 76-year-old Biden if he wins the nomination but added on ABC that “we have to really factor in the enthusiasm of voters … an issue that we had in 2016.”

“We need to pick a candidate that’s going to be exciting to vote for — all people, women, people of all genders, races, income levels.”

But the Fox poll found that Democratic voters, by roughly three-to-one, wanted a nominee who would provide “steady, reliable leadership” rather than a “bold new agenda.”

The belief that he could fare best against President Trump is currently propelling Joe Biden in the early Democratic nomination race by two measures — vote preference, and the delegates that would come with them. But others — including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — are in the mix, at least in terms of the candidates voters are considering.

This study looked at the Democratic contest across the places it will matter first: the entirety of 18 states that will shape the initial 2020 fight through Super Tuesday, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. And CBS News converted Democrats’ vote choices across all those states into delegates, because that’s the count that will ultimately matter — that is, the nomination contest selects delegates to the Democratic convention next year.

CBS News first asked which candidates voters are considering supporting — and told them they could pick as many or as few as they liked. (As with many decisions people make, early in the process they’ll narrow their options before settling on one.)

Biden gets the most consideration, from a majority 55% of Democrats. Warren (49%), Harris (45%) and Bernie Sanders (43%) are trailing closely in that regard.

Pete Buttigieg is being considered by just under a third (32%) across the earliest states. And in keeping with their view that the field is too large, on average the number of candidates voters are considering is actually relatively small — just under four.

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Biden is the most effective at translating consideration into a first-choice vote. He leads across the early states in vote preference with 31% of Democratic primary voters, compared to Warren’s 17%, Sanders’ 16%, and Harris’ 10%. Biden converts most of those considering him into picking him as their first choice when pressed, but fewer of those considering Warren or Sanders — roughly a third – pick those candidates as their first choice.

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Biden also leads in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, specifically.

Iowa

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New Hampshire

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South Carolina

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CBS News’ model translates vote preferences in the states and districts into delegates because that’s the count that will ultimately matter — incorporating party rules along the way. Were these vote preferences today to be the ones that emerged across all these states, Biden would lead in the delegate standings through Super Tuesday by a wide margin, with Warren and Sanders in the mix behind him. 

Biden’s top-preference numbers across the early states would translate into an estimated delegate standing of 731 delegates, compared to Warren’s 355 and Sanders’ 317. These candidates, in turn, have a distinct edge in consideration over the remainder of the field. 

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The model is not a forecast: it is offered as a way of demonstrating how candidate support translates into delegate allocations based on state and party rules, because the nomination contest is ultimately a contest for delegates to the convention. Delegates are awarded at the state level (“at-large”) and also by district, which the model takes into account. 

Voter preferences and the political landscape can and usually do change over time, and the model does not attempt to incorporate the effects of any such changes or uncertainty going forward. CBS News and YouGov plan to conduct additional interviews and revise current estimates based on updated data on a regular basis.

When CBS News asked people to pick all the candidates they are considering, as well as their ultimate first choice, we could see who’s more directly in competition with whom in the minds of voters. 

Sanders’ first-choice voters are the most singularly-focused of the field, least likely to be considering anyone else at all. Those picking Warren as their first choice are also considering Harris, and to a lesser extent Buttigieg and Sanders. Among Democrats who prefer the nominee be a woman, a majority are considering Harris, and a majority are also considering Warren.

In the early voting states, Biden bests the field with both men and women, and his lead among black Democratic primary voters is larger than it is among whites. Biden has more support among older primary voters than younger voters. 

Sanders performs well with voters under 30 years of age. Most Democratic primary voters in these early states consider themselves liberal — split between those who are very liberal and somewhat liberal. Biden trails Warren and Sanders among the “very liberal” part of the party, but runs ahead among the “somewhat” liberal voters. Biden holds an even wider lead among the quarter of Democratic primary voters who identify as moderates.

The CBS News Battleground Tracker will keep tabs on the contest as we go forward. The 2020 primaries are much bigger than just Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Many large states have stacked up in the early part of the 2020 calendar. 

