Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden will make a fundraising swing through the Southland Wednesday as a new poll showed he’s falling far behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, in the Golden State.
Biden is scheduled to attend a pair of fundraisers Wednesday, according to his campaign. One will be in Manhattan Beach, the other in Bel Air. Sandwiched between those events, Biden will tape an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in Hollywood.
Details of the fundraising events were not released by the campaign. According to Variety, the Manhattan Beach event is being held at the home of Dr. Sanjay Khurana and his wife Mona. Deadline.com reported that the evening event in Bel Air will be at the home of Sean Burton, head of the investment firm Cityview and a member of the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.
Biden is expected to remain in the Los Angeles area until Thursday before traveling to Nevada on Friday. According to Variety, Biden will attend a Thursday luncheon fundraiser at the San Marino home of Amy and Jules Buenabenta.
Biden’s appearance comes one day after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, announced an impeachment inquiry of Trump. The announcement came amid growing furor over a telephone call between Trump and the president of Ukraine in which Trump brought up Biden — prompting allegations he may have pressured Ukraine’s leader to investigate actions by then-Vice President Biden and his son in 2014-16, and that Trump may have threatened to withhold financial aid unless such an investigation was conducted.
Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing in the call, and on Tuesday he ordered the release of an unredacted transcript of the conversation. Biden has also denied any wrongdoing relating to his discussions with Ukraine officials while his son was serving on the board of a private Ukraine gas company.
The phone call also generated a whistleblower complaint, and congressional Democrats have been pushing — to no avail — to have the Trump Administration turn over a copy of that complaint.
Biden on Tuesday said if Trump stonewalls Congress in its requests for information, the House will have no choice but to move forward with impeachment proceedings.
“The allegation that he blocked hundreds of millions of dollars in congressionally approved aid to another country unless it agreed to smear his political opponent is not the conduct of an American president,” Biden said. “… It’s an abuse of power. It undermines our national security. It violates the oath of office. And it strikes at the heart of the sworn responsibility the president has to put the national interest before his personal interest.”
The Trump Victory campaign issued a statement Wednesday responding to Biden’s Southland fundraisers, saying he can “fundraise like it’s business as usual, but Americans demand explanations for the corruption surrounding Biden, his son Hunter, and their dealings with Ukraine.”
“Biden must answer as to why, as vice president, he pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor general who was investigating the company paying Hunter Biden $50,000 per month — and why he lied about it just this year,” according to Trump Victory spokeswoman Samantha Zager. “Americans deserve to see the transcripts of Joe Biden’s calls from his time as vice president.”
Trump on Tuesday blasted Pelosi and the impeachment inquiry, calling it an effort to demean him on the day he spoke to the United Nations General Assembly.
“Such an important day at the United Nations, so much work and so much success, and the Democrats purposely had to ruin and demean it with more breaking news Witch Hunt garbage,” Trump wrote on his Twitter page. “So bad for our country!”
In another tweet, he wrote, “They never even saw the transcript of the call. A total Witch Hunt!”
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Warren has jumped to a significant lead in the Democratic presidential race in California, solidifying her position as a front-runner for the party’s nomination, according to the latest UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll, conducted for the Los Angeles Times.
The contest in California has shifted in important ways since June, when the Berkeley IGS poll last surveyed the state’s voters for The Times. At that point, the race here had no clear front-runner. Although Warren was among the top candidates, her support was heavily concentrated among college-educated white voters and those who described themselves as “very liberal.”
The new poll shows Warren has widened her base of support and begun to separate herself from her rivals. She’s the first choice of 29% of likely Democratic primary voters and begun to separate herself from her rival.
“We appear to be at an inflection point in the Democratic presidential campaign,” said Mark DiCamillo, the director of the Berkeley IGS poll, according to The Times. “The changing voting preferences of California Democrats may be a harbinger of things to come elsewhere across the country.”
As Warren has risen, her two closest rivals, Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, have remained stuck in place. The poll finds the two essentially tied for second, with Biden at 20% and Sanders at 19%, both only slightly different from their positions in June. California Sen. Kamala Harris has slipped to a distant fourth, at 8%.
A lead for Warren in California matters in part because the state will have by far the largest number of delegates at next summer’ Democratic nominating convention, 497, of whom 416 will be allocated through the March 3 primary to candidates who win at least 15% of the vote either statewide or in specific congressional districts — but also because California’s Democratic voters reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of the party nationwide.
The poll surveyed 4,527 registered voters statewide, including 2,272 deemed likely to cast ballots in the Democratic primary. It was administered online in English and Spanish from Sept. 13 to 18. The results for the full Democratic sample have an estimated sampling error of roughly 3 percentage points in either direction.
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