2020 Sunday Trail Markers: Can a Democratic gov survive in Louisiana?

Here’s what you need to know in politics this week…

  • All eyes on Louisiana’s gubernatorial race
  • Top Bernie Sanders surrogate says the Vermont senator is “fine”
  • Trump heads to Minnesota
  • Kamala Harris wants Pence to testify under oath
  • Amy Klobuchar says she has “money in the bank”
  • The Blue Jamboree
  • This week’s schedule


Via CBS News Political Unit Broadcast Associate Aaron Navarro: The Trump administration is pulling out all the stops ahead of Louisiana’s gubernatorial election. Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a GOP Unity rally in the state on Saturday, and President Trump Tweeted on Sunday that he’d hold a rally the day before the October 12 “jungle primary.”

Louisiana does not have traditional primaries, so there is no Republican nominee yet. Instead, Congressman Ralph Abraham and businessman Eddie Rispone, who are both Republicans, are hoping to keep incumbent Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards to under 50% of the vote. If Bel Edwards manages to get a majority of the vote he will avoid a runoff election. But if he comes in under 50%, he’ll face whoever finishes second in Saturday’s election. 

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During his visit to the state, Pence didn’t endorse either Rispone or Abraham, who both spoke at the event and have been airing attack ads at each other in the past few weeks. “Louisiana said yes to Trump in 2016 and we need Louisiana to send a Republican to the governor’s office and for Louisiana to vote for four more years of President Donald Trump,” Pence said. 

In a statement to CBS Newsa spokesman for Edward’s campaign said “it’s no surprise that the president is supporting members of his own political party.”

“This last-minute rally is proof that the partisan forces in Washington realize that Gov. Edwards is supported by a wide range of people in Louisiana, from every political party and every background…Gov. Edwards will keep putting people over politics in his second term,” Edwards spokesman Eric Holl said. Early election returns show Democrats with a one-percent lead in turnout as of Sunday morning.


Via CBS News Campaign Reporter Nicole Sganga: Hours before Senator Bernie Sanders returned to his Burlington home Saturday to recover from a heart attack, Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan, campaigned through New Hampshire in his place. At a town hall in Nashua, the mayor shared news of Sanders’ health. “By the way, he’s fine. I spoke to him yesterday. He’s rather ticked off that he’s off the campaign trail. But he’s had our back, and now we have to have his,” Cruz remarked before sliding into a Spanish translation.

Sanders was admitted to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center in Paradise, Nevada, on Tuesday after suffering chest pains. His diagnosis, described by the campaign as “blockage in one artery” was revealed three days later to be “a myocardial infarction,” the medical name for a heart attack.

Asked if the delay in diagnosis was a point of concern, Cruz told CBS News, “If there was something to be concerned about, he would have been open with the American people.” She continued. “Because he wants most from us, is to have that new relationship that a person who is in public office should have. Not one of being deceitful like President Trump. Not one of lying, like President Trump. But one of honesty and integrity.”

Sanders had been scheduled for a New Hampshire swing next weekend, with meetings and at least one public event on October 12 and 13. The Sanders campaign has said that the candidate will return to the trail in time for the October 15 Democratic debate in Westerville, Ohio.


Via CBS News Associate Producer Eleanor Watson: President Trump is heading to Minnesota this week for a Thursday campaign rally in a state where his campaign says it’s on offense in 2020. 

Mr. Trump narrowly lost the state in 2016 but exceeded expectations in the process. Minnesota currently has the longest record of voting Democratic in presidential elections and was the only state that stayed blue in President Reagan’s 49-state landslide in 1984. The last Republican to win Minnesota was Richard Nixon in 1972.

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez said at a meeting in June that if he was Mr. Trump, he would be targeting Minnesota as ground zero. In July, Mr. Trump tweeted that he will win the state in 2020. The president has also been in a long-running feud with Ilhan Omar, a prominent Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota and a fierce critic of the administration. 

The 2018 midterms made the state even more intriguing. Republicans and Democrats both flipped the two congressional districts. Democrats still control five out of the eight districts in the state.  

Record fundraising allows the campaign to look at expanding on the number of states Mr. Trump won in 2016. Minnesota will be the third state he lost in 2016 where Mr. Trump and his campaign are hosting a rally. He has already held rallies in New Mexico and New Hampshire.


