Elections 2020 | KERA News

Elections 2020

Associated Press photos

Texas hasn't gone blue in a presidential race since 1976, but a new poll indicates that at least early on, it could be a 2020 battleground. The latest survey from Quinnipiac University shows former Vice President Joe Biden with a four-point edge over President Trump in a hypothetical one-on-one matchup.

Anthony Cave / KERA News

The El Paso Democrat's still-developing immigration plan calls for a new visa category and more.

Speaking during a roundtable with local immigration leaders at Casa Komali restaurant in Dallas, Beto O'Rourke touted his plan as non-partisan — and fearless. 

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping immigration plan to seek a pathway to U.S. citizenship for 11 million people in the country illegally, deploy thousands of immigration lawyers to the southern border to help with asylum cases and earmark $5 billion to bolster the rule of law in Central America.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper warned his party of straying too far to the left as it selects a nominee to face President Trump in next year's election.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden are very much on each other's minds.

At his campaign rally in Philadelphia on Saturday, the former vice president went off script — twice — to deride a protester with a whistle.

"That must be Bernie or somebody," Biden apparently said, raising eyebrows and drawing laughs.

(The line is at 8:21 into this video. You can decide for yourself what he said.)

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro has a plan to change immigration policy in the U.S. The former Housing and Urban Development secretary wants to address immigrant detention, family reunification and the immigration court system.

In stark contrast to current policy, he also wants to decriminalize crossing the border illegally, a plan he outlined in a Medium post in April.

Immigration is likely to be a key issue in the 2020 presidential election, but so far Democratic candidates have largely shied away from the issue in their campaigns.

Julián Castro hasn't.

From student loan debt to unaffordable housing to the opioid crisis, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has developed a reputation for having a policy plan for everything.

“I don’t want to be a flash-in-a-pan candidate or someone who is hot for a month,” Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said during a stop in Austin on Wednesday.

Former Vice President Joe Biden held his first rally in his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Monday, saying he is running to restore the soul of the nation and to "rebuild the backbone" of America.

Biden spoke in Pittsburgh at a rally held by the International Association of Fire Fighters, which endorsed him earlier in the day. Biden declared himself "a union man" and said, "We need a president who works for all Americans."

Former Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential candidacy is barely a day old, but it is already ensnared in questions about how the Democratic candidate handled the 1991 sexual harassment accusations by law professor Anita Hill against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Biden appeared on ABC's The View Friday morning and told the show's five female co-hosts: "I'm sorry for the way she got treated." But then he added that people should go back and look at what he said during those hearings, asserting, "I don't think I treated her badly."

Now that the 2020 Democratic field is pretty much set (barring a last-minute Stacey Abrams or John Kerry bid) with former Vice President Joe Biden getting in Thursday, let's look at what we've learned so far about the field and what to watch for going forward:

1. How far does name identification go? Biden is a huge boulder in the lake, and his entry into the presidential campaign is sending ripples throughout the primary field. So far, he leads the pack. That's largely a product of the fact that people know the former vice president and recognize his name.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

After months of oscillating speculation, followed by a long ramp up that drew out uncomfortable reassessments of his long public career, former Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will run for president in 2020.

Eight Democratic presidential candidates participated in the She the People presidential forum at Texas Southern University in Houston on Wednesday. The event was billed as the "first-ever presidential forum focused on women of color" – a key demographic within the Democratic Party.

Two Austin politicians endorsed a Democratic presidential candidate over the weekend – but it wasn't either of the candidates from Texas.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke to a crowd of supporters in October during a campaign event in Dallas-area Park Cities for former U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions' re-election bid.
Leslie Boorhem-Stephenson for The Texas Tribune

Vice President Mike Pence is returning to Texas next week for a pair of fundraisers.

President Donald Trump's re-election campaign faces a crowded field of Democrats who want to challenge him for the presidency. Among them is Julian Castro. The former San Antonio mayor and secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development is not a household name. But he is working to change that.

California Rep. Eric Swalwell is the latest Democrat to jump into the race for president.

"I see a country in quicksand, unable to solve problems and threats from abroad, unable to make life better for people here at home. Nothing gets done," Swalwell said in an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night.

Updated Wednesday at 2:15 p.m.

As more 2020 Democrats report their fundraising totals, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders remains ahead in the cash race with the $18.2 million he received from more than 500,000 donors since he entered the presidential campaign in February.

Welcome to the nightmare of being the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president, Joe.

Two women have complained about being touched inappropriately by former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been the leading (if still undeclared) candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

Biden's poll numbers, while far from overwhelming, have still been the best of the ever-widening Democratic field. So any story that even hints at a Biden scandal is going to lead the newscast and leap to the front page.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks during his presidential campaign kickoff rally in Houston, Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke declared that immigrants make the country safer as he staged rallies across Texas to formally kick off his 2020 White House bid. 

Beto O'Rourke got lots of attention from his campaign kickoff in Keokuk, Iowa. And thanks to some of his comments, not all of that attention was good.

At the start of his speech, O'Rourke referenced a call from his wife, Amy, "who's back in El Paso, Texas, where she is raising, sometimes with my help, Ulysses, who's 12 years old, Molly, who's 10, and their little brother, Henry, who is 8 years old."

To some Democratic voters, that seemed like a flip acknowledgment that he was handing off parenting duties to his wife while he pursued his political dreams.

Pu Ying Huang / For The Texas Tribune

HOUSTON — By the time U.S. Sen Kamala Harris, D-California, took the stage here Saturday, the message was clear.

A version of this story was first posted by member station WBUR.

From Texas Standard:

Though he hasn't made an official announcement, Texas Monthly recently reported that Joaquin Castro could soon announce plans to challenge John Cornyn for his Senate seat in 2020. If Castro runs, his own seat in Congress will be open. He represents a district that's been solidly Democratic for years, and now some are speculating about who would run to replace him. 

Gilbert Garcia, metro columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, has been pondering the musical-chairs game of sorts that a Castro Senate bid could set in motion.

Garcia says San Antonio comprises five congressional districts, and that the 20th is the one Democrats covet most.

Beto O’Rourke is running for the Democratic presidential nomination among a field of candidates that includes six women and five people of color, so far.

Democratic presidential hopefuls are betting on bold.

The majority of the Democrats running for president want to create a national health insurance program. Several want to do away with private health insurance entirely. Candidates are engaging on questions about reparations for slavery, and most of the White House hopefuls have endorsed the goal of a carbon-neutral economy within the next decade.

Increase the size of the U.S. Supreme Court? Several candidates are now on board.

Julian Castro, the former Mayor of San Antonio and the former Director of House and Urban Development announced on January 12, that he is a candidate for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination.
Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune

Just over two months into his bid for president, Julián Castro said Tuesday evening that he does “not at all” feel overshadowed by fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke amid the former El Paso congressman’s splashy presidential campaign rollout.

Beto O’Rourke has begun the long process of introducing himself to potential voters in Iowa.

The former congressman from El Paso, who officially announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday, made several stops throughout the state over the past few days. Candidates often give Iowa special attention because it's the first state in the nation to hold a presidential-nominating contest.

Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke speaks to local residents during a meet and greet at the Beancounter Coffeehouse & Drinkery, Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Burlington, Iowa.
Associated Press

Democrats who've been competing longer than Beto O'Rourke are taking offense at the former Texas congressman's sense of entitlement.

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