STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

2020 Election Watch: Breaking down the race with 3 months until the Iowa caucuses

President Donald Trump (left) and presidential candidate Joe Biden (right). AP images

Here's what we're watching heading into a new week on the 2020 campaign.

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 6:50 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Presidential politics move fast. Here's what we're watching heading into a new week on the 2020 campaign:

Days to Iowa caucuses: 91

Days to general election: 365

THE NARRATIVE:

A new, turbulent phase of the Democratic primary has begun after Beto O'Rourke's sudden decision to leave the race and Kamala Harris' move to shutter her New Hampshire campaign. It's the truth hour for candidates not named Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. Under increasing political and financial pressure to make a move, more lower-tier candidates will be forced to shake up their staff or strategy or call it quits.

THE BIG QUESTIONS:

Can Biden step up in the early states?

National polls are easy to talk about, but, unfortunately for Biden, they have little bearing on how presidential nominees are chosen. While Biden continues to lead many nationwide surveys, the former vice president has finished no better than third in the two most recent Iowa and New Hampshire polls. While many voters have yet to make firm decisions, that's not where Biden wants to be three months out from Iowa, and his increasingly aggressive posture with Warren in particular reflects growing concern from his campaign. The establishment favorite needs to find a way to strengthen his standing in the early states soon or find an unconventional path to the nomination.

How does Warren sell her health care payment plan?

The Massachusetts senator answered the biggest policy question of her campaign late last week by unveiling a detailed proposal to spend $20 trillion over 10 years to fund her single-payer health care plan. Predictably, rivals in both major political parties pounced. She's now tasked finding a message in the longer term that will satisfy liberals and skeptical moderates. After drawing mixed reviews for sidestepping related questions in the last debate, she's only just beginning to confront a key issue underlying broader concerns that she may be too far left to win the general election.

Does the suburban slide for Donald Trump's GOP hit bottom in Virginia?

He is not on the ballot on Tuesday, but the modern-day Republican Party's standing in America's suburbs certainly is as voters across Virginia decide the balance of power in their state legislature. Thanks to Trump's weak standing with more educated and affluent suburban voters, Democrats have a real chance of taking control of both state house chambers for the first time in more than two decades.

Does AOC's star shine bright enough to help Bernie overcome health concerns?

One of the Democratic Party's brightest young stars, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, will make multiple campaign appearances alongside Sanders late this week in Iowa. This comes just a month after the 78-year-old Vermont senator suffered a heart attack that raised new concerns about his age and health. And it offers a powerful reminder that Sanders remains a political force in 2020, even if he's viewed skeptically by the political establishment. Can Ocasio-Cortez give Sanders the kind of bump on the ground in Iowa he needs? It's a heavy lift.

Will things get more difficult for Buttigieg?

Buttigieg, the feel-good story of 2020, is rising, but he's largely escaped the kind of scrutiny that typically follows top-tier presidential candidates. That may be about to change. The 37-year-old South Bend, Indiana, mayor last week suggested Iowa has essentially become a two-person race between himself and Warren. New polling suggests he belongs in the top-tier conversation, even if Iowa is far from a two-person race. Still, the novelty of a fresh-faced midwestern Rhodes scholar with a hard-to-pronounce name can only go so far.

THE FINAL THOUGHT:

The big questions above underscore a stark reality: With the Iowa caucuses rapidly approaching, uncertainty and anxiety is rising among most Democratic primary voters who are far from settled on their final pick. Why? Each of the top-tier candidates is making little progress in addressing glaring political vulnerabilities that threaten their presidential ambitions.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 59185

Reported Deaths: 1681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18774828
Ramsey7307263
Dakota4250104
Anoka3553114
Stearns287420
Washington203744
Nobles17546
Olmsted170023
Scott150318
Mower10952
Rice10198
Blue Earth8935
Wright8555
Carver8293
Clay77140
Sherburne7107
Kandiyohi6871
St. Louis50219
Lyon4243
Todd4222
Freeborn3581
Steele3381
Nicollet32913
Benton3163
Watonwan3070
Winona25716
Crow Wing22814
Beltrami2170
Le Sueur2131
Martin2065
Goodhue1928
Chisago1901
Otter Tail1893
Cottonwood1760
McLeod1730
Becker1491
Pipestone1499
Polk1494
Douglas1380
Waseca1380
Itasca13612
Carlton1330
Pine1280
Unassigned12641
Dodge1250
Murray1221
Isanti1210
Chippewa1011
Wabasha880
Brown872
Faribault850
Morrison851
Meeker842
Sibley832
Rock790
Koochiching743
Pennington731
Jackson720
Cass702
Mille Lacs693
Fillmore630
Renville625
Lincoln560
Grant533
Swift521
Yellow Medicine510
Roseau470
Pope460
Houston390
Norman380
Aitkin341
Kanabec341
Redwood330
Wilkin333
Hubbard320
Marshall290
Mahnomen261
Wadena250
Red Lake230
Big Stone220
Lake200
Stevens170
Clearwater140
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Cook30
Kittson30
Lake of the Woods20

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47904

Reported Deaths: 913
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10132206
Woodbury370951
Black Hawk309963
Linn231487
Johnson205416
Dallas185935
Buena Vista179112
Scott167414
Dubuque165331
Marshall143225
Pottawattamie129426
Story115114
Wapello87633
Muscatine84548
Webster7937
Crawford7263
Sioux6193
Cerro Gordo59817
Warren5501
Tama54729
Jasper47126
Wright4631
Plymouth4559
Dickinson3784
Louisa37814
Clinton3703
Washington29410
Boone2462
Hamilton2451
Franklin2359
Bremer2107
Clarke1973
Emmet1904
Carroll1851
Clay1811
Shelby1801
Hardin1750
Marion1660
Des Moines1582
Poweshiek1568
Allamakee1544
Benton1511
Jackson1501
Floyd1452
Mahaska13817
Guthrie1315
Cedar1291
Jones1282
Buchanan1241
Hancock1212
Butler1192
Henry1193
Pocahontas1151
Madison1142
Lyon1102
Lee1083
Humboldt1061
Cherokee1041
Clayton1043
Delaware1031
Harrison1030
Iowa961
Taylor960
Page940
Winneshiek941
Monona910
Mills870
Kossuth840
Calhoun832
Fayette820
Jefferson820
Palo Alto820
Sac820
Osceola800
Winnebago790
Grundy781
Mitchell780
Union761
Monroe727
Worth660
Cass611
Lucas604
Montgomery574
Chickasaw540
Davis541
Howard490
Appanoose483
Greene410
Fremont400
Keokuk341
Van Buren341
Ida290
Adair280
Audubon281
Decatur230
Ringgold211
Wayne191
Adams160
Unassigned10
Rochester
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 71°
Mason City
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Albert Lea
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 75°
Austin
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Charles City
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Scattered Storms, Warm & Humid
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Saturday Weather

Image

Grief mask making workshop

Image

Mace's Weather 8/8

Image

Tractor pullers excited to rev up their engines in 2020

Image

Need school supplies? Iowa tax-free weekend on clothes

Image

War hero remembered with motorcycle ride

Image

Families react to RPS's "Return to Learn" plan

Image

Sara's 10pm Forecast- Friday

Image

Giving your best volunteer of the month

Image

Sara's 6pm Forecast - Friday

Community Events