Today marks the opening of the New Hampshire presidential primary filing period, a quadrennial tradition in the early voting state. Over the next three weeks, every presidential contender will shuffle into a small second floor office of the New Hampshire State House, appearing before the secretary of state to add his or name to the first-in-the-nation primary ballot.
The filing period began Wednesday at 8 a.m. ET and will continue through November 15 (but not on Veterans Day). Little is required of candidates – just a declaration of candidacy and a $1,000 filing fee in the form of a certified check. Candidates who cannot afford the sum may submit 100 signatures in instead – 10 signatures from residents hailing from each of the states' 10 counties.
"It's part of the whole pageantry of the primary process. And it's historic," New Hampshire Democratic Chair Ray Buckley told CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga of the filing period. That pageantry also comes with a handshake with New Hampshire's long-serving Secretary of State Bill Gardner. The protector of the "first-in-the-nation" primary will preside over his 11th filing period this month, after serving 43 years in office. The desk on display in the secretary of state's office has been around even longer than Gardner. It belonged to Stephen Bullock, the state representative who first filed legislation creating New Hampshire's presidential primary in 1913.
New Hampshire – a state of 1.3 million people – celebrates its 100th year of voting first in the nation, playing its outsized role in campaign politics by casting the very first ballots of the 2020 presidential primary. "Withhold your judgment about whether New Hampshire is the right place for this," Gardner told CBS News. "From a distance, there's all kinds of reasons you can find fault with it. But living through it — that's different."
Joe Biden returns to the State House November 8, his third timing filing his name in the New Hampshire primary. The incumbent is also required to file to appear on the New Hampshire ballot. Mike Pence will file on November 7 on behalf of President Trump. That filing will take place on a particularly busy day, with Kamala Harris and Cory Booker also scheduled to appear. Also scheduled to appear in New Hampshire on November 7 is John Kasich, the former Ohio governor. The former 2016 contender has long mulled a 2020 Republican primary challenge, though a source close to him tells CBS News there are no plans to file at this time.
For reference, here is time spent by each Democratic candidate in New Hampshire according to a CBS News count:
- Michael Bennet: 15 days, 9 trips
- Steve Bullock: 7 days, 4 trips
- Joe Biden: 12 days, 7 trips
- Cory Booker: 19 days, 10 trips
- Pete Buttigieg: 19 days, 11 trips
- Julian Castro: 10 days, 7 trips
- John Delaney: 29 days, 12 trips
- Tulsi Gabbard: 21 days, 7 trips
- Kamala Harris: 10 days, 6 trips
- Amy Klobuchar: 22 days, 16 trips
- Beto O'Rourke: 13 days, 5 trips
- Bernie Sanders: 17 days, 9 trips
- Tom Steyer: 9 days, 3 trips
- Elizabeth Warren: 25 days, 20 trips
- Marianne Williamson: 31 days, 11 trips
- Andrew Yang: 31 days, 12 trips
FROM THE CANDIDATES
Buttigieg became the first major 2020 presidential candidate to file for the New Hampshire primary, appearing on the second floor of the New Hampshire State Capitol this morning in the office of Secretary Bill Gardner. CBS News campaign reporters Nicole Sganga and Jack Turman say Buttigieg handed Gardner a declaration of candidacy and a $1,000 filing fee in the form of a certified check. Meanwhile, supporters and volunteers clutching "Pete" signs lined the hallway, chanting the Mayor's name.
Pressed on how he will compete against New Hampshire frontrunners with a "home team" advantage, namely Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Buttigieg told reporters he feels he can rally together a majority of Americans. "If you've decided you want the most ideologically left candidate possible, then of course you already have your choice." He added, "But I think a lot of others are looking for real progressive solutions that can be achieved, and can command the support of a strong American majority."
On his plans to surpass Joe Biden in New Hampshire, Buttigieg said, "We've got a fundamentally different vision." He continued, "Normal has not been working for a very long time. And that's part of what got us to the conference. I don't believe the Trump presidency is an aberration. I believe it shows us that we got to turn the page and go somewhere."
