By Saeed Sobhani

Biden is in the midst of fear and hope!

July 13, 2019 - 9:48

The former vice president of the United States is in a shaky situation. Although Biden is leading in polls from his Democratic rivals, the experience suggests that he can now not identify himself as a definitive victory! If Biden fails in the Iowa state elections (the first Democratic state election), his chances of winning his rivals will be sharply reduced. This is while Joe Biden imagined that his victory in competing with the Democrats would be definitive!

An overview of the latest news and analysis in the United States can help us explain the political situation in the United States.

Biden leads 2020 Democratic race, followed by Warren, Harris, and Sanders: NBC/WSJ poll

As CNBC reported, Joe Biden leads the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race, according to the first NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of the contest.

The former vice president draws the support of 26% of voters nationally who plan to vote in 2020 Democratic nominating contests, the survey released Thursday found. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., trails him at 19%.Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., each get 13% of support, according to the poll. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounds out the top five contenders at 7%. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and entrepreneur Andrew Yang both garner 2% of support, and no other candidate in the field of about two dozen draws more than 1%.

The survey largely squares with what recent polls have found about the contenders in the race to challenge President Donald Trump next year. While Biden jumped out to a more substantial lead in early polls, surveys suggest a tighter contest after the first Democratic debate last month introduced more voters to the field.

Much can change before Democratic voters start choosing their nominee. The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus sits about seven months away. Only 12% of respondents to the NBC/WSJ poll say they definitely made up their minds about who they will support next year.

Asked about their second choices for president, 14% of respondents chose Harris. She was followed by Warren at 13% and Sanders at 12%. Meanwhile, 10% of respondents picked Biden as their second choice, and 8% chose Buttigieg.

Harris and Warren get strong marks after first debate

The survey was taken after the first Democratic debate in Miami, which appeared to reflect well on Harris and Warren. Nearly half — 47% — of Democratic primary voters who watched at least some of the debates or paid close attention to news coverage of them said Harris most impressed them. About a third responded that Warren impressed them most.

Harris, one of three black candidates in the field, created the debate’s most discussed moment when she targeted Biden’s record on race and his stance on school busing policy. She told a story about getting bused to school in a newly integrated California school as a child.

The former vice president comfortably leads the field among African-American Democratic primary voters, according to the NBC/WSJ poll. He garners 46% of support, trailed distantly by Harris at 17%. Among non-white primary voters, Biden draws 33% of support, followed by Harris at 16%, Sanders at 15% and Warren at 14%. Biden leads among primary voters who consider themselves moderate or conservative. Warren has an edge over Sanders among liberal respondents.

Do voters want big or small changes?

One core issue that will define the Democratic primary is whether voters want sweeping overhauls or incremental change. For example, Sanders and Warren have backed a single-payer “Medicare for All” system and massive student debt forgiveness. Biden and others have cautioned against Medicare for All or widespread debt cancellation, calling the plans too expensive.

More than half, or 54%, of Democratic primary voters, said they want a candidate who “proposes larger-scale policies that cost more and might be harder to pass into law but could bring major change” on issues such as health care, climate change, college affordability and economic opportunity. Meanwhile, 41% responded that they prefer a candidate who “proposes smaller scale policies that cost less and might be easier to pass into law but will bring less change” on those issues.

Warren leads among respondents who want major change with 29% of support, followed by Sanders at 18%. Both candidates have proposed sweeping overhauls to the political and economic system, and Sanders first gained popularity as a candidate in 2016 by promising a “political revolution.” Meanwhile, voters who want smaller tweaks overwhelmingly chose Biden. Among all registered voters, 44% support a single-payer health care system, versus 49% who oppose it.

The poll also questioned voters about whether they back a candidate based more on ideology or their ability to deny Trump a second term in the White House. Among Democrats primary voters, 51% said they want a candidate who comes close to their views on issues. Meanwhile, 45% responded that they want a candidate with the best chance to defeat the president. Out of those who consider beating Trump most important, 34% choose Biden, followed by Warren at 21% and Harris at 16%. Among respondents who say they prefer to agree on issues, Biden and Warren are tied at 18%, while Harris garners 17% of support. The NBC/WSJ poll surveyed 800 total registered voters from July 7-9. More than half of those voters were reached by cell phone. It has an overall margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.5-percentage points. Among the 400 Democratic primary voters surveyed, the margin of error is plus-or-minus 4.9-percentage points.

Biden slams Trump’s trade war even as he calls to ‘get tough’ on China

Former Vice President Joe Biden knocked President Donald Trump’s trade policy Thursday even as he argued the U.S. needs to curb China’s “abusive” economic behavior. The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate slammed Trump for tariffs on Chinese goods that sparked retaliation from Beijing and pain for American farmers. Still, he called for the U.S. to “get tough on China” — taking a more aggressive stance than he did when he downplayed the threat China poses earlier this year.

“President Trump may think he’s being tough on China. All that he’s delivered as a consequence of that is American farmers, manufacturers, and consumers losing and paying more,” Biden said during a speech outlining his foreign policy plans at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. “His economic decision-making is so shortsighted and as shortsighted as the rest of his foreign policy.”