This could produce a clear frontrunner by spring, but on the other hand, the rules could fracture the delegate allocations. Democrats hand out convention delegates proportionally to top finishers in states — not just to winners, but in some cases to second and third place — and regionally in districts. So this could keep a large field running well into next spring. Also, the lack of so-called superdelegates this year — the party leaders who now can’t vote on the first conventional ballot as they did in the past — could leave the race more open as well.


This CBS News survey is conducted by YouGov between May 31 and June 12, 2019. A representative sample of 16,624 registered voters in 18 states expected to hold early primaries and caucuses (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia) was selected. This sample includes 7,885 self-identified Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 presidential vote. The margin of error is approximately 1.5%.

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Donald Trump at a rally

President Donald Trump speaks during a recent rally in Pennsylvania. Trump’s reelection campaign comes armed with resources it could only dream of in 2016. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

2020 elections

The president’s 2020 campaign is flipping the script from its ham-fisted approach the first time Trump sought elected office.

President Donald Trump is sitting on a war chest topping $40 million, has boots on the ground spread across nine regions crucial to his 2020 map and owns a sprawling network of volunteers who’ve been rigorously trained for the months ahead.

When he takes the stage Tuesday in Orlando, Fla., to announce his bid for reelection, Trump will be joined by 20,000 guests whose personal information — names, zip codes, phone numbers — was meticulously recorded when they requested tickets to the rally. First-time attendees will receive relentless emails and texts in the coming weeks, reminding them they can help “Keep America Great” by contributing $5, $10 or $15. Some maxed-out donors who gave generously to his 2016 campaign will trek to Florida to witness what they delivered — and decide whether to give big again.

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It’s a straightforward strategy to get the president four more years in the White House: be the political juggernaut Trump lacked in 2016.

While 23 Democratic presidential candidates scramble for attention, Trump’s 2020 campaign is quietly flipping the script from its ham-fisted approach the first time he sought elected office. His team has spent 2½ building a robust, modern and professional operation to optimize as many variables as possible and amassing an unprecedented pile of cash to keep it all afloat.

It’s worked so far. The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee had a combined $82 million in the bank as of April — the result of a joint fundraising operation — and staffers have yet to devolve into the bitter infighting that strained the president’s first campaign and stained his earliest days in the White House.

“In 2016, the people on the campaign like to say that they were building the airplane while it was in flight. This time, he will have a campaign that is befitting of an incumbent president of the United States,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the new-and-improved Trump campaign.

Indeed, one official involved in Trump’s first presidential campaign likened the experience to a slow-motion plane crash: “We were strapped in on a sloppily assembled machine that was gradually spiraling out of control.”

Even with a better-financed and well-ordered campaign, Trump has found the developing 2020 landscape to be tough. State investigators are still probing his past business ventures and financial history. Court rulings have delivered devastating setbacks for his agenda. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has encouraged congressional Democrats to do everything short of impeachment to hold his administration accountable.

On top of all that, the outburst-prone president has struggled to boost his approval rating above 42 percent — where it hovers — and could encounter difficulty billing himself as an outsider while occupying the center of the swamp.

“He’s an incumbent. It’s hard to run the same way in 2020 as he did in 2016,” a person close to the Trump campaign said.

The challenges are not lost on the president’s campaign staff. This time, Trump will launch his 2020 campaign with organizational and financial advantages his previous crew could have only dreamed of — soothing allies who worry the current political environment is less conducive to victory.

From a 14th-floor suite originally designed to house the offices of a capital markets firm, Trump’s modest campaign team of about 50 employees has spent the past several months laying the groundwork for a 2020 race that diverges from 2016 without sacrificing his insurgent populist message. Extensive assistance from the Republican National Committee — driven by a massive staff, existing presence in all 50 states and a staunch Trump ally at its helm — has helped, bringing institutional knowledge and resources that were notably absent in 2016.

Officials at the RNC’s Capitol Hill headquarters are in constant contact with counterparts who work out of the Trump campaign’s Arlington, Va., office, and staffers from each side often travel to the same events to show simultaneous support for the party and for Trump. For example, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel both attended a dinner this week hosted by the local Republican Party in Macomb County, Mich., often called the “home of the Reagan Democrats” and a must-win for Trump in 2020.

