2020 election | Connecticut Public Radio
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2020 election

Frédéric BISSON / flickr creative commons

We've got no guests today. So much of the burden of making today's show any good at all rests with, well: you.

We can talk about pretty much whatever you want. The economy. Plastic bags. Greenland. The Little League Classic. 2020. Or 2020. Or 2020. Or 2020.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The second night of the Democratic debates in Detroit did not stray from its predicted script: It was open season on front-runner Joe Biden right from the start.

But it was also something of a free-for-all, with every candidate for himself or herself. And the intensity and outcome of the exchanges may have come as a surprise to some of the people onstage.

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It's Night 2 of the Democratic debate in Detroit, airing on CNN beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The second set of 10 candidates is making their case as to why they should be the next president of the United States.

It's Night 1 of two of the July Democratic debates, airing on CNN from 8 to 10 p.m. ET. The first set of 10 candidates is making their case as to why they should be the next president of the United States.

Tuesday's lineup includes a potential progressive clash between Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. It will be the first time the two share the debate state in this primary.

Here's Where The 2020 Democratic Candidates Stand On Guns

Jul 30, 2019
Throughout the 2020 campaign, Guns & America will be tracking policy proposals made by candidates for president.
Luis Melgar / Guns & America

Polling shows guns are among the top priorities for many Democratic voters and gun issues remain a big topic in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

How The Democrats' Gun Plans Sound to Experts

Jul 30, 2019
Luis Melgar / WAMU

Gun policy is back on the democratic debate stage in a way it hasn’t been in decades. But are the candidates’ proposals likely to save lives?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut's five U.S. Representatives stood with their Democratic colleagues and four Republicans Tuesday in rebuking President Donald Trump for his Twitter attacks against a group of minority congresswomen who have become known as "The Squad."

Now what?

New Hampshire is at the forefront of a growing debate over PFAS chemical contamination in drinking water. And many of the Democrats campaigning to win the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary are taking notice.

They’re using the issue to connect with a highly engaged block of potential Granite State voters – and local PFAS activists are welcoming the attention.


Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced Tuesday his support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The news arrived amid reports that the former vice president’s polling lead is shrinking, as California U.S. Senator Kamala Harris' numbers rise. 

When Sen. Kamala Harris of California launched her presidential campaign in January and drew a crowd of 20,000 in Oakland, Calif., she raised some eyebrows about the potential for her candidacy.

But during the early stretch of this Democratic primary campaign, Harris struggled to catch on or stand apart — until Thursday night.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

It's Night 2 of the first primary debate of the 2020 election cycle. Follow NPR reporters' live analysis and fact checks of the candidates' remarks.

If the overarching question heading into the first debate of the 2020 presidential primary for Democratic voters was "Who can you see as president up there?" it's not certain they got a clear answer.

Rather than fireworks — toward each other or President Trump — the candidates took a cautious approach. Will that be the approach on Night 2, Thursday night, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden on the same stage?

Here are five takeaways from Wednesday night's debate:

1. Elizabeth Warren was consistent.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

It's Night 1 of the first primary debate of the 2020 election cycle. Follow NPR reporters' live analysis and fact checks of the candidates' remarks.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Despite the many GOP losses in Connecticut races last election, state Republican insiders Tuesday night granted J.R. Romano a two-year extension as party chairman. In the end, only one challenger stepped up to oppose him. The vote wasn't even close.

President Trump officially launched his 2020 reelection bid on Tuesday at a massive rally in Orlando, though much of the event picked up where his 2016 campaign left off.

Trump relished in reliving his unlikely victory 2 1/2 years ago over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. As the crowd broke into chants of "lock her up," he teased about still trying to search for missing emails on her private server and the possibility his Justice Department could look into prosecuting the former secretary of state.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

President Trump says he might accept dirt from another country on his potential Democratic rivals if offered, raising new questions and concerns about foreign influence on American elections.

"It's not an interference, they have information — I think I'd take it," Trump said. "If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI — if I thought there was something wrong."

Reform-minded Democrats have long held up "dark money" — political money that can't be traced to its source — as a symptom of what's wrong with politics in Washington. But while House Democrats this winter passed a bill to end the secrecy shielding donors behind unregulated dark money contributions, liberal activist groups now deploy those funds to boost the party's candidates in the 2020 elections.

Chion Wolf (File photo) / Connecticut Public Radio

For all the recent attention bestowed on Democratic Party progressives, there's new evidence so-called centrists aren't going to just fade away.

Not with former Vice President Joe Biden taking a commanding early lead over the many 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls running to his left. National polls released Tuesday cast Biden well ahead of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others vying for the party's nomination.

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

After months of oscillating speculation, followed by a long ramp up that drew out uncomfortable reassessments of his long public career, former Vice President Joe Biden has announced that he will run for president in 2020.

What's Your Question For U.S. Senator Chris Murphy?

Apr 5, 2019
Chion Wolf / WNPR

When it comes to responding to the nation's gun violence epidemic, Congress is finally starting to take some action. At least in the U.S. House of Representatives, which, in February, passed legislation to expand background checks for the sale of firearms.

The question now is what is the Republican-controlled Senate going to do.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Just days after the U.S. Attorney General released his summary of the long-anticipated Mueller report, we ask: What does his sum-up do -- or not do -- to trust in the country's election system? We talk with a panel of reporters and election experts, and we also hear from you. 

Updated at 10:03 a.m. ET

The release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report may provide Americans with the best playbook yet on how to defend democracy in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.

The Bernie Sanders who's running for president in 2020 is not the same Bernie Sanders who ran in 2016.

Yes, he has many of the same policy positions, and many of his 2016 supporters are enthusiastically backing him again. But the Vermont independent senator is no longer the insurgent taking on a political Goliath with huge name recognition. Now, he is the candidate with high name recognition, taking on candidates who are introducing themselves to the American people again.

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris says she was bent toward a career fighting for civil rights almost since birth.

The Democrat is the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father who met at the University of California, Berkeley, and were active in the movement during the 1960s.

"I was born realizing the flaws in the criminal justice system," she told NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Sunday morning news shows were abuzz about the Democratic National Committee's decision to deselect Fox News as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debates. 

But you may have missed it if you didn't reset your clocks to Daylight Saving Time, or like a lot of us, spent your weekend fixated on that hour of lost sleep.

On this week's Scramble, we take on the weary rants over both topics.

Here's something Democrats thought they knew during the last presidential campaign: Wisconsin was safe. It was a lock for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But when the votes were counted, it was a stunning upset for Republican Donald Trump.

In 2020, Democrats apparently aren't taking the state for granted.

Even though the first nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire are some 11 months away, and with Wisconsin's primary not until April 7 of next year, the campaign stops have already begun.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of half a dozen Democratic senators running for the White House, is reintroducing a bill on Thursday that would fundamentally end the federal government's prohibition on marijuana.

Sen. Bernie Sanders has confirmed to VPR that he is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is the latest Democrat to enter the increasingly crowded race for the White House, making the initial announcement with a message of unity.

There has been no shortage of reaction to former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's declaration that he is seriously considering running — as an independent — for president.