Harris is significantly curtailing and reshaping her presidential campaign in a bid to cut costs and boost her standing ahead of the first-in-the-nation state of Iowa.and obtained by CBS News political correspondent Ed O'Keefe outlines plans to slash salaries, reduce staff size at the campaign's national headquarters in Baltimore and in some early states and redouble Harris's plan to campaign in Iowa.
Harris has raised about $35 million to date from more than 350,000 donors, according to the memo. But she remains mired in the middle of the pack in early-state and national polls that usually show her trailing Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg.
The kind of realignment outlined in the memo from campaign manager Juan Rodriguez is typical at this stage of the campaign, as the fourth quarter begins and final decisions are being made on how to best deploy staff and purchase advertising time. Longtime political observers in Iowa and leaders of rival presidential campaigns have agreed in recent weeks that staffing decisions ahead of the Iowa Caucus on February 3 must be in place by November 1 in order to succeed.
As the memo states, "Plenty of winning primary campaigns, like John Kerry's in 2004 and John McCain's in 2008, have had to make tough choices on their way to the nomination, and this is no different." By this time in 2003, Kerry was making plans to mortgage his Boston home to help keep his campaign afloat and in 2007, McCain was down to a skeleton operation after hemorrhaging staff. But he doubled down on his town hall appearances in New Hampshire and ultimately prevailed. News of the realignment was first reported by Politico.
In the memo, Rodriguez says he will take a pay cut, "along with all consultants, we will trim and renegotiate contracts, and we will also reduce the size of our headquarters staff. These decisions are difficult but will ensure the campaign is positioned to execute a robust Iowa ground game and a minimum 7-figure paid media campaign in the weeks leading up to the caucus."
Staffers from campaign offices in New Hampshire, Nevada and California and some from Baltimore headquarters will be sent to Iowa "for the home stretch of the caucus campaign," the memo says. This move mirrors what candidates like Jeb Bush in 2016 had to do — clear out his Miami national headquarters and send personnel to Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina.
Finally, the Harris memo states the senator "will continue to spend significant time in Iowa" in November, including spending Thanksgiving in the state. "She is determined to earn the support of every caucus goer she can in the next 96 days," Rodriguez writes. Opting to all-but move a candidate to Iowa has worked with mixed success in the past. Senator Christopher Dodd, of Connecticut, moves his young family to Iowa in 2007 but still placed last in the 2008 caucus and dropped out of the race. But Republicans Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum used solitary aggressive Iowa plans in 2008 and 2016, respectively, and won the state. Harris and most of the Democratic presidential field is set to spend the weekend in Iowa for some of the final major all-candidate gatherings before he caucus. A major state party dinner will draw the contenders to a downtown Des Moines rally on Friday night, while freshman Representative Abby Finkenauer, of Iowa, is holding a fish fry Saturday in Cedar Rapids set to be attended by eight candidates.
Ahead of a three-day visit to Iowa, CBS News campaign reporter Musadiq Bidar says Klobuchar announced endorsements from 20 community and party activists. Among the endorsers is chair of the Dickinson County Democrats Brett Copeland, who cites Klobuchar's "Midwestern pragmatism, honesty, and work ethic" as reasons he is endorsing Klobuchar. "This nation must once again lead from the heart with experience born in the Heartland," Copeland said.
Doug Bailey, a Hamilton County Supervisor said he is endorsing Klobuchar because her "legislative record is second-to-none, and her commitment to restoring civility in our politics is an important and refreshing message."
President Trump won both Dickinson and Hamilton counties in 2016. Klobuchar also got an endorsement from Karim Jawda, an Iraqi immigrant and community leader in Des Moines. Earlier this month, Klobuchar held a campaign event at the Africana Halal Restaurant where she spoke and took questions from immigrants from Ethiopia, Syria, Iraq, Somali, Burundi, and South Sudan. Jawda said in a statement provided by the campaign that Klobuchar "understands the importance of America's role in providing safe haven and opportunity to immigrants."