“If you look at where the campaign was in 2016 and where it is today, it’s a completely different organization. It has a united Republican Party behind it that also has one of the best fundraising operations we’ve ever seen,” a Michigan Republican Party official said, adding the Trump campaign plans to deploy significant staff to Michigan beginning in early July.

A campaign official said Parscale plans to have “a fully functioning ground game by the end of summer,” as well as several coalition groups that will specifically target female, Latino and African American voters.

Many of those campaign staffers, along with members of the GOP’s state party affiliates, have gone through a program known as GROW, or Growing Republican Organizations to Win. The custom workshop-type classes were created by the Trump campaign and the RNC to train field staff in fundraising, communications, data and digital efforts that will be unique to their states in 2020. One state party official who recently completed the training said they were asked to draft mock news releases and budgets as part of the programming.

Campaign officials readily admit that Trump determines the message on any given day, making it difficult to create a fixed communications strategy that volunteers and staff can follow. Earlier this year, for instance, Trump son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner instructed campaign staff to avoid targeting specific 2020 Democratic candidates only to watch the president lob repeated insults at former Vice President Joe Biden weeks later. Trump has also insulted Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.

“The key for the Trump campaign is to successfully build its operation around the most unconventional candidate in history,” said Jason Miller, a former campaign adviser who remains close to the president. “Parscale has a good enough relationship with Trump to know that you always follow his lead and your job as the campaign is to build upon and amplify his message, not force feed him some message that you cooked up.”

Parscale has declined to foist soundbites on Trump, opting instead to let the president weaponize Twitter at his own discretion. But the campaign has begun crafting candidate-specific messages that it hopes Trump will test out and eventually deploy regularly, depending on who becomes the Democratic nominee. Officials have largely focused on Biden, Sanders and Warren, believing Trump’s opponent be one of those three.

“If it’s Sanders or Warren, they immediately become advocates for radical change that’s a step too far for most voters, and Trump becomes the centrist. But against Joe Biden, the race is much more of a change vs. status quo dynamic,” Miller said.

Campaign allies who are aware of internal polling said they also want Trump to tout his accomplishments constantly. He will only outperform his Democratic opponent if he’s “getting the right amount of credit for the progress he’s making on immigration, the economy and national security,” one outside adviser said. Several 2020 Democrats have argued that the economy is booming because of policies put in place by former President Barack Obama, although Trump’s economic approval rating reached a new high in a CNN poll last month.

Trump’s campaign has been briefing him almost weekly on polling, according to two aides familiar with the conversations, one of whom said the president is more obsessed with polls than anything else, despite repeatedly questioning their reliability after 2016.

The campaign’s first internal reelection poll found Biden trouncing Trump by 7 percentage points in Florida when it surveyed Sunshine State voters in March, ABC reported Friday. The state is key to Trump’s campaign strategy: Without it, a single loss in the Rust Belt could trigger the end of his presidency.

Campaign officials said that isn’t going to happen. They said fundraising has been too successful and that their massive data-gathering operation is unmatched by any Democratic presidential hopeful.

But as Trump prepares to launch his reelection bid 17 months before voters hit the polls in November 2020, perhaps his most distinct advantage is time.

“It’s important to remember that we are not on the same timetable as the Democrats,” Murtaugh said. “We are already in the general election.”

Alex Isenstadt contributed to this story.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is cutting ties with some of its own pollsters after leaked internal polling showed the president trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in critical 2020 battleground states, according to a person close to the campaign.

The move comes after NBC News obtained new details from a March internal poll that found Trump trailing Biden in 11 key states.

Portions of the campaign’s expansive March polling trickled out in recent days in other news reports.

But a person familiar with the inner workings of the Trump campaign shared more details of the data with NBC News, showing the president trailing across swing states seen as essential to his path to re-election and in Democratic-leaning states where Republicans have looked to gain traction. The polls also show Trump underperforming in reliably red states that haven’t been competitive for decades in presidential elections.

