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2020 Insight: Netroots on tap in New Orleans; Warren endorses in Iowa; it's Harris vs. Gillibrand in Wisconsin -- and both could lose

Our weekly roundup of the news, notes and chatter about the prospects for the next Democratic presidential race:...

Posted: Jul 29, 2018 11:11 AM
Updated: Jul 29, 2018 11:11 AM

Our weekly roundup of the news, notes and chatter about the prospects for the next Democratic presidential race:

Democratic 2020 prospects will descend on New Orleans this week as thousands of activists gather for the annual Netroots Nation.

On Thursday, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is scheduled to deliver a major speech. Up Friday are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen. Kamala Harris. And Saturday brings former housing secretary Juli-n Castro.

Another major draw Saturday is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old democratic socialist who knocked off New York Rep. Joe Crowley and has become a national voice for the left.

Netroots Nation is a major stop on the road to the Democratic nomination. In 2015, it's where former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley faced backlash for responding to Black Lives Matter protesters by saying "all lives matter," and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was seen as blowing a big opportunity to address a weakness with voters of color by being defensive and talking over protesters.

The week ahead:

-- Warren holds a town hall Saturday at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston. It starts at 11 a.m. ET.

-- Netroots Nation starts with some activities Wednesday, but Booker delivers the opening keynote at 5 p.m. Thursday. Harris and Warren are up Friday afternoon around 3 to 4 p.m. And Castro speaks Saturday at about 5 p.m.

Coming up on the Sunday shows:

-- Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is on CNN's "State of the Union."

News and notes:

WARREN ENDORSES IN IOWA: Warren endorsed a Democratic House candidate in a competitive Iowa district, Cindy Axne, with a fundraising email. To date, the only early-voting state Warren has traveled to is Nevada, though.

WISCONSIN PRIMARY BATTLE: The Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial primary is pitting 2020 prospects against each other ahead of the August 14 primary to take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Harris endorsed Mahlon Mitchell, the state firefighters' union chief, while New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand backed former state Rep. Kelda Roys. Both are young talents at 41 and 39, respectively. Mitchell would be Wisconsin's first black governor and Roys its first female governor. However, the reality is, it's an eight-person field, and neither Harris nor Gillibrand's favorites are expected to prevail. The front-runner, by far, per recent polls, is state schools chief Tony Evers.

CAN SANDERS PULL HIS ALLIES OVER THE FINISH LINES? Over the next few weeks, Bernie Sanders-endorsed primary hopefuls in Kansas (House candidates James Thompson and Brent Welder), Wisconsin (House candidate Randy Bryce), Minnesota (Rep. Keith Ellison, who's running for state AG) and Michigan (Abdul El-Sayed, the gubernatorial candidate he endorsed on Wednesday) will have their fates decided by Democratic voters.

It will be tempting to over-read the results. A sweep, in either direction, will only say so much about Sanders' personal appeal. But for a party still at odds, even during this remarkable period of d-tente, over whether his politics can succeed where more moderate candidates have failed, this will be one of the last times before the 2020 presidential cycle that actual Democratic voters get to weigh in on the question.

THE STACEY ABRAMS PRIMARY: Democrats are rushing to Georgia to campaign with Stacey Abrams, the progressive favorite who is seeking to become the nation's first black female governor. Gillibrand has scheduled a visit for October. Harris and Booker plan visits, too. And Joe Biden is likely to go. Harris and Biden also sent out fundraising emails for Abrams in recent days. Why? Eric explains.

RYAN PREPPING FOR 2020: Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is telling consultants he intends to run for president and is beginning to put together a team, per The Intercept's Ryan Grim and Zaid Jilani. Don't miss their story for the bit about the "yoga vote."

From the right:

TRUMP'S 2020 FEAR: BIDEN. Former Vice President Biden is the Democrat Trump fears running against the most in 2020, and Pennsylvania is the state he worries about losing most, per Axios' Mike Allen. The reason for both: He fears losing his working-class white base. Biden also conveys authenticity and would get under Trump's skin, Trump advisers tell Allen.

2020 prospect book survey:

With the 2020 campaign poised to start on the morning after the midterms, the rumored candidates have been busy writing and, in a bunch of cases, publishing books.

We've read a bunch and there's no "Dreams From My Father" in the lot. (Though, to be fair, the former President Barack Obama's first memoir was originally published in 1995. It got a second run in 2004, when Obama was running for the Senate. "The Audacity of Hope," which came out in October 2006, was a bit of a snooze). Of the current crop, Warren's "A Fighting Chance," from 2014 is probably the most compelling, if only for her dishing on conversations with Obama White House economic adviser Larry Summers.

Here are some titles to look out for -- some on bookshelves now, others on the way:

-- Warren: "This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class" (April 2017)

-- Biden: "Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose" (November 2017)

-- Landrieu: "In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History" (March 2018)

-- Castro: "An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream" (October 2018)

-- Gillibrand: "Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote" (November 2018 -- children's book)

-- Sanders: "Where We Go from Here" (November 2018)

-- Harris: "The Truths We Hold: An American Journey" (January 2019)

-- South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg: "Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future" (February 2019)

-- Former Attorney General Eric Holder and Douglas A. Blackmon: "Pursuing Justice" (June 2019)

And how about some Republicans?

-- Ohio Gov. John Kasich: "Two Paths: America Divided or United" (April 2017)

-- Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse: "The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance" (May 2017)

-- Sasse again: "Them: Why We Hate Each Other--and How to Heal" (October 2018)

So, whom did we forget?

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