Biden said the U.S. needs to act to counter China or it will “keep moving and robbing U.S. firms” of technology and intellectual property. But the former vice president — who supported the North American Free Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deals that some of his Democratic rivals oppose — called for “new rules” and “new processes” to craft trade relationships. Biden, who has led most early primary polls, called to “build a united front” of economic partners to hold China accountable.

“China can’t afford to ignore half the global economy if we’re united. That gives us substantial leverage to shape the future rules of the road on everything from the environment to labor to trade to technology to transparency,” Biden said.In a statement, Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said the president “has repeatedly advocated for the American worker on the world stage by taking on unfair trade practices across the world.” She cited Trump’s replacement for NAFTA, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, his decision to leave TPP and his China policy. She argued Biden “has a history of blue-collar betrayals.”

Few Democratic candidates have targeted Trump over his trade policy. But Biden previously slammed him in the key agricultural state of Iowa — which will hold the first Democratic nominating contest in February. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., criticized Biden earlier this year for questioning how much of a threat China posed to the U.S.

Trump’s trade conflict with China has raised fears about damage to U.S. businesses, farmers and the broader global economy. Trade is a thorny issue for 2020 Democratic candidates. Contenders such as Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., agree with Trump that free trade has harmed American workers and sapped manufacturing jobs.

Biden has typically supported U.S. trade policy. But he said Thursday that “there’s no going back to business as usual on trade with me.” His comments come as Democrats express reservations about Trump’s NAFTA replacement due to concerns about labor and environmental protections and pharmaceutical prices.

The remarks also come as the U.S. scrambles to strike a trade deal with China. The Trump administration has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods during the ongoing trade war. China has responded with duties on $110 billion in American products.

Washington and Beijing restarted talks in recent weeks after efforts to strike a deal stalled. But earlier Thursday, Trump said China is “letting us down” by not buying more agricultural products. The Trump administration has considered farm product purchases to be a key part of moving forward with discussions. Biden made the comments Thursday during a broader speech about his foreign policy strategy. He also criticized the president for favorable comments about authoritarian leaders and tweeted threats of military force.

Trump officials warn of ‘active threats’ to US elections

The Trump administration outlined “active threats” to U.S. elections as it briefed Congress Wednesday on steps the government has taken to improve election security in the wake of Russian interference in 2016.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Christopher Wray and other officials “made it clear there are active threats and they’re doing everything they can” to stop them, said Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. Dingell called the closed-door presentation “very impressive” and said the issue was “one we all need to take seriously.”

Coats, Wray, and other officials met separately with the House and Senate in classified briefings. Democrats requested the sessions as they press legislation to keep Russia and other foreign adversaries from interfering with the U.S. political system. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., called the meeting helpful and said it reinforced the importance of remaining vigilant against outside threats to U.S. elections.

The session demonstrated that federal agencies “continue to learn from the mistakes of the 2016 election when the (Obama) administration was flat-footed in their response” to Russian interference, Scalise said. Special counsel Robert Mueller laid out details of Russian interference in the 2016 election earlier this year, and lawmakers from both parties have warned that the Russians are likely to try to interfere again in 2020. Democrats say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked bipartisan bills to address election security, and they pressed for the briefings as a way to force his hand.McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said he welcomed the briefings. The “smooth and secure execution” of the 2018 midterm elections “was not a coincidence” and showed the success of measures the administration has already taken, he said.

While Congress may need to act, McConnell said he’s skeptical of Democratic-passed bills on election security, saying they give too much control over state and local elections to the federal government. Democrats “have twice passed bills aimed at centralizing election administration decisions in the federal government, in part on the hope that election attorneys — not voters — will get to determine the outcome of more elections,” McConnell said Wednesday.

A bill approved by the House on a largely party-line vote in late June “would erode long-standing safeguards” that ensure local control of elections, he said. Democrats dispute that and say urgent action is needed to guard against Russian interference in 2020.“We know that nefarious foreign and domestic actors continue to meddle in our democratic systems, and we’ve been put on notice that previous efforts were only trial runs presumably for our next election in 2020,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., the chief sponsor of the House election security bill. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the classified briefing was important but “by no means sufficient.”

Congress must “debate and adopt measures to protect our democracy and preserve the sanctity of elections,” Schumer said. He accused McConnell of doing “nothing when it comes to one of the greatest threats to our democracy: that a foreign power would reach in and interfere (with U.S. elections) for its own purposes.”

The bill approved by the House would require paper ballots in federal elections and authorize $775 million in grants over the next two years to help states secure their voting systems. It also would prohibit voting systems from being connected to the internet or wireless technologies and tighten standards for private companies that provide election infrastructure.

The bill is among several proposed by Democrats to boost election security as Congress belatedly moves to respond to Russian interference in the presidential election nearly three years ago. The GOP-led Senate is unlikely to vote on the bill.“It’s interesting that some of our colleagues across the aisle seem to have already made up their minds before we hear from the experts that a brand-new, sweeping Washington, D.C., intervention is just what the doctor ordered,” McConnell said.

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