A separate person close to the Trump re-election team told NBC News Saturday that the campaign will be cutting ties with some of its pollsters in response to the information leaks, although the person did not elaborate as to which pollsters would be let go.

June 16, 201901:18

The internal polling paints a picture of an incumbent president with serious ground to gain across the country as his re-election campaign kicks into higher gear.

While the campaign tested other Democratic presidential candidates against Trump, Biden polled the best of the group, according the source.

In Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan — three states where Trump edged Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by narrow margins that proved decisive in his victory — Trump trails Biden by double-digits. In three of those states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida — Biden’s leads sit outside the poll’s margin of error.

Trump is also behind the former vice president in Iowa by 7 points, in North Carolina by 8 points, in Virginia by 17 points, in Ohio by 1 point, in Georgia by 6 points, in Minnesota by 14 points, and in Maine by 15 points.

In Texas, where a Democratic presidential nominee hasn’t won since President Jimmy Carter in 1976, Trump leads by just 2 points.

Portions of the internal Trump polling data were first reported by ABC News and The New York Times. The Times reported earlier this month that the internal polling found Trump trailing across a number of key states, while ABC News obtained data showing Trump trailing Biden in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida and holding a small lead in Texas.

The president denied the existence of any negative polling during comments last week in the Oval Office, saying his campaign has “great internal polling” and saying the numbers reported were from “fake polls.”

“We are winning in every single state that we’ve polled. We’re winning in Texas very big. We’re winning in Ohio very big. We’re winning in Florida very big,” he said.

“Those are fake numbers. But do you know when you’re going to see that? You’re going to see that on Election Day.”

His campaign staff downplayed the results as old news in statements to NBC News. The polling was conducted between March 13 and March 28.

Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s campaign pollster, dismissed the data as “incomplete and misleading,” representing a “worst-case scenario in the most unfavorable turnout model possible.”

He added that a “more likely turnout model patterned after 2016” with a defined Democratic candidate shows a “competitive” race with Trump “leading.”

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale’s criticism focused on the poll’s age.

“These leaked numbers are ancient, in campaign terms, from months-old polling that began in March before two major events had occurred: the release of the summary of the Mueller report exonerating the President, and the beginning of the Democrat candidates defining themselves with their far-left policy message,” he said.

Parscale also claimed the campaign has seen “huge swings in the President’s favor across the 17 states we have polled, based on the policies espoused by the Democrats.” As an example, he said that a “plan to provide free health care to illegal immigrants results in an 18-point swing toward President Trump.”

The Trump campaign subsequently provided another quote from Parscale that echoed the president’s comments from last week.

“All news about the President’s polling is completely false. The President’s new polling is extraordinary and his numbers have never been better,” the statement said.

CORRECTION (June 16, 2019, 10:23 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the finding of polling data reported by ABC News. The data found that Trump was trailing Biden in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida; it did not find that Biden was trailing Trump.

After receding from the national stage, the free college movement is resurfacing as a central rallying point for Democrats as they set their sights on the White House.

At least 18 of the party’s 23 presidential contenders have come out in support of some version of free college . Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts promises free tuition at public colleges and universities. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota says it should be limited to two years of community college. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York wants to provide free tuition in exchange for public service.

The candidates are responding to what some say is a crisis in college affordability, an issue likely to draw attention in the first primary debates later this month. Year after year, colleges say they have to raise tuition to offset state funding cuts. Students have shouldered the cost by taking out loans, pushing the country’s student debt to nearly $1.6 trillion this year. Even for many in the middle class, experts say, college is increasingly moving out of reach.

Free college, a catchall term for a range of affordability plans, is increasingly seen as a solution. Nearly 20 states now promise some version of free college, from Tennessee’s free community college program to New York’s Excelsior Scholarship, which offers up to four years of free tuition at state schools for residents with family incomes below $125,000 a year.

But research on the effectiveness of state programs has been mixed. Critics say the offers are often undermined by limited funding and come with narrow eligibility rules that exclude many students.

“This is a problem that has not gone away but has gotten worse in many communities,” said Mark Huelsman, associate director of policy and research for Demos, a liberal think tank. “It’s enough of a problem that people expect some action on it, and they expect some plan for how to get there.”

