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Ivanka Trump to Raise $2 Million for Her Father: Campaign Update

Jennifer Jacobs

(Bloomberg) -- Ivanka Trump is expected to raise $2 million for her father’s re-election during a fundraising lunch Thursday in Houston, in a rare appearance on the campaign trail for the first daughter and White House senior adviser.

The approximately 80 expected attendees at the event, hosted at a wine storage facility and event space known as Balthazar Cellars, are largely first-time donors to President Donald Trump’s campaign, according to a person familiar with the fundraising effort who requested anonymity to share details.

The large haul underscored Ivanka’s unique appeal to GOP donors, and the fundraising gap between the president’s re-election campaign and Democrats seeking to unseat him. Former Vice President Joe Biden, for instance, raised a total of $15.2 million in three months of fundraising in the third quarter, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.

The first daughter is expected to ramp up her fundraising efforts as the 2020 campaign heats up. She flew to Texas on Wednesday aboard Air Force One, and attended a tour of an Austin-area Apple Inc. computer factory with her father.

Bloomberg Sets $15 Million to Register Voters (4:36 p.m.)

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend an estimated $15 million to $20 million to register 500,000 voters early next year in five battleground states that Donald Trump won in 2016.

Bloomberg, who is considering a Democratic presidential bid but has not announced a decision to run, also filed Wednesday to appear on the March 3 Democratic primary ballot in Texas, according to the Texas secretary of state’s office. He previously filed to run in party primaries in Alabama and Arkansas.

The voter-registration drive will focus on types of people who typically lean Democratic such as blacks, Latinos and young people in Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin, spokesman Jason Schechter confirmed. Bloomberg is “taking the fight to Trump where it matters most, in general election battleground states,” he said.

The news was first reported by The Associated Press. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg also said last week that he’s launching a $100 million digital ad campaign targeting Trump in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin through the primary season. -- Bill Allison

Biden Fundraising Pitch Jumps the Gun (4:11 p.m.)

Joe Biden’s campaign hit the “send” button a few hours early on a fundraising pitch intended to cash in on his debate performance Wednesday night.

An email sent Wednesday with a subject line that asked, “Did I make you proud?,” landed in some supporters’ inboxes about eight hours before the Atlanta debate wraps up at 11 p.m. It asked for online donations of $5 and up, on the strength of Biden’s yet-to-be performance.

“I’m leaving the fifth Democratic debate now,” said the premature message. “I hope I made it clear to the world why our campaign is so important.” -- Bill Allison

Trump Reverses Democratic Leads in Wisconsin (3:17 p.m.)

President Donald Trump is narrowly leading in head-to-head matchups against top Democratic candidates in Wisconsin, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday.

Trump’s lead is 3 percentage points over both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, 5 points over Elizabeth Warren, and 8 points over Pete Buttigieg. Last month, Biden, Sanders, and Warren all had small leads over Trump in the same poll.

Those poll results reflect what poll director Charles Franklin said were “consistent, if sometimes modest, shifts in public opinion away from support of impeachment and toward supporting Trump in next year’s presidential election.”

Marquette’s November poll shows that 40% of Wisconsin registered voters think Trump should be impeached and removed from office -- down 4 points from the October poll.

The Marquette poll was conducted Nov. 13-17, before this week’s congressional testimony in the impeachment inquiry. The margin of error is 4.1 percentage points. -- Gregory Korte

Buttigieg Releases McKinsey-Era Tax Returns (2:17 p.m.)

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday released two additional years of tax returns showing his income during the years he worked for management consultant firm McKinsey & Company.

Buttigieg, 37, earned $80,397 in 2007 and $122,680 in 2008 while working at McKinsey, according to the returns. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s income has only once exceeded $150,000 in the last 12 years. He had previously released a decade of returns dating to 2009.

Buttigieg has distanced himself from his consulting days during the campaign as Democrats have criticized large corporations for paying too little in taxes and underpaying workers at the expense of highly paid executives. He left the private sector in 2010 and has served in government roles since 2010.

“As someone who worked in the private sector, I understand it is important to be as transparent as possible about how much money I made during that time,” Buttigieg said in a statement.

His income puts him among the least wealthy of the Democrats who’ve released their returns as they run for president in the 2020 election. --Laura Davison

Wayne Messam Drops Out of Presidential Race (1:17 p.m.)

Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida, who mounted a long-shot bid for the presidency, said Wednesday he is suspending his campaign.

“I jumped in an already crowded field of capable candidates to change the direction of this nation caused by the dysfunction of Washington and the poor leadership of the current presidency,” Messam wrote in a post on Medium. “I knew the odds were a steep hill to climb but I have always fought for what is right and will continue to break barriers never broken.

Messam, a former professional football player and the son of Jamaican immigrants, announced his run in March, vowing to focus on focus on relieving student debt and saying that a Washington outsider is needed to fix a ”broken” federal government that has failed to address climate change and the cost of prescription drugs.

His campaign failed to catch on. He consistently polled at less than 1% and didn’t meet the criteria to participate in any of the Democratic debates. -- Max Berley

Warren Wants Banks to Do Climate ‘Stress Tests’ (11:04 a.m.)

A bill backed by Senator Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic presidential candidates would require big banks to conduct periodic “stress tests” to make sure they have the capital to withstand the future impacts of climate change.

The legislation introduced Wednesday comes amid growing concern about the economic impact of global warming -- rising temperatures, sea-level rise, water shortages and more frequent extreme weather patterns. A report by a UN climate change panel warned of $54 trillion in damages to the global economy by 2100 -- even if the world limits average global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Warren, along with presidential candidates Senators Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris, signed onto a bill, the Climate Change Financial Risk Act of 2019, introduced by Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii. The legislation would direct the Federal Reserve to conduct biennial climate stress tests requiring financial institutions with more than $250 billion in total consolidated assets to formulate a plan showing how they would evolve capital planning practices to limit the financial impacts of future climate risks.

“While our federal regulators are legally obligated to manage and reduce risks in the financial system, they have been ignoring the growing financial risks of climate change,” Schatz said. -- Ari Natter

COMING UP

National Action Network, the civil rights group headed by Reverend Al Sharpton, is hosting five presidential candidates on Thursday morning for a discussion of racial equality and civil rights. Candidates scheduled to appear are Booker, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang.

Warren will deliver a speech on Thursday at Clark Atlanta University, one of the oldest historically black colleges. U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley will join her.

--With assistance from Max Berley, Ari Natter, Laura Davison, Gregory Korte and Bill Allison.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net

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

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