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Kamala Harris’ 2020 bid seems to fade as other Democrats bypass her

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Kamala Harris' 2020 bid seems to fade as other Democrats bypass her

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris’ star appears to be dimming as other Democrats rise past her while she struggles to gain a footing among likely voters.

The junior U.S. senator from California was one of the first Democrats to launch a White House bid, raising at the time an astonishing $1.5 million in just 24 hours while attracting tens of thousands of supposed supporters to a rally in Oakland.

The 54-year-old former state attorney general and San Francisco district attorney — who succeeded Democrat Barbara Boxer in the Senate in 2017 — was viewed as a frontrunner in the 2020 race thanks to her progressive bona fides and effective opposition to President Trump since moving to Washington. Meanwhile, her stint as a DA, while criticized by progressives, was seen as a way to appeal to more moderate voters.

KAMALA HARRIS: THE ODDS ARE ‘YOU WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP YOUR DOCTOR’ UNDER MEDICARE FOR ALL

But four months into her campaign, Harris is returning to Los Angeles for the annual state Democratic Party convention no longer as a frontrunner.

Political experts told the Los Angeles Times that part of the reason why Harris’ campaign has stalled is that she has failed to make a succinct case for her candidacy, beyond her background as a prosecutor and virulent opposition to the Trump administration.

“You don’t get elected because you’re a list of qualities,” Gil Duran, a former Harris adviser, told the newspaper. “What’s the big idea she’s carrying? That’s what she’s trying to figure out. She’s having trouble figuring out what she represents.”

“You don’t get elected because you’re a list of qualities. What’s the big idea she’s carrying? That’s what she’s trying to figure out. She’s having trouble figuring out what she represents.”

— Gil Duran, former Harris adviser

Latest polls were particularly troubling to Harris, with former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont fighting for the title of party frontrunner.

KAMALA HARRIS CALLS FOR FEDERAL APPROVAL BEFORE STATES PASS ABORTION RESTRICTIONS

Both Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Pete Buttigieg — the mayor of South Bend, Ind., who’s surging despite being virtually unknown just a few months ago — are polling better than Harris.

In fact, according to the Morning Consult poll tracker, Harris’ support peaked just weeks after her announcement, with 14 percent of Democratic voters throwing their support behind her in a Feb. 3 poll. Since then, her support has halved to 7 percent.

But more evidently, the momentum behind her campaign has evaporated while other candidates have solidified their support and may be poised to expand further nationally.

Yet supporters of Harris suggest that her campaign is in the exact right spot at this time — still able to compete and fundraise without the burden of being a frontrunner.

“I don’t think anyone ever thought she would get in the race and blow away the field and be a frontrunner from January 2019 through Election Day,” Brian Brokaw, who managed Harris’ runs for state attorney general, told the Times.

“She needs to stay in the upper tier, which I think she is. Stay in striking position and you outlast everybody.”

Harris recently made a number of comments about policies that are supposed to solidify her progressive stances, including fining corporations that don’t take steps toward closing the gender pay gap.

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The senator’s plan, touted by the Harris campaign as “first-of-its-kind” and “historic,” if passed into law, would mandate that large corporations obtain “equal pay certification” from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Companies failing to land a certification would face fines – for every 1 percent wage gap, they would be fined 1 percent of their profits.

In a separate proposal, Harris also said that she will use executive orders to mandate background checks on the private transfers of guns, revoke the licenses of gun makers and dealers whose guns are used in crimes, and ban the importation of many semi-automatic guns.

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in ‘SMEAR story’

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Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in 'SMEAR story'

President Trump blasted The New York Times over its supposed bombshell report on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, calling on “everybody” involved in the “smear” to resign.

“I call for the Resignation of everybody at The New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh SMEAR story, and while you’re at it, the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, which is just as phony!” Trump tweeted Monday evening.

“They’ve taken the Old Grey Lady and broken her down, destroyed her virtue and ruined her reputation… She can never recover, and will never return to Greatness, under current Management. The Times is DEAD, long live The New York Times!”

NEW YORK TIMES CRITICIZED FROM BOTH SIDES OVER NOW-REVISED KAVANAUGH ALLEGATIONS

Late Sunday, The New York Times walked back an explosive report about a resurfaced allegation of sexual assault by Kavanaugh from his college days. The piece by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, adapted from their forthcoming book, alleged there was corroboration of an incident in which Kavanaugh, as a college student at Yale, exposed himself to a female classmate at a party.

However, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway — who reviewed an advance copy of the book – flagged an omission and the paper eventually revised the controversial story after being lampooned on social media over the gaffe.

The update included the significant detail that several friends of the alleged victim said she did not recall the purported sexual assault. The newspaper also stated for the first time that the alleged victim refused to be interviewed, and has made no other comment about the episode.

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Trump was asked about whether anyone from The Times should be “fired” over the controversy. He called it a “fair” question but didn’t directly give an answer.

“I think The New York Times made another terrible mistake,” Trump said. “It’s a shame that a thing like that could happen… They used to have a thing called fact-checking. They don’t have fact-checking anymore.”

Fox News’ Brian Flood and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

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With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will hold one of his signature rallies on Monday night in New Mexico, a longtime Democratic stronghold his campaign has added to the list of states it hopes to win in the November 2020 election.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S., September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

The last time New Mexico supported a Republican in a presidential race was 2004. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton beat Trump there by 8 percentage points three years ago.

Trump’s campaign sees an opening in the state with Latinos, who it believes will swing his way despite tough immigration policies, including a crackdown on migrants from Central America and a push to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Democrats have criticized those efforts. But a Trump campaign aide said the Republican president could win over Latinos who came to the United States legally and believe others should, too.

“Big crowd expected in New Mexico tonight, where we will WIN. Your Border Wall is getting stronger each and every day — see you in a few hours!” Trump tweeted ahead of his trip.

The campaign also views Trump’s support for the fossil fuel industry as a plus in the state, which is rich in oil and natural gas, said the campaign aide, who declined to be named. Trump is likely to discuss energy on Monday night.

Trump won the White House in 2016 with electoral votes from traditional Republican-leaning states and some surprise Democratic-leaning ones.

The Trump campaign says it wants New Mexico’s five electoral votes to augment the 306 electoral votes the president received in his first election, not create a separate path for victory. A candidate must get 270 electoral votes nationally to win.

Democrats, who did well in New Mexico during the 2018 mid-term elections, are skeptical.

“Last cycle, Democrats crushed Republicans in New Mexico because voters are fed up with President Trump’s toxic healthcare agenda and broken promises,” said David Bergstein, a communications director for the Democratic National Committee focused on battleground states.

“We take nothing for granted, but this GOP strategy looks like they’re concerned about a realistic pathway to 270 electoral votes,” he added.

Trump won electoral-vote-rich swing states such as Ohio and Florida in 2016, while also picking up Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania from Democrats.

The campaign says it is eyeing more pickups in 2020, including Colorado, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Nevada.

Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Tom Brown

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California adds Iowa to ‘travel ban’ over refusal to fund gender transitions

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California adds Iowa to 'travel ban' over refusal to fund gender transitions

California announced Monday that it has added Iowa to the list of states on its ever-expanding “travel ban” list because of that state’s new prohibition against funding gender-transition surgeries under Medicaid.

The announcement by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra means that as of Oct. 4, California will no longer offer taxpayer-funded trips to Iowa for any public employee or student at a state-run university.

Becerra’s authority came from a 2016 California law signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown that bars state-funded travel to other states that undercut LGBT rights. The list already included Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

WATCH: LIBERAL POLICIES BLAMED FOR WORSENING CALIFORNIA’S HOMELESSNESS CRISIS

Conservatives have called the law ineffective, inconveniencing, possibly unconstitutional and hypocritical. The state’s sports teams have turned to private funding to get around the restrictions, according to The Los Angeles Times.

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A homeless woman smokes as she waits for city crews to clean the area near Los Angeles City Hall Monday, July 1, 2019. California is overrun with homeless individuals. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

“The Iowa Legislature has reversed course on what was settled law under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, repealing protections for those seeking gender-affirming health care,” Becerra said in a statement. “California has taken an unambiguous stand against discrimination and government actions that would enable it.”

The brouhaha began after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in March that taxpayers could be forced to pay for gender reassignment surgery. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a law effectively overriding that ruling two months later.

At the federal level, the Trump administration has disputed the idea that sex-based discrimination prohibitions under law include protections for gender identity. The Health and Human Services Department, in May, angered progressive advocates with rules that both allowed doctors not to perform certain operations and stated that “gender identity” was not protected under sex discrimination law in health care.

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Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report.

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