Plans from Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Obama housing chief Julian Castro aim to eliminate tuition at all public institutions. The candidates say that would open college to a wider group of Americans and greatly reduce the need for loans. Warren argues that college, like other levels of schooling, is “a basic public good that should be available to everyone with free tuition and zero debt at graduation.”

Others, including Klobuchar and former Vice President Joe Biden, have backed more moderate plans to provide two years of free tuition at community colleges, similar to an idea pushed by President Barack Obama in 2015.

And there are some who say students should be able to graduate without debt. To do that, several candidates want to help students with tuition as well as textbooks and living costs. Such “debt-free” plans, which aim to steer money toward students with lower incomes, are supported Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, among others.

Proposals for free college nationwide started to gain popularity among Democrats during the Obama administration and in the 2016 primary race. That discussion stalled after the election of President Donald Trump, who is seen as hostile to the idea. His administration blames colleges for the debt crisis, saying they ramp up tuition because they know students have easy access to federal loans.

Before Trump was elected, Sanders was credited with bringing the issue to the fore when he campaigned on a promise to make tuition free at public colleges. Hillary Clinton, the party’s 2016 nominee, initially criticized the idea but later adopted a similar plan. Now, early in the 2020 race, Democrats have been quick to show their support. Instead of debating whether it should be free, most are weighing which model is best and how to achieve it.

“It’s striking how much the debate has shifted over the past decade,” Huelsman said. “If you look at the 2008 election, 2012, it was not something that was necessarily a prominent part of the debate.”

For most candidates, free college is just part of the solution as they confront student debt and college access. Several also promise to help borrowers refinance loans at lower interest rates; some want to wipe away huge chunks of the nation’s student debt.

Those types of proposals are likely to be popular among the growing share of voters paying off student loans, said Douglas Harris, an economics professor at Tulane University who has studied the effectiveness of free college.

“Something like 1 in 5 voters has college debt, which is a huge percentage,” he said. “And when you have a huge number of people affected by something, then that certainly gets people’s attention.”

One of the major sticking points over free college is the price. Warren’s total education plan is estimated to cost $1.25 trillion over a decade. Sanders’ free college plan would cost $47 billion a year. Both call on the federal government to split the cost with states while also raising taxes on Wall Street or the wealthiest Americans.

Some Democrats, though, say that kind of spending is untenable. Klobuchar has rejected the idea of free college for everyone, saying the country can’t afford it. Instead she backs two years of free community college as a way to help prepare workers and fill shortages in the job market.

“When I look at the jobs that are available right now out there, we have a lot of job openings in areas that could use a one-year degree, a two-year degree, and we’re just not filling those jobs,” Klobuchar said at a March town hall in Iowa. She added that students can attend community college and then “later go on to complete their four-year degree.”

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke supports free community college for all Americans, along with debt-free college at four-year institutions for students with low and modest incomes. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says he would make community college free “for those who can’t afford it.”

Many free college supporters see promise in a federal plan that could bring more funding and share the cost with states. But in Congress, that kind of plan has yet to take hold.

In March, Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, reintroduced his Debt-Free College Act, which calls for a partnership with states to make sure students can afford all college costs without borrowing loans. The idea died in the previous session and has yet to be taken up in this one, but the new bill has gained wider support from Democrats.

Among those backing the plan are four 2020 candidates: Gillibrand, Harris, Warren and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.

___

Follow Collin Binkley on Twitter at https://twitter.com/cbinkley

The behind-the-scenes competition for Wall Street money in the 2020 presidential race is reaching a fevered peak this week as no less than nine Democrats are holding New York fund-raisers in a span of nine days, racing ahead of a June 30 filing deadline when they must disclose their latest financial hauls.

With millions of dollars on the line, top New York donors are already beginning to pick favorites, and three candidates are generating most of the buzz: former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Senator Kamala Harris of California and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

It is, at first blush, an unusual grouping, considering that the mayor of New York City (Bill de Blasio), the state’s junior senator (Kirsten Gillibrand) and a neighboring senator with deep ties to New York’s elite (Cory Booker of New Jersey) are all in the race and vying for their money.