Via CBS News Campaign Reporter LaCrai Mitchell: Kamala Harris wrapped her eleventh trip to South Carolina with a town hall where she spoke about impeachment. When asked why Democrats are pursuing an investigation that may not lead to Mr. Trump’s removal from office, Harris replied that the impeachment process “is about defending the design of our democracy” and that “it may not end in a guilty verdict in the Senate but at least we would have been true to the system and the design of our democracy.” 

Speaking to reporters later, Harris was pressed on whether she wants to see the vice president testify, to which she replied, “I do, under oath.” Harris continued, “If he has information or in fact was involved and complicit or facilitated the—a head of a foreign nation to somehow attempt to manipulate our elections. Absolutely.”

Addressing a crowd of at least 200 in Bluffton, Harris was asked what she thought former Vice President Joe Biden had done for communities of color. The California senator, who received some backlash after confronting Biden over race during the first Democratic presidential debate, skirted around the question. 

“I agree with the first point that you made, which is that he has been a dedicated public servant and that he should not be impugned,” said Harris. “He has done very good work in his career and he has done work that has benefitted all communities including the African-American community.” 

When reminded of her comments toward Biden during the first debate regarding busing, Harris responded that while they disagreed on that one specific issue, “that doesn’t mean that you paint a whole cloth against the vice president in terms of where he stands on all issues that relate to the African-American community.” During the same meeting with reporters, Mitchell asked Harris if three days was too long for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ team to release that he’d had a heart attack, and whether the heart attack may speak to his overall fitness. Harris replied that she wouldn’t second-guess Sanders’ decisions, “I know him to be a fighter and have no reason to think he’s not going to fight this.”


Via CBS News Campaign Reporter Nicole Sganga: Amy Klobuchar previewed her unreleased third-quarter fundraising numbers in Manchester, New Hampshire on Sunday. “We feel good about our number. I think we’ve raised a million more from what we did last quarter.” 

The Klobuchar campaign raised $3.87 million in the second quarter. “We have money in the bank. That’s why we’re putting out ads,” the Minnesota senator added.

Taking a swipe at Senator Cory Booker’s threat to leave the race if he didn’t quickly raise money in September, Klobuchar said, “People are going to have different fundraising pitches. I wouldn’t have used that one. You know why? Because I am staying into this race until the end. And I’m not going to put out threats about getting out of it. But I guess that worked for him to raise some money. That’s just how it is.”

Klobuchar also released her Veterans Plan on Sunday, which focused on reducing wait times at the Veterans Administration, access to “telehealth” services in rural areas and investing in Alzheimer’s, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and ALS research. 

Klobuchar said her plan would bring together service members from across geographic and political lines, touting her legislative successes in the Senate. “I am the queen of bridging the urban–rural divide,” she said. 


Via CBS News Campaign Reporter LaCrai Mitchell: Seven presidential candidates were in Charleston this weekend for the Charleston Democratic Party’s 10th annual Blue Jamboree. Mitchell spoke with CBSN anchor Reena Ninan to discuss the McDonald’s workers’ #Fightfor15 strike that took place during the event, what the presidential candidates said, and why Charleston County will be important ahead of 2020.


10/7 – Bennet in NH, Booker in IA, Castro in TX/border, Gabbard in IA, Harris in IA, Sestak in NH

10/8 – Bennet in NH, Booker in IA, Gabbard in IA, Harris in IA, Sestak in NH, Williamson in SC

10/9 – Bennet in NH, Biden in NH, Booker in IA, Gabbard in IA, Sestak in NH, warren in SC

10/10 – Biden in CA, Booker in CA, Buttigieg in CA, Castro in CA, Gabbard in NH, Harris in CA, Klobuchar in CA, O’Rourke in CA, Sanders in CA, , Sestak in NH, Steyer in CA Trump in MN, Warren in CA, Yang in NH

10/11 – Gabbard in NH, Sestak in NH, Warren in NV

10/12 – Buttigieg in NY & IA, Delaney in NH, Gabbard in NH, Yang in NH

10/13 – Bennet in IA, Biden in IA, Bullock in IA, Buttigieg in IA, Castro in NY, Delaney in NH, Harris in IA, Sestak in NH, Sanders in IA, Yang in NH

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