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2020 Daily Trail Markers: Trump and Biden spar in Iowa as Buttigieg talks foreign policy

Trump poll finds Biden ahead in key states

After campaigning throughout the Hawkeye State on Tuesday, President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden each have one event in Iowa in the evening. Our Political Unit intern Julia Cherner reviewed a copy of Biden's prepared remarks and counts 84 times the former vice president will say "Trump" or "he," and an additional 17 times that he will say "his" or "him" in reference to the president — making a total of 101 Trump mentions.

CBS News White House producer Fin Gomez confirmed earlier today that an internal poll conducted by Mr. Trump's reelection campaign found Mr. Trump trailing Biden in some key battleground states in a hypothetical general election matchup, according to two sources with knowledge of the poll. 

The campaign also found Biden doing well in states Mr. Trump won in 2016 and would need to win again to ensure reelection to a second term. The poll was conducted by campaign pollster Tony Fabrizio, and its findings were first reported by The New York Times.

The poll found Biden doing well across a broad swath of the country, including Rust Belt states like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, as well as Florida, North Carolina and Arizona. A number of public polls have shown Biden leading the president, including a Quinnipiac University national survey released Tuesday that found Biden ahead 53% to 40%. 

Read more about the internal poll here.


MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: Buttigieg gave his most substantive speech to date Tuesday focused on foreign policy and national security. CBS News campaign reporter Jack Turman says Buttigieg criticized the Trump administration's foreign policy approach, called for a repeal of the authorization of use of military force (AUMF) and commented on the Iran Nuclear Deal and North Korea. 

On the AUMF, Buttigieg said, "If members of our military can find the courage to deploy to a war zone, our members of Congress ought to be able to summon the courage to take tough votes on war and peace." He also said he would recommit the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal, would not "exchange love letters" with North Korea and argued the U.S. "must be ready to deter" Russian election interference through "diplomatic, economic and even cyber tools and information operations." 

Election 2020 Pete Buttigieg
Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivers remarks on foreign policy and national security during a speech at the Indiana University Auditorium in Bloomington, Indiana, on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Michael Conroy / AP

CBS News Political Unit associate producer Ellee Watson also notes that Buttigieg's speech offered no policy on Afghanistan, even though the The Associated Press reports an ISIS affiliate is growing in the country. Authorities have made at least eight arrests in the U.S. linked to the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan, and recent attacks in Kabul could be "practice runs" for even bigger attacks in Europe and the U.S., a U.S. intelligence official told The AP.

A campaign aide tells CBS News that Buttigieg was working on this speech for weeks and has a volunteer team of 100 foreign policy experts. This team is led by Doug Wilson and Ned Price is also on the team. The campaign also sought input from the veterans advocacy group VoteVets. 

Separately, CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga has confirmed that the chair of Stonyfield Organic, Gary Hirshberg, will host a fundraiser for Buttigieg at his home in Holderness, New Hampshire, on July 11.  Tickets are billed at $2,800 per person. 


IN THE MIDDLE: In Iowa, unsuccessful Democratic House candidate J.D. Scholten has penned an op-ed in The Gazette about alleged handouts to the oil industry that are hurting Iowans. Ellee Watson says Scholten has not ruled out running against incumbent Republican Sen. Joni Ernst even though both EMILY's List and the DSCC have endorsed Theresa Greenfield. The op-ed lauds President George W. Bush for knowing how to create jobs in the Midwest.

OUT WEST: Two leaders of Latino community organizing groups tell CBS News campaign reporter Alex Tin that they agree with a Nevada immigrant rights leader who recently told Politico that most candidates have done little more than "fly-ins to come and take pictures with popular Dreamers and go to eat tacos or whatever." For months, they say only four campaigns have proactively engaged with them: Sec. Julian Castro, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Bernie Sanders.


DIGITAL SPENDING: Mr. Trump continues to crush Democratic candidates in online ad spending says CBS News Political Unit associate producer Ben Mitchell. His campaign and its affiliated PAC have spent more than $10 million on Facebook and Google ads since the start of 2019 — more than the next four Democratic spenders combined (Warren, Harris, Biden and Sanders). The president's campaign largely builds ads around him — recent examples include asking voters to "sign his birthday card" (email harvesting), or "enter to win a dinner with Trump" (donation solicitation), but recently he's started fundraising off of supposed online censorship of conservatives and anti-conservative bias on college campuses.

On the Democratic side, most of the candidates continue to ask for help reaching fundraising targets, but there's been a notable shift in the messages of Harris and Biden. Biden blanketed Facebook with $110,000 in ads exclusively about his new climate change plan, a sign that the former VP is working hard to convince voters he's strong on an issue that's proving increasingly important in this primary. Harris continues to lean into her role as a former prosecutor, running ads featuring her speech at the Iowa Democrats Hall of Fame dinner where she talked about "a rap sheet of evidence" against the president and that she will prosecute the "fraud" case against him.

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