Interviews with two dozen top contributors, fund-raisers and political advisers on Wall Street and beyond revealed that while many are still hedging their bets, those who care most about picking a winner are gravitating toward Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, while donors are swooning over Mr. Buttigieg enough to open their wallets and bundling networks for him. These dynamics raise the prospect of growing financial advantages for some candidates and closed doors for others.

“There is going to be a real income inequality,” Steven Rattner, a Wall Street executive and Democratic donor, said of the coming fund-raising results for the second quarter, which covers April through June. “You are going to see a big separation between the rich and the poor.”

This is an especially important moment for Mr. Biden: He will soon say how much money he has raised since entering the race on April 25 — the first such disclosure of his campaign — and his team knows the reinforcing power of a big haul to cement his status as the Democratic front-runner. The pressure is intense on other candidates to demonstrate momentum among big and small donors alike, with the aim of raising more money in the spring than the winter, when Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Ms. Harris, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Mr. Buttigieg took in the most.

Not everyone is chasing Wall Street cash: Two candidates in the top tier of polls, Mr. Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, have railed against the financial industry and opted against the kind of fancy fund-raisers with catering and $2,800 admission prices that lubricate the donor industry.

Still, in New York, the supply and demand is so strong that there are fund-raisers almost daily from morning until night.

Hamilton E. James, the executive vice chairman of Blackstone and a top fund-raiser, hosted Mr. Buttigieg at his home on Thursday. The short-selling hedge fund manager James Chanos will hold an event for Mr. Biden on Monday. And on Tuesday, Marc Lasry, the hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, is gathering checks for Ms. Harris. Co-hosts of that event include Blair W. Effron, an investment bank co-founder and an influential Democratic financier, and Ray McGuire, vice chairman of Citigroup.

Among those spreading the money around is Brad Karp, the chairman of the Paul, Weiss law firm and a top attorney for Wall Street institutions. He is hosting Mr. Biden for a reception at 9 a.m. on Tuesday; he is a co-host for a “lawyer’s lunch” for Ms. Harris that same day, according to invitations obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Karp, who donated to Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker in the first quarter, did not respond to a request for comment.

The momentum of big money in New York toward Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris is mirrored in contributor circles nationally, according to donors and campaign advisers, as well as in poll results: The trio is usually among the top five candidates in early primary states and national surveys.

Kamala Harris, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations.

“Those are the three,” said Julianna Smoot, who was national finance director for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and remains plugged into the donor community.

Mr. Biden, Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Harris have aimed to blend aggressive large- and small-money operations, much as Mr. Obama’s campaigns successfully did, though New York’s business-minded donors described different factors pulling them toward each candidate.

They are attracted to Mr. Biden’s ideological moderation and his seeming chances of victory over President Trump in 2020; they are inspired by Mr. Buttigieg’s charisma and intellect; and they are drawn to Ms. Harris’s potential as a possible primary victor even as she now trails in the polls, in addition to her potential to reassemble the kind of winning multiethnic electoral coalition that elected Mr. Obama twice.

“Businesspeople are first of all pragmatists,” said Kathryn Wylde, who heads the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit whose board includes many of the city’s biggest business leaders. “They’re going to support the most moderate Democrats they think have a chance to win.”

Mr. Biden made explicit at a fund-raiser last Monday in Washington that he does not plan to demonize the financial industry like some rivals have, saying that “Wall Street and significant bankers” can “be positive influences in the country.” (As a senator for Delaware, Mr. Biden was regarded as an ally of financial institutions in the state, such as the credit card industry.)

Donors described various doubts about even their favored candidates: Mr. Biden’s age, say, or Mr. Buttigieg’s inexperience, or whether Ms. Harris’s political skills will play on the biggest stage.

“If you could roll all three of them into a single candidate,” Ms. Smoot said, “you’d have the perfect candidate.”

One of the most surprising developments of the 2020 race is how quickly Mr. Buttigieg, a virtual unknown only a few months ago, has vaulted into competition with Mr. Biden and other leading candidates for top party donors in New York and elsewhere.

