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Trump Seeks Voters’ Support in Louisiana Runoff: Campaign Update

Joshua Gallu

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump called on Louisiana voters to oust the state’s Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, in a Saturday runoff election that will be the latest test of the president’s popularity with Southern voters.

At a rally Thursday night in Bossier City, just outside Shreveport, Trump made his third appearance to bolster Edwards’ Republican opponent, Eddie Rispone, a Baton Rouge businessman. “I really need you -- but you really need you -- to send a message to the corrupt Democrats in Washington,” Trump said.

Saturday’s election is the last of three governor’s races this year.

Republican candidates in all three states made allegiance to Trump the center of their campaigns. One won in Mississippi, and another lost in Kentucky.

Edwards is trying to hold his position as the only Democrat serving as governor in the Deep South. He has highlighted his expansion of Medicaid in the state, as well as bipartisan support for initiatives to reduce the state’s prison population.

RNC to Hold Winter Meeting at Doral (8:24 p.m.)

The Republican National Committee plans to hold its annual winter meeting at President Donald Trump’s Doral resort in Miami, weeks after the White House reversed its decision to hold next year’s Group of Seven summit at the property.

The RNC said it signed the contract for the January gathering before Trump revered course last month over the location of the G-7 meeting. The president faced criticism that hosting the foreign leaders at his resort posed a conflict of interest.

“The media is obsessed with our spending at Trump properties and has covered it ad nauseam,” RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens said in a statement. “As we have stated multiple times, we continue to hold events at them because they have fantastic service and secure spaces that fit our needs.”

The RNC has previously held events at Trump properties, including the Doral.

Biden Leads Warren, Sanders in Nevada Poll (7:12 p.m.)

Joe Biden tops a Fox News poll of Democratic Nevada caucus-goers with 24% support, while progressives Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are tied at 18%.

The poll is good news for Biden, who remains the front-runner, but has slipped in recent surveys of primary states, including Iowa and New Hampshire. Pete Buttigieg comes in fourth, at 8%, in the Nevada poll, an improvement over the 4.8% he’s tallied in the RealClearPolitics average for the state. The poll of Nevada Democrats had a margin of error of 4 points.

Biden’s support in the battleground state is driven by Democrats who want a candidate who can defeat President Donald Trump, the poll found. But in hypothetical match-ups with Trump, only Buttigieg failed to have a lead over the president among registered voters. Biden and Sanders both lead Trump 47% to 41%, while Warren is ahead by 44% to 41%. This section of the poll had a margin of error of 2.5 points.

A Fox poll of North Carolina registered voters showed Biden and Sanders narrowly topping Trump, while the president outdoes Warren and Buttigieg. With the exception of Trump’s 43% to 39% lead over Buttigieg, the other spreads are within the poll’s 2.5-point margin of error. Biden has a hefty 37% of North Carolina Democratic primary voters, the poll shows, well ahead of Warren at 15% and Sanders at 14%. -- Bill Allison

Deval Patrick Sees ‘Opportunity’ for Big Change (5:36 p.m.)

Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor who officially joined the presidential race on Thursday, said on CNN that he sees “an opportunity to take big systematic change to bring us back together.”

“It is about an ambitious agenda that engages people in it as their agenda,” Patrick said. “that’s the way I’ve campaigned in the past, that’s the way I am now.”

Patrick said he waited to get into the race because when he was debating whether or not to run last year, his wife was diagnosed with uterine cancer. He said he had to focus on her “no matter how tempting” a run seemed. She is now cancer-free.

In a later interview with MSNBC, Patrick said he had called Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, the two top-polling candidates, before announcing his candidacy.

Patrick will join the major Democratic candidates -- including Biden, Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg – at the Nevada Democratic Party’s First in the West dinner on Sunday.

Sanders Replaces Top Staffer in South Carolina (3:21 p.m.)

Bernie Sanders has replaced his South Carolina state director, naming to the job a political consultant who helped flip a Republican-held House seat in the state to Democrats in 2018.

Sarah Ford, a campaign spokeswoman, confirmed that Jessica Bright would replace Kwadjo Campbell. She did not respond to a question about why Sanders made the change.

Sanders is trailing Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in the crucial primary state. In a RealClearPolitics average of polls between Oct. 3 and Oct. 21, Biden had support of 35% of the state’s likely Democratic voters, while Warren had 15.5% and Sanders had 12.8%.

In 2016, Sanders lost South Carolina by 47.5 points to eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, largely because he failed to appeal to the state’s critical bloc of African American voters. He has launched a broad effort to improve his standing in the state for 2020 against Biden, who is deeply popular with black voters.

Bright helped to lead the campaign of Representative Joe Cunningham, who won the seat earlier held by Republican Representative Mark Sanford in an upset last year. -- Laura Litvan

Steyer Asks Billionaires to Accept Wealth Tax (3:57 p.m.)