Warren picked up an endorsement from Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls, a rising star in the Democratic Party who is serving his first term in the legislature. Wahls is the eighth current legislator to endorse Warren, who has more endorsements from current Iowa lawmakers than any other candidate.
"I think that she very clearly understands that defeating Donald Trump isn't enough," Wahls said in an interview with CBS News campaign reporter Adam Brewster. "The forces that made his election possible in 2016 have to be taken head on." Wahls said Warren "aced" his questions for candidates about why President Trump won and how a candidate planned to defeat him. "She sees very clearly that we had this kind of divide and conquer style of politics that pits Americans against each other on race, on gender, on religion," Wahls said.
Wahls also pointed to a meeting he had with Warren in May when she said her first priority as president would be an anti-corruption bill. "I think that her message taking on the corruption in Washington is going to take her very, very far," Wahls said.
In her first television ad since launching her presidential run, Marianne Williamson talks about why reparations is a core issue of her campaign message. The 60-second commercial debuted in South Carolina on Wednesday and will run throughout the day in Columbia and the surrounding area near Greenville and Spartanburg.
The release comes as Williamson rounds out her 10th trip to the Palmetto State this week. In the ad — which features her August interview on "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" and a timeline of events dating back to when the first slaves were brought to America — Williamson says that she's been talking about reparations since the late 90s and that addressing the subject is critical.
"Paying reparations for slavery will not fix everything but America will not have the future that we want if we're not willing to clean up the past," said Williamson in the ad. "Whatever it costs, it's time to do this." A campaign spokesperson tells CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell that her message on reparations has resonated well in South Carolina and elsewhere, with African-American voters and other voter bases alike.
President Trump's reelection campaign submitted its petition to be on the ballot for the Alabama primary on March 3, 2020, reports CBS News political unit associate producer Eleanor Watson. The deadline to submit petitions to the party chair is November 8. On the Democratic side, none of the presidential candidates have filed yet, but the state party expects those filings will come in closer to the deadline next week.
Alabama Governor and Trump campaign honorary state co-chair Kay Ivey submitted the paperwork to Alabama's Republican State Party Chair Terry Lathan. Ivey in her remarks to reporters said, "In 2016, Alabama overwhelmingly voted for President Trump and Alabamians and the men and women across our country saw progress, and progress is what we've gotten from President Trump, so I'm confident about his re-election here in Alabama and just urge everybody to go out and vote."
Two campaign managers were in Nevada on Tuesday. Addisu Demissie was in Reno headlining Cory Booker's new field office in northern Nevada. And in Las Vegas, Greg Schultz sat down to field questions about his boss Joe Biden. CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin says Schultz dismissed concerns about polls showing support slipping for the former vice president in some of the early states, insisting the campaign was poised to collect plenty of delegates through Super Tuesday.
"We need some momentum, we don't need all momentum, because we have math on our side," he told reporters. Biden's campaign chief also addressed controversy over a new pro-Biden super PAC, warning that the campaign would be "extremely frustrated" if the group attacked other Democrats.
ISSUES THAT MATTER
CBS News associate producer Eleanor Watson reports that the Senate voted down 43-52 on Wednesday a resolution introduced by Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, and other Senate Democrats that disapproves of the Trump administration's "State Relief and Empowerment Waivers" guidance that allows states to offer insurance plans customized for local context and preferences. These plans do not guarantee all of the protections in the Affordable Care Act.
In front of Congress in February, Brookings Fellow Christen Linke Young said the waivers allow states to provide less comprehensive coverage that does not protect those with pre-existing conditions. Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who is facing a reelection fight in 2020, voted in favor of the resolution along with Democrats.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced Wednesday that , CBS News political unit associate producer Ben Mitchell reports.
"Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale," Dorsey wrote in a Twitter thread. "These challenges will affect ALL internet communication, not just political ads. Best to focus our efforts on the root problems, without the additional burden and complexity taking money brings. Trying to fix both means fixing neither well, and harms our credibility."
