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2020 Daily Trail Markers: After Kentucky win, Democrats turn their eyes to Louisiana

"Barnstormers for Pete" support Buttigieg

Kentucky's gubernatorial race has come to a close, as Republican incumbent Governor Matt Bevin has officially conceded to Democrat Andy Beshear. 

Bevin previously called for a recanvass to double check how votes were added, after last Tuesday's results showed him more than 5,000 votes behind Beshear. Before the last county reported for the recanvass on Thursday, Bevin said he and his team didn't see anything that would make up for the difference, and congratulated and wished Governor-elect Beshear the best. 

"I just want to be clear we're going to have a change in the governorship based on the vote of the people. And what I want is to see the absolute best for Kentucky, I'm not going to contest these numbers that have come in, it isn't fair to throw that on our legislature to try to find something that there just isn't," Bevin said at a press conference in Frankfurt, Kentucky on Thursday. In the final count, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes said 5,136 was the final vote gap, and that the State Board of Elections will meet Thursday, November 21 to officially certify the results.

Both Bevin and Beshear talked about beginning the transition process regardless of if any votes would be changed, and at his own presser Beshear said his team has been very helpful with the process. Awaiting Beshear is a newly-elected Republican cabinet, which he said would not be a problem going into his new term. "We start by changing the tone. I truly believe that we all have the duty to be team Kentucky. Every single day our job is to serve the interest of our people, and not any national or partisan interests," he said at his press conference.

And as one contest wraps up, another gets going…

This Saturday, Louisiana will have their own gubernatorial race after incumbent Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards failed to reach the majority of the vote he needed to win October's jungle primary outright. Edwards will face Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, and while both campaigns have said they expect a tight race, early vote turnout and the latest Mason-Dixon poll show Edwards with a slight edge. 

In hopes of providing a type of "Trump-bump," the president will be holding a rally with Rispone in Bossier City, Louisiana. CBS News political unit associate producer Eleanor Watson reports that RNC spokesman Rick Gorka said during a call on Thursday they've invested $2 million in the race and that "the reason we have an election on Saturday is because the president went down there and held Governor Edwards under 50 percent. So we're in it to win. Louisiana deserves a governor who is going to be a partner with President Trump. " 

Out west in Utah, former two-term Utah Governor Jon Huntsman announced on KSL NewsRadio he would seek another stint. "This is the first time that we are here to say that we are so very honored and humbled to announce my candidacy for governor of the greatest state in America…We hope those words resonate," he said Thursday morning. 

Rumors about Huntsman jumping in the 2020 gubernatorial race started swirling when he resigned as U.S. Ambassador to Russia back in August. Utah's Lieutenant Governor's Elections Office told CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro that there are no term limits for governors in Utah's constitution, so if Huntsman is governor he can serve as long as he keeps getting elected. He previously served as governor from 2004 to 2009, when he appointed U.S. Ambassador to China under President Obama. He later tried to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

FROM THE CANDIDATES

DEVAL PATRICK

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick officially entered the 2020 presidential race Thursday.  During an interview with CBS This Morning, Patrick was asked why he decided to run, after previously declaring that he wouldn't. "We seem to be migrating to, on the one camp, sort of nostalgia - let's just get rid, if you will, of the incumbent president and we can go back to doing what we used to do." Patrick added, "Or, you know, it's our way, our big idea, or no way. And neither of those, it seems to me, seizes the moment to pull the nation together."

CBS News Campaign Reporters Nicole Sganga and Tim Perry report that Patrick filed for the New Hampshire primary along with his new campaign manager, Abe Rakov, who was previously a senior advisor to the presidential campaign for Beto O'Rourke.  

Patrick made his first campaign stop at a Manchester, New Hampshire café on Elm Street. He spoke to reporters about the big news of the day, the impeachment proceedings against president Donald Trump, saying, "the only avenue available is impeachment," and adding that "it's not about Democrats impeaching, it's about, members of the House doing their constitutional duty." 

Given his late entry into the race, Patrick will not qualify for the upcoming Democratic Debate in Atlanta. "I think I'm more interested in forums where you can actually engage with regular voters and not, and not just ones where you're with a moderator is tempted to treat it like a cage fight," Patrick said of the situation. 

ELIZABETH WARREN

Senator Elizabeth Warren is looking to use criticisms from billionaires to her advantage. In a minute-long ad that ran on CNBC in New York City and Washington today, her campaign played clips of billionaires attacking Warren's plans, followed by criticisms of each of the billionaires. 

At least two of the billionaires shown in the ad took the bait. Goldman Sachs senior chairman Lloyd Blankfein took aim at Warren's Native American DNA controversy with a tweet that concluded, "Vilification of people as a member of a group may be good for her campaign, but not the country. Maybe tribalism is just in her DNA." Omega Family Office Chairman Leon Cooperman, meanwhile, said on CNBC, "I don't need Elizabeth Warren telling me that I'm a deadbeat and that billionaires are deadbeats." 

All week, Warren has upped her mockery of the country's richest citizens "crying" over her proposed wealth tax. Thursday evening, her campaign began selling mugs that read "billionaire tears," which a campaign aide told CBS News campaign reporter Zak Hudak are the fastest-selling merchandise item they've sold yet.  