Mr. Buttigieg is expected to post among the most robust second-quarter fund-raising figures. Even a donor who recently put together an event for one of Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals said that, these days, “the easiest event to sell out is a Buttigieg event.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s freshness has proved an advantage on the donor circuit: After he leapt in the polls this spring, contributors have jumped at the chance to pay $1,000 or more to size him up in person. A Harvard graduate and veteran of the McKinsey consultancy, Mr. Buttigieg is fluent in the language of elite New York circles, helping him transcend his initial base of donors in the gay community.

“Everyone who has seen him in the flesh thinks he’s fantastic,” said Mr. Rattner, who attended a recent Buttigieg event and has donated to other 2020 candidates.

Mr. Buttigieg has hired a full-time professional New York fund-raiser, even though there may be limits to his New York fund-raising: Regulatory rules prevent certain Wall Street employees with public pension business from donating to city or state officials, like a sitting mayor. So far, Mr. Biden has not hired a full-time New York fund-raiser.

Mr. Biden could get a boost in New York from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who is expected to introduce the former vice president at Monday’s event, if he eventually lines up his formidable fund-raising muscle behind Mr. Biden. Mr. Cuomo has raised more than $100 million for his own campaigns; several of Mr. Biden’s co-hosts are longtime Cuomo backers.

Though Ms. Gillibrand is the home-state senator, most of the talk about her in New York donor circles has been how little talk there is about her. Some New York donors said they donated to Ms. Gillibrand, but only out of loyalty or obligation.

“I don’t think she’s gotten much traction in New York State. I think everybody loves her as a senator but is not excited about her being president,” said Mitch Draizin, a former fund-raiser for Mr. Obama, who made his money in the financial industry and is supporting Mr. Biden.

Before Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg gained momentum, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker had raised the most money in New York ($1.3 million and $1.2 million, respectively) from those who gave at least $200 in the first quarter.

But their edge over Ms. Harris (who raised $911,000 in New York in the first quarter) was small compared with Ms. Harris’s dominance in California. There, she raised $4.3 million last quarter; no other Democrat raised $900,000, records show.

Mr. Booker, a fixture on the New York donor circuit for nearly two decades, has some key backers, including Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, a Goldman Sachs alum, and Donald Sussman, the billionaire hedge funder who is a top Democratic financier. Mr. Sussman’s daughter Carolyn Tisch Blodgett is hosting a fund-raiser for Mr. Booker on Wednesday; he had another Wall Street-linked event last week.

But Mr. Booker and Ms. Gillibrand are suffering in part from their low standing in the polls. Wall Street titans, in particular, have made their money wagering on winners.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, for instance, is often mentioned as a favorite of New York’s donor class, and he has Jill Straus, a connected New York fund-raising consultant, helping him. Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana has impressed, too. Few described taking them seriously, even as some contributed to them.

Another candidate with a foothold in the finance sector is Mr. O’Rourke, who was hosted on Wednesday at the New York home of Mark Gallogly, a major Wall Street fund-raiser.

David Adelman, who co-hosted that event and is an attorney who represents the financial industry, said he felt a “generational pull” and found Mr. O’Rourke inspiring: “It is important to rotate the crops.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s rise appears to have come, in particular, at Mr. O’Rourke expense as a fresh-faced alternative to Mr. Biden. In a sign of how New York’s money circle extends beyond the finance sector, both Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. O’Rourke recently made time for private sit-downs with Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and the artistic director of Condé Nast, a prominent Democratic fund-raiser.

As for Mr. de Blasio, he has openly shunned the financial sector throughout his mayoralty and has made the concentration of wealth in the “wrong hands” a central part of his 2020 message.

Mr. de Blasio has begun calling many of the same New York donors he has leaned on to fund his past municipal campaigns, according to people familiar with his activity. About two weeks before his 2020 launch, Mr. de Blasio also attended the closed-door meeting of the executive committee meeting of the Partnership for New York City.

New York donors are still giving to Mr. de Blasio, Ms. Gillibrand and Mr. Booker. After all, if they lose, they will still be in City Hall or the United States Senate.

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