The Trump campaign called the move a "dumb decision."
"Twitter just walked away from hundreds of millions of dollars of potential revenue, a very dumb decision for their stockholders. Will Twitter also be stopping ads from biased liberal media outlets who will now run unchecked as they buy obvious political content meant to attack Republicans? This is yet another attempt to silence conservatives, since Twitter knows President Trump has the most sophisticated online program ever known," Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 campaign manager, said in a statement.
The announcement comes on the heels of prolonged public outcry over Facebook's announcement that it would not fact-check paid political ads or posts by political figures on any of its platforms. Facebook's decision came under heavy scrutiny after the social media giant declined to remove a misleading ad about Joe Biden created by President Trump's re-election campaign.
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made several public appearances, including testimony to Congress, where he defended the position. He argued that Facebook is not in the business of regulating speech and said that he believes in freedom of expression.
Dorsey seemed to rebuke Zuckerberg, writing, "This isn't about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today's democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle. It's worth stepping back in order to address."
IN THE HOUSE
Former Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, has been teasing that he'd run for Representative Katie Hill's open seat, ever since she announced her resignation. Yesterday afternoon, CBS News 2020 broadcast Associate Aaron Navarro says with the FEC for California's 25th district and Tweeted, "Announcement soon on my interest in Katie Hill's soon to be vacant seat in the 25th district!"
No official announcement has come yet, and Papadopoulos Tweeted Tuesday: "I care about one endorsement: the American people. The rest is white noise." Papadopoulos served 12 days in prison after pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI during the special counsel's investigation into 2016 election interference.
Hill is resigning after being engulfed in a scandal about affairs with a campaign staffer (which she confirmed) and a congressional staffer (which she has denied). Special election details have not yet been set.
In the East, author and veteran Sean Parnell announced he had filed for Pennsylvania's 17th district in the Pittsburgh suburbs, hoping to unseat freshman Democrat Representative Conor Lamb. Lamb beat a Republican incumbent by about 12 points in 2018, and has over $560,000 cash on hand for his re-election bid. Only two other GOP candidates have filed before Parnell.
GOP Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat, debated for the last time on Tuesday, and as was the case in the four preceding debates, CBS News political unit broadcast associate Aaron Navarro says it was very heated. Beshear continued to attack Bevin for his controversial comments about teachers and casino suicides, while Bevin criticized Beshear for "reading off talking points" and his support for abortion in cases of incest or rape. Both often interrupted each other and stuck to their campaign agenda: Bevin wants to talk about economic growth in the state and his ties to President Trump, Beshear wants to talk about education and Bevin's character.
The DGA and RGA also both released new campaign video ads today, mirroring the candidates' approaches. Bevin and the RGA have consistently nationalized the race, and their newest ad likened Beshear to "radical left" figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
"As a darling of the radical resistance, Andy Beshear has made it clear that his values are more in line with the average socialist than the average Kentuckian," said RGA Communications Director Amelia Chassé Alcivar.
The DGA has kept it strictly to Kentucky and Bevin, a state where Mr. Trump has a favorable approval rating while Bevin is unpopular and polarizing. Its ad highlights Bevin's controversial statements about teachers.
"Matt Bevin can't rewrite his record of insults he's thrown at Kentucky teachers and working families," said DGA Communications Director David Turner. "This video will remind Kentuckians to see through Bevin's lies and look at his record of putting down their neighbors, friends, and family members."
Polls show the two neck-and-neck heading into election day on Tuesday. Louisiana's race between incumbent Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards and Republican Eddie Rispone will have their own last debate Wednesday.
"WHERE DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER?"
On this week's episode, Anthony takes listeners into potential splits in the 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns, specifically concerning how voters perceive the candidates' policies as more pragmatic or idealistic. We also explore more moderate candidates staking their campaigns in Iowa and big money's influence on the upcoming election, in light of Joe Biden's campaign's take on super PACs and President Trump's fundraising efforts for the general election, and more! With CBS News political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns.