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Warren Says Sanders Told Her a Woman Can’t Win: Campaign Update

Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou

(Bloomberg) -- Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren confirmed Tuesday night that Bernie Sanders told her in a 2018 meeting that a woman could not win the presidency.“Among the topics that came up was what would happen in Democrats nominated a female candidate,” Warren said in a statement. “I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.”

Sanders earlier had denied making the remark after CNN reported the conversation, which occurred when he and Warren met privately in December 2018 to discuss their candidacies in the 2020 election. Sanders initially said the report was “ludicrous” and that Warren staff members, who weren’t present at the meeting, were “lying about what happened.”

Warren said she wanted the episode to be put to rest. “Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry,” she said. “We have been friends and allies in this fight for a long time, and I have no doubt we will continue to work together to defeat Donald Trump.”

Sanders, a Vermont senator, and Warren, a Massachusetts senator, had largely abstained from criticizing one another. But the dispute escalates tensions that had already been mounting before the Democratic debate in Des Moines on Tuesday. Politico reported late last week that the Sanders campaign gave talking points to volunteers criticizing Warren as the candidate of “highly-educated, more affluent people,” suggesting she couldn’t bring new voters into the party. She fired back over the weekend that she was “disappointed” that he had instructed his campaign to “trash” her to voters.

Trump to Hold Rally in Iowa Before Caucuses (6:08 p.m.)

President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Des Moines just four days before the Democrats gather for their first presidential nominating contest in Iowa, his campaign announced Monday.

Trump’s Jan. 30 event will turn the political spotlight to the president as Democratic candidates are in the crucial final stretch of campaigning before the Feb. 3 Iowa Caucuses. It will be the president’s first visit to Iowa since June, when he traveled to the state to discuss his administration’s plans to change ethanol standards.The president is not facing a serious challenge for the Republican nomination, so the Iowa rally is largely an effort by the campaign to capture some of the attention emanating from the Democratic nominating contest. Trump placed second in the Republican caucus contest in 2016, but won the state by more than 9 percentage points in the general election showdown against Democrat Hillary Clinton.The president appears to have maintained a base of support within the state, with a plurality of voters -- 45% - saying they disapproved of the House of Representatives’ vote to impeach him. By contrast, 43% of voters said they approved of the effort, according to a poll conducted by the Des Moines Register.

Still, just 34% of Iowa voters said they would definitely vote to re-elect the president, while 44% said they would definitely vote for someone else and 12% said they would consider another candidate. -- Justin Sink

Biden on Top in National Poll as Iowa Tightens (3:27 p.m.)

Joe Biden continues to lead a tightening field for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to a new national poll by Quinnipiac University.

The former vice president has 25% support in the poll, down 4 percentage points from December. He is followed by Senator Bernie Sanders at 19% and Senator Elizabeth Warren at 16%.

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads a second tier at 8%. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was at 6%, down 1 percentage point from December. Bloomberg, who has spent $224 million on broadcast and digital advertising, is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Businessman Andrew Yang was at 5% and Senator Amy Klobuchar was at 4%. The survey of 651 Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters has a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.

Polls in Iowa, which will hold the nation’s first nominating contest on Feb. 3, show an even tighter field with Biden, Sanders and Buttigieg all vying for the lead. -- Gregory Korte

Bloomberg Gets First Nod from a Congressman (2:30 p.m.)

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg received his first endorsement from a member of Congress.

Representative Max Rose of Staten Island said he was backing Bloomberg in part because of his response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York after he was first elected mayor in 2001.“Mike Bloomberg has taken on tough fights and gotten results, which is why I believe he is the best candidate for my district, my city, and for our country,” Rose said in a statement issued by the campaign.Rose, a U.S. Army veteran and former nonprofit health-care executive, defeated Republican incumbent Dan Donovan in 2018 when Democrats took control of the U.S. House. He represents Staten Island and South Brooklyn.Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. -- Mark Niquette

Trump Kids to Stump for Dad on Iowa Caucus Day (12:35 p.m.)

Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Lara Trump are all planning to campaign in Iowa for President Donald Trump the day of the Iowa caucuses, according to a person familiar with their plans.

It’s unclear whether they will host rallies or engage with local television media, according to the source. Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former Fox host and girlfriend of Donald Jr., will also join them.

The strategy underscores how important Iowa is to Trump’s re-election effort. Trump carried the state by nearly 10 percentage points against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.

A recent CNN /Des Moines Register/Mediacom survey released Friday found that Iowans are split on impeachment with 45% of registered Iowa voters supporting it and 43% opposing. -- Kevin Cirilli

Bloomberg Urges Re-Ordered Primary Calendar (6:00 a.m.)

Michael Bloomberg says Democrats should change the order of state presidential nominating contests in future elections to put more diverse battleground states ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire and better position the party’s nominee to win in the general election.

The former New York mayor, who’s skipping the first four contests in February this year to focus on California, Texas and the other states voting in March, said in a CNN opinion piece that, if elected, he would ensure the Democratic National Committee works with state party leaders to re-order the primary calendar. He didn’t propose a new order for states voting.

Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two nominating contests on Feb. 3 and Feb. 11, both have populations that are more than 90% white -- with a combined 10 electoral votes -- and don’t help Democrats win a general election, Bloomberg said in a release accompanying the opinion piece.

“We need a system that both better reflects our country and puts us in a better position to defeat a candidate like Donald Trump,” Bloomberg said in his op-ed. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Julian Castro, who dropped out of Democratic presidential race earlier this month, also has called for reordering the party’s primary schedule because “it’s time our primaries reflect our nation’s diversity.” But Bloomberg said other candidates have been largely quiet because “the changes are unpopular with voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.” -- Mark Niquette

COMING UP:

Six Democrats -- Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer -- have qualified for the next debate, on Tuesday in Iowa.

The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3.

(Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

--With assistance from Kevin Cirilli, Mark Niquette, Gregory Korte and Justin Sink.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington at megkolfopoul@bloomberg.net

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

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