Presidential candidate Tom Steyer reiterated his support for a wealth tax and called on his fellow billionaires to join him.

In an interview on Bloomberg TV, Steyer said wealth had been redistributed to the richest Americans in recent decades “in a way that is unjust and undemocratic.”

“Something has happened in the United States over the last 40 years, which is that there has been a dramatic increase in inequality, and it’s not just in income,” Steyer said. “It’s definitely in income, but beyond that it’s in terms of who owns all the assets.”

Fellow Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both also proposed taxing the richest Americans on their net worth.

Steyer said the wealth tax is essential because it “strikes at the heart of inequality,” in a way that goes beyond changing the income tax and inheritance tax policies. -- Emma Kinery

Trump Raises $3.1 Million on Impeachment Probe (12:17 p.m.)

President Donald Trump’s campaign says it has brought in about $3.1 million over the last 24 hours in a fundraising push based on the House’s public impeachment hearings.

Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, said in a tweet Thursday that the campaign raised $3,144,257 and that Trump “loves these huge numbers.” In a series of text messages to supporters on Wednesday, the campaign called the hearings a “TOTAL SCAM!” and said it wanted to raise $3 million in 24 hours. Parscale said in his tweet that the campaign is now raising its goal to $5 million.

A link to Parscale’s tweet directs visitors to the campaign’s fundraising website, which features the message: “Where is the DUE PROCESS?! It’s so simple: JUST READ THE TRANSCRIPT! The President realized $3 MILLION wasn’t enough. We need to do something INCREDIBLE to end this once and for all. We need to raise the goal to $5 MILLION DOLLARS.” -- Mario Parker

Sanders Pitches $180 Billion Housing Plan (8:27 a.m.)

Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will introduce legislation today that would provide $180 billion over 10 years to cut carbon emissions from public housing in the U.S.

It’s an effort to bring ideas of the Democrats’ Green New Deal -- backed by both lawmakers -- into housing policy and comes just weeks after Ocasio-Cortez gave Sanders’s presidential bid a boost by endorsing him. The two traveled through Iowa last weekend to highlight his climate change proposals and rally voters ahead of the Feb. 3 caucuses there.

“Faced with the global crisis of climate change, the United States must lead the world in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy,” Sanders said in a statement. “But let us be clear: as Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez understands, the Green New Deal is not just about climate change. It is an economic plan to create millions of good-paying jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and invest in our country’s frontline and vulnerable communities.”

The legislation would retrofit 1 million units of federally owned housing. It would use a partnership with states by creating new grant programs to transition unites to “zero-carbon, energy efficient housing.” It also would impose labor and “Buy America” requirements for construction. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a rival for the Democratic nod, is one of the co-sponsors. -- Laura Litvan

Biden Proposes $1.3 Trillion Infrastructure Plan (5:30 a.m.)

Joe Biden on Thursday released a $1.3 trillion proposal to make major investments in transportation with the dual goals of modernizing U.S. infrastructure and moving toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The plan to “Invest in Middle Class Competitiveness” calls for spending over a 10-year period that would, according to the campaign, create millions of jobs.

It would target deficient transportation networks by, among other things, starting a “second great railroad revolution” and renovating the nation’s airports. The plan also focuses on expanding options for Americans who do not have high-quality, reliable public transportation, specifically in high-poverty areas and historically marginalized communities.

The proposals for resilient infrastructure focus heavily on investing in green technology, most notably speeding up the transition to electric vehicles. Biden would call for the Department of Energy to invest $5 billion over five years in battery and energy storage technology and work with cities to ensure Americans can drive anywhere in the country in an electric vehicle by 2030.

Biden also calls for spending $400 billion over 10 years for clean energy research and innovation that would, in part, focus on modernizing the trucking, shipping and aviation industries and enacting a national strategy to develop a low-carbon manufacturing sector.

In addition, the former vice president would improve water infrastructure, broadband access and entrepreneurship opportunities by increasing the State Small Business Credit Initiative and establishing a grant program for new business startups outside the biggest cities. He also would allocate $100 billion to modernizing the nation’s schools.

The infrastructure plan would be paid for by reversing the 2017 Republican tax cuts, closing tax loopholes, ending subsidies for fossil fuels and cracking down on tax evasion. -- Tyler Pager

COMING UP

The major Democratic candidates -- including Biden, Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg -- are scheduled to appear Nov. 17 at the Nevada Democratic Party’s First in the West dinner, a major event that previously has drawn thousands to hear from presidential hopefuls.

Ten candidates have qualified for the fifth Democratic debate, on Nov. 20 in Atlanta: Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker and Tom Steyer.

--With assistance from Tyler Pager, Laura Litvan, Mario Parker, Emma Kinery, Bill Allison and Justin Sink.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Gallu in Washington at jgallu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum, John Harney

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