ANDREW YANG

The Andrew Yang campaign is on the airwaves in New Hampshire. CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga says the Yang campaign placed an ad buy at "mid-six figures," in the Granite State, with two new spots, following a recent TV commercial debut in Iowa. The first ad, titled "Our Son," discusses Yang's health care vision, highlighting the needs of his son. The second ad, titled "Paycheck," promotes his plan for a Universal Basic Income — granting $1,000/month to every adult American. 

STATE-BY-STATE

NEVADA

CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin says with 100 days until the Nevada caucuses, a slew of campaigns are touting their strength in the final sprint to the "first in the West" contest. Joe Biden's campaign has doubled down on coalition building, highlighting in a memo that their "national APPI and Latino outreach programs" were launched in Nevada

A memo from Pete Buttigieg's state director boasts that the campaign is on track to have 55 staff and 11 offices in the state. Cory Booker has announced 30 new endorsements across the state. And in a call with reporters, the Bernie Sanders campaign is expressing confidence in its mammoth presence in Nevada. "We are clearly well ahead of where we were in 2016 at this point, in terms of having a robust and built-out organization," Jeff Weaver, a senior advisor to Bernie Sanders, told reporters Thursday.  

SOUTH CAROLINA

With the news of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick entering the 2020 race, CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell asked South Carolina leaders what his run says about the current field of Democratic presidential candidates. Former South Carolina governor Jim Hodges told CBS News that while he doesn't think there's a measure of unhappiness with the current field, there isn't a dominating figure in the Democratic primary. 

"I think the issue is that no one's pulled away…and that opens the door for people like Deval Patrick and Michael Bloomberg, and God knows who else to get in the race," said Hodges. "It also speaks to some of the changes that have occurred in the Democratic Party over the past 10 years…there's no one that really has been able to cross over and show some appeal to both moderates and more liberal voters." Hodges added that because no one has been able to unify those constituencies, it "opens the door for someone like Deval who can enter a bit late and appear to be a fresh face with an opportunity to see if he can unify those constituencies."

In 2020, African-American voters are expected to make up as much as 60% of the state's Democratic electorate. Chester Mayor Pro Tem Angela Douglas says it's exciting that there could be three African American contenders for South Carolina voters to decide upon in February. "Whether it's in the Democratic party or in the general elections, we haven't really seen a lot of choice of people who look like us," said Douglas. "I think it may actually bring more African Americans out, to see that there are people who would like them on the ballot."

Some leaders who spoke with Mitchell believed Patrick is entering the race too late. However, chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party Black Caucus Johnnie Cordero, said Patrick is "credentialed up the kazoo" and listed off qualifications from his résumé, including work with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and being a former president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. 

"We love the underdog. We always love the underdog and Deval Patrick is coming into this with no money, no ground game, and late in the game, so what that means is all the odds are against him but what he represents I think is powerful," said Cordero. "What is most important is he's talking about those people who were left out and a lot of us feel left out." 

UP FOR DEBATE

CENTER STAGE

Ten Democratic presidential candidates are expected to take the stage in Georgia next week for the fifth democratic presidential debate. The DNC confirmed Thursday that Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang all qualified to participate. 

CBS News political unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice says candidates needed 165,000 unique donors with 600 in each of 20 states. They also needed either 3% polling in four qualified national and state polls, or 5% polling in two state polls. Julián Castro is the only candidate still in the race to not qualify for the November debate after participating in the October one. The debate takes place November 20 in Atlanta and will be co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post. 

MONEY MATTERS

DEMOCRAT DOLLARS

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Thursday it raised $12.2 million in October, making it the committee's best off-year October in its history. By comparison, CBS News political unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice says that's $4.5 million more than the DCCC raised in October 2017. More than $6 million of the October haul came from grassroots support including donations online, by phone and mail. 

The DCCC has outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee for three straight quarters, bringing in nearly $90 million to the NRCC's just over $60 million. The NRCC has yet to release its October 2019 numbers. Both committees are required to file with the Federal Election Commission by November 20th.

IN OTHER NEWS…

IMPEACHMENT

Eric Trump hopped on a press conference call with the Trump Victory Director of Regional Communications Rick Gorka. According to CBS News campaign reporters Adam Brewster and Musadiq Bidar, Trump compared the impeachment inquiry to the Kavanaugh confirmation and the Mueller investigation, saying "you watch how this backfires on the Democrats and quite frankly this leads us to victory in 2020." 

CBS News associate producer Eleanor Watson reports that Eric Trump was asked why the White House isn't allowing people with firsthand knowledge to testify, and he said that as a citizen, not as a messenger from the administration, he would say, "The sincere answer is you have to protect people from nonsense because they're just going to drag them through the mud." As the call was happening, Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale tweeted that the campaign has raised more than $3 million since the impeachment hearings started yesterday. Eric Trump on the call said they're seeing donations from people who have never engaged in politics before and are motivated by impeachment.

LISTEN UP

PODCAST ALERT

In this week's episode of, "Where did you get this number," CBS News' director of elections and surveys Anthony Salvanto talks to CBS News campaign reporter Tim Perry about what it's like covering struggling presidential campaigns – specifically former Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who recently dropped out of the race, and Senator Kamala Harris. O'Rourke dropped out of the presidential running at the beginning of the month. 

Perry, who has covered both Harris and O'Rourke as well as former candidate and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, said, "That's kind of a joke on the trail right now, is that when I show up, things don't always go so well."

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