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2020 Sunday Trail Markers: Biden leads field in first CBS Battleground Tracker poll

Biden leads CBS News Battleground Tracker poll
Biden leads CBS News Battleground Tracker pol... 01:44

Here's what you need to know in politics this week...

  • Joe Biden leads field, according to CBS News poll
  • Biden fundraises in NYC
  • Virginia is for...?
  • Ernst, Haley knock socialism
  • Harris, Buttigieg trade jabs
  • This week's schedule


In CBS News' first Battleground Tracker poll of the 2020 presidential cycle, Joe Biden is leading the field. 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, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders — are in the mix, at least in terms of the candidates voters are considering.


Via Sarah Ewall-Wice and Bo Erickson: After speaking at the Poor People's Campaign "moral revival" presidential forum in Washington, D.C. on Monday, Biden will head to New York City for at least two high-dollar fundraisers, according to the invitation shared with CBS News. The first "finance event" on Monday evening will be hosted at the penthouse of James Chanos, the founder of Kynikos Associates, the "largest exclusive short selling investment firm," according to Yale School of Management. The second fundraiser, on Tuesday, will be hosted by Brad Karp, chairman of mega law firm Paul, Weiss, where two former colleagues from the Obama administration are practicing -- former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. 


Via Bo Erickson and Jack Turman: At Virginia Democrats' "Blue Commonwealth Gala" Saturday night in Richmond, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, one of the few 2020 Democratic prospects to decide not to jump into the race, told reporters former Vice President Joe Biden would make a "great president," but he will not be endorsing anyone until the end of the year, after Virginia's state elections. 

"I wish some of the candidates had made the decision I made," McAuliffe said about the large Democratic field. "Some should be running for the Senate, but you can't tell someone not to run for President."

The former DNC chair, who reminded CBS News he "started" the DNC debate process, added that the large number of candidates will be "taking up valuable debate time" but the field "will get weeded out pretty quickly" because they'll start running out of campaign cash.

Both Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke at the Richmond gathering of around 1,800 Democrats.

Klobuchar announced her goal to cut child poverty by half in the next decade by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Care Tax Credit, and SNAP benefits. 

Buttigieg, whom the crowd seemed excited to see, said that today is both the first Father's Day since his own father passed away earlier this year and his one-year anniversary to his husband, Chasten. Buttigieg remarked that, in addition to his faith community, having his husband by his father's hospital bedside was something he appreciated "because in the eyes of the law as well as in our hearts, he was my lawfully married husband." Buttigieg said this personal moment is "what politics is really about." 

"Government isn't about what happens on TV," Buttigieg added. "It is about what happens in our lives."


Via Adam Brewster: On Saturday, Republican Sen. Joni Ernst kicked off her re-election campaign at her annual Roast and Ride. Her featured guest this year was Nikki Haley. Ernst, in her speech, issued a call to "stamp out socialism" and repeatedly used the word to attack Democratic presidential candidates and Democrats in Congress. She told the crowd: "Our freedoms are quite literally under attack because the radical left will stop at nothing until socialism has spread from coast to coast." 

The lines about socialism often received loud cheers. Haley also latched on this line of attack, saying this about the 2020 presidential candidates: "It's a really odd collection of liberals, radicals and socialists. And I know a lot about liberals, radicals and socialists. In case you forgot, I used to work at the United Nations." Haley went on to say this about the UN: "The UN is such an unusual place. Nowhere else in the country can you hear America being denounced in 10 different languages at the same time, unless of course you're at any of our college campuses."


Via Stephanie Ramirez: In a weekend interview with CNN'S Jake Tapper, Mayor Pete Buttigieg took a subtle swipe at Sen. Kamala Harris. When asked about Harris' remark that as president she would use the Justice Department to prosecute President Trump for obstruction, Buttigieg responded that his Justice Department would "be empowered to reach its own conclusions." Harris spokesman Ian Sams then tweeted earlier remarks from Buttigieg to The Atlantic, in which the mayor said that "to the extent that there's an obstruction case, then yes, DOJ's got to deal with it. I would want any credible allegation of criminal behavior to be investigated to the fullest."


6/17 – Michael Bennet in DC; Biden in DC/NYC; Pete Buttigieg in NYC; Julain Castro in DC; Kirsten Gillibrand in NYC; Kamala Harris in DC; Amy Klobuchar in NYC; Wayne Messam in DC; Seth Moulton in NH; Bernie Sanders in DC; Eric Swalwell in VA/DC; Elizabeth Warren in DC; Marianne Williamson in DC; Andrew Yang in DC

6/18 – Biden in NYC; Mr. Trump in FL

6/19 – Biden in NH

6/21 – Bennet in SC; Beto O'Rourke in FL/SC; Biden in SC; Cory Booker in SC; Buttigieg in FL/SC; Bill de Blasio in SC; Castro in FL/SC; John Delaney in SC; Tulsi Gabbard in SC; Gillibrand in SC; Harris in SC; John Hickenlooper in FL/SC; Jay Inslee in SC; Klobuchar in FL/SC; Messam in SC; Moulton in SC; Tim Ryan in SC; Sanders in FL/SC; Swalwell in FL/SC; Warren in FL/SC; Williamson in SC; 

6/22 – Bennet in SC; O'Rourke in SC; Biden in SC; Booker in SC; Buttigieg in SC; Castro in SC; de Blasio in SC; Delaney in SC; Gillibrand in SC; Harris in SC; Hickenlooper in SC; Inslee in SC; Klobuchar in SC; Moulton in SC; Ryan in SC; Sanders in SC; Swalwell in SC; Warren in SC; Weld in NH; Williamson in SC; Yang in SC

6/23 – Bill Weld in NH

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