NEW YORK — Presidential politics move fast. What we’re watching heading into a new week on the 2020 campaign:
Days to Iowa caucuses: 63
Days to general election: 337
With just two months before primary voting begins, top Democrats are confronting their principal political liabilities with a new sense of urgency. It’s unclear how many voters will be paying attention, however, as the 2019 holiday season is here and impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump accelerate. As Democrats fight amongst themselves in key primary states, Trump is focused on the states that matter most in the general election.
THE BIG QUESTIONS
Can he get back on track in Iowa?
Joe Biden storms into the week on an eight-day, 18-county bus tour across Iowa. It’s no secret that the former vice president’s standing in the kickoff-caucus state isn’t as strong as national polls might suggest. The Iowa investment this week reflects the reality that a bad start in the opening contest threatens Biden’s standing in states that follow. He’s spending much of his tour focusing on small-town Iowa, where aides believe he has strong support. It’s unclear if that’ll be enough to overcome his weakness with the party’s energized liberal base elsewhere, but this is what his advisers think is the best way forward.
Can she keep the lights on?
Speaking of Iowa, the California senator who said she’s moving there is facing mounting pressure to prove her campaign is still viable. Kamala Harris’ critics cheered last week’s news that one aide resigned, citing poor treatment of staff and lack of a coherent strategy. That’s just four weeks after she shuttered offices in New Hampshire. And she’s still the only major candidate currently not running TV ads in Iowa, although her team says that may be changing. Harris retreats to California for at least one campaign fundraiser this week, and she needs the money. She has qualified for the next debate, so it’s unlikely she’ll be forced out of the race before then, but the former top-tier candidate is teetering on the edge.