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Poll Finds Half of American Voters Believe Trump Is Racist: 2020 Election Update

Sanders Risks Trump Victory, Delaney Aide Says

John Delaney‘s campaign took a swipe at Senator Bernie Sanders‘s health care plan just before the two presidential candidates were to meet on stage at the Democratic debate in Detroit.

Michael Starr Hopkins, Delaney’s national press secretary, said Sanders’s Medicare for All proposal would “all but guarantee that Donald Trump gets re-elected.”

The Vermont senator’s plan “to turn our health care system into a socialist experiment isn’t just bad policy, it’s bad politics,” Hopkins said. Sanders, he added, “isn’t even a Democrat.”

Delaney is one of the lowest polling candidates in the field and his campaign’s direct attack on Sanders signals how he plans to make his mark during the debate. At the California Democratic Convention last month he was booed for opposing Sanders’s Medicare for All plan.

Trump May Not Appear on California Ballot

President Donald Trump could be left off the primary ballot in California next year if he doesn’t release five years of his tax returns, because of a new law that Governor Gavin Newsom signed Tuesday.

California is the first state to require presidential candidates to release their tax information, though lawmakers in at least 25 states have introduced similar legislation since Trump won the presidency. Although not required to do so, Trump was the first presidential candidate in more than 40 years not to release his taxes and he has continued to refuse to reveal them as president.

The law is likely to face legal challenges. Newsom said his state is “well within its constitutional right,” but critics of the tax-return disclosure effort say that the Constitution sets out requirements to be president and states can’t add new ones.

Despite a flurry of bill introductions, few states are likely to follow California. Former California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed similar legislation last year. He questioned whether the law was constitutional and expressed concern that it could instigate a “slippery slope” for what states could require candidates to reveal.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said there were “good reasons” Brown vetoed the measure.

“It’s unconstitutional and it opens up the possibility for states to load up more requirements on candidates in future elections,” Murtaugh said in an emailed statement. “What’s next, five years of health records?”

Tom Steyer to Run an Impeachment Ad During Debate

Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer won’t be on stage in Detroit Tuesday night, but CNN viewers tuning in to the second presidential debate will hear his message anyway.

Need to Impeach, a Steyer-funded advocacy group, bought air time for a 30-second ad to run on CNN and MSNBC before and after the Democratic primary debate, the organization said. Steyer doesn’t appear in the spot.

The new ad compiles some of the most damning clips from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s House testimony last week about Russian interference and President Donald Trump’s obstruction: “Did you actually totally exonerate the president?” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler asked. “No,” Mueller responded. “The campaign welcomed the Russian help, did they not?” asked Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. “Yes,” Mueller said.

The billionaire hedge fund manager announced his candidacy July 9, too late to qualify for this week’s debates.

Poll: Half of American voters believe that President Donald Trump is a racist

Half of American voters believe that President Donald Trump is a racist, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

The survey also found little appetite for impeaching the president, with 60% saying that Congress shouldn’t begin proceedings.

The poll comes after weeks of increasingly harsh rhetoric on race from the president, who has suggested that four minority Democratic members of Congress should go back where they came from and called the majority black congressional district of Representative Elijah Cummings in Baltimore a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

The poll found 51% of voters believe Trump is a racist, up 2 percentage points from the last time Quinnipiac asked the question a year ago. That’s within the margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Among the demographic groups most likely to believe Trump is racist were African Americans (80%), those without a religious affiliation (63%), women (59%), Hispanics (55%), college-educated whites (54%) and those under 35 (53%).

The poll was conducted July 25-28, after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony in Congress. Thirty-one percent of voters thought the Mueller report cleared Trump of all wrongdoing. That’s down from shortly after the report was released, when 38% said it cleared the president.

Biden Gets Endorsement

Front-runner Joe Biden might be focused on preparing for Wednesday night’s debate in one state that’s critical to Democrats’ road to 2020 victory, but his campaign is looking ahead to another that could make or break his bid for the nomination.

Biden’s campaign announced Tuesday morning that Iowa’s longest-serving congressman -- former Representative Neal Smith -- has endorsed the former vice president.

Smith, who represented a Des Moines-area district, retired from Congress in 1995.

That fact could cut both ways for Biden, who has tried to make his deep Washington ties and wealth of policy experience an asset while deflecting claims that his septuagenarian status and decades on Capitol Hill render him out of touch with today’s voters. There have been news reports of officials in important electoral states like South Carolina defecting from Biden to other candidates.

The timing of the announcement underscores the degree to which Biden’s campaign recognizes that a strong showing in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation voting in February is essential. Biden’s poor performance in the Hawkeye State in 2008 spelled the end of his presidential ambitions that year. He dropped out of the race after wining less than 1% of the vote.

Democratic Debate Round 2

Twenty candidates will be in Detroit for the second round of Democratic debates on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Night one will feature:

  • Steve Bullock, Montana governor
  • Pete Buttigieg, South Bend, Indiana, mayor
  • John Delaney, former U.S. congressman from Maryland
  • John Hickenlooper, former Colorado governor
  • Amy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from Minnesota
  • Beto O’Rourke, former U.S. congressman from Texas
  • Tim Ryan, U.S. congressman from Ohio
  • Bernie Sanders, U.S. senator from Vermont
  • Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts
  • Marianne Williamson, author

Here are the candidates who will appear on night two:

  • Joe Biden, former vice president
  • Kamala Harris, U.S. senator from California
  • Andrew Yang, entrepreneur
  • Julian Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Cory Booker, U.S. senator from New Jersey
  • Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. congresswoman from Hawaii
  • Michael Bennet, U.S. senator from Colorado
  • Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor
  • Jay Inslee, Washington governor
  • Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator from New York

More must-read stories from Fortune:

—The strongest Democratic candidate for 2020 is a woman, poll finds

–Why kids are skipping school to fight climate change

—Thousands of migrant children remain in shelters at the border

—What to expect from the second Democratic debate

—When it comes to politics, Americans are divided. Can data change that?

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