If You’re Polling In The Low Single Digits, You’re Probably Toast

Yesterday, I wrote about the middle and upper echelons of the Democratic field: those candidates who are polling in the mid-single-digits or higher. You can certainly posit a rough order of which of these candidates are more likely to win the nomination. I’d much rather wager a few shekels on Joe Biden than Pete Buttigieg, for instance. But I don’t think there’s any hard-and-fast distinction between the top tier and the next-runners-up.

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What Happens When The FEC Can’t Do Its Job?

Welcome to a special edition of FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited.

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A Virtual Iowa Caucus Would Have Been A Hacking Nightmare

When the Democratic National Committee put the kibosh on plans for virtual caucuses in Iowa and Nevada, they may have pissed off the people who saw the event as a chance to give more people the opportunity to vote. But at least the DNC made the cybersecurity community happy.

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Trump and John Bolton sparred over lifting Iran sanctions

The national security adviser departed abruptly after President Trump suggested he might lift some sanctions as an incentive for Tehran to get to the negotiating table.

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The North Carolina 9th Is Holding A Do-Over Election. Here’s How To Watch It Like A Pro.

The North Carolina 9th District seat has remained vacant for a third of the 116th Congress — the fallout from a brazen case of election fraud that may have affected the outcome of the 2018 election. Allegedly, a consultant for Republican candidate Mark Harris coordinated an effort to illegally collect unsealed absentee ballots, mislead election authorities and, in some cases, fill out ballots on behalf of voters. As a result, the North Carolina State Board of Elections voted in February to redo the congressional race and later set a new election for Sept. 10. Now, the 9th District will finally vote on a new representative in an election that could go either way. Here’s a look at what’s already happened in the campaign — and what to expect when results roll in after polls close at 7:30 p.m.

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Don’t Let Crowd Sizes Mislead You

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has said she has drawn crowds of up to 15,000. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden has not exactly been packing them in, even as he continues to lead by a healthy margin in most polls of the Democratic presidential primary. So could Warren’s big crowds be picking up on something that the polls are missing?

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Why Warren Can’t Count On A ‘Women’s Vote’

So far, Elizabeth Warren’s Democratic primary strategy seems to be working pretty well. She’s been steadily gaining support since the spring, when she was polling around fifth place, and is now neck-and-neck with Bernie Sanders, according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average. Early-state activists think she’s gaining momentum, the most plugged-in subset of Democrats seems to be coalescing behind her, and she’s well-liked among primary voters. But she’s still not within striking distance of Joe Biden, who continues to hold a double-digit lead over the rest of the field.

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Who Will Make The Fourth Democratic Debate?

If you thought all the remaining primary debates were going to be one-night affairs, think again. On Sunday, billionaire activist Tom Steyer got his fourth qualifying poll thanks to an early-state survey from Nevada, which means 11 candidates have now met the polling and donor thresholds for the Democrats’ fourth debate. And Tulsi Gabbard has announced that, based on one subset of respondents, she got a third qualifying poll this weekend, but the Democratic National Committee has confirmed that it is looking at different set of respondents and the poll will not count for her.

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