2020 Daily Trail Markers: Campaigns flex muscles ahead of first Democratic debate

By Caitlin Conant

/ CBS News

South Carolina voters name top U.S. issues

FROM THE CANDIDATES

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS: Harris is still celebrating her performance at the South Carolina Democratic Convention. On Monday, her campaign announced four new endorsements related to the senator's state party convention speech on Saturday, says CBS News campaign reporter Stephanie Ramirez.

"Kamala Harris spoke to us, not at us. She energized and affirmed in me the values that made me become a proud Democrat," said Paul Merlo, a volunteer coordinator with the Greenville County Democratic Party, according to a campaign press release.

South Carolina is the first test of how well the 2020 candidates will do among African American voters in the 2020 primaries. According to a CBS News Battleground Tracker poll released last week, about a third of black voters are considering Harris in the Palmetto state. Former Vice President Joe Biden was leading the pack for his party's nomination among South Carolina Democrats.

Trending News

BETO O'ROURKE: The former congressman's new policy proposal aimed at improving the lives of veterans got a rare public nod of approval from Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, according to CBS News campaign reporter Nicole Sganga. The two lawmakers served together (and sat side by side) on the House Veterans Affairs Committee for six years.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Sanders introduced a plan to eliminate the $1.6 trillion in student debt currently held by 45 million Americans – and he's looking to Wall Street to pay for its cost, CBS News campaign reporter Cara Korte reports. Sanders, along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is proposing a 0.5% tax on all trades, fees on bonds and derivatives. According to Sanders, the tax would raise $2.4 trillion over 10 years. Sanders' debt forgiveness plan goes further than any of his competitors — most notably, fellow progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren's plan, which caps debt forgiveness at $50,000.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: Warren's team announced Sunday that the campaign has completed a full organizing tour of Iowa. They've now held organizer-led events in all 99 counties in the state. The campaign told CBS News campaign reporters Musadiq Bidar and Adam Brewster the last county they hit was Adams County, which is in the southwest corner of the state with a population of less than 4,000. The event was held at Background Coffee and Boutique on June 14. President Trump won Adams County with 66% of the vote in the 2016 general election. While Warren has been able to hold organizer-led events in 99 counties, Rep. John Delaney has already visited all 99 himself.

STATELY COVERAGE

UP NORTH: In water-quality news, the U.S. Air Force has diverted more than $66 million from other environmental cleanup efforts to address PFAS contamination, with more than $35 million of those dollars dedicated to former Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, NH, says Sganga. The Concord Monitor also reports that New Hampshire's Department of Justice has identified six prominent law firms to represent the state in its lawsuit against major chemical companies — including 3M, DuPont and the Chemours Company — concerning PFAS contamination in popular products such as Teflon.

DOWN SOUTH: South Carolina may be considered the culinary capital of the early presidential primary states (at the very least, it's the only one with a major political event centered around a particular food), but there is one thing voters here aren't hungry for: division in the party, report CBS News campaign reporter LaCrai Mitchell, CBS News Political Unit associate producer Sarah Ewall-Wice and CBSN political reporter Caitlin Huey-Burns.

IN OTHER NEWS

IN THE SENATE: Two marquee Senate races got new candidates today, report Sganga and CBS News Political Unit associate producer Ellee Watson. In New Hampshire, retired Brigadier General Don Bolduc announced he will be running as a Republican against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Bolduc told a crowd he has nothing against Shaheen, who has been in the Senate since 2009, but that "she has been a part of failed leadership in Washington for too long." Bolduc also said that he would not "engage in personal destruction" as a candidate.

In his announcement remarks, Bolduc did not mention President Trump by name and said he would go to Washington to replace "failed leadership" that hasn't addressed the opioid crisis, crippling student debt or securing the border.

In an interview with CBS News, the two-time Purple Heart recipient applauded Mr. Trump's decision not to retaliate against Iran after the country shot down a U.S. drone. "Two words," the former brigadier general said. "Effective leadership."

Asked if he would support Republican efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, Bolduc told CBS News, "I'm pro-life." The Republican added that he has only three exceptions to this stance: "Rape, incest and health of the mother."

In Maine, House Speaker Sara Gideon announced her challenge to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Susan Collins. In her announcement video, the Democrat criticized Collins' vote on the tax reform bill, receiving donations from drug companies and voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

MONEY MATTERS

ON THE $$$: Progressive super PACs Priorities USA and EMILY's List, which works to help elect pro-choice Democratic women, are teaming up in a new push to flip the Virginia General Assembly from red to blue. Ewall-Wice says the effort will include a $600,000 digital campaign to help persuade and mobilize voters in key districts across the state.

At the same time, Tom Steyer's group NextGen America announced Monday it plans to spend $1 million in the state to register and mobilize 12,000 young voters ahead of the state's legislative elections. This comes as Republicans set their sights on Virginia after its Democratic governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general all faced a series of scandals earlier this year. Virginia's election is this November and could serve as a preview for 2020.

First published on June 24, 2019 / 7:55 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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