Apr 17, 2019

Ohio swing voters view Beto as Trump's biggest young threat

Beto O'Rourke at a rally in Iowa. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Among the younger 2020 candidates, Ohio swing voters think Donald Trump should be most concerned if Beto O'Rourke is the Democratic nominee — but they're not sure he can beat him.

Between the lines: This was another takeaway from the Engagious/FPG focus group I watched last week. Participants were shown 2-minute video clips from O'Rourke, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, and Pete Buttigieg and asked to score them based on who Trump should be most concerned about heading into his re-election.

  • Although these voters — who have flipped between parties in past presidential elections — ranked Beto as the biggest threat among the four candidates, they only scored him a 5.7 out of 10.
  • Castro and Buttigieg tied at 3.8 and Gabbard came in at 2.1.
  • In the latest Morning Consult poll, Beto ranked higher than these other candidates, too.

Why it matters: That's still not great for Democrats. Their reactions to the candidates, including Beto, show the personality traits these candidates need to shed to win over some swing voters in Ohio.

What they're saying: After watching Beto's announcement video, participants described him as "overdramatic," someone who is trying to "offer too much," and a candidate who just tells you "what you want to hear."

  • Others described him as "unrealistic" and "boring."
  • After watching videos for these four candidates, the voters were asked to rate, on a scale from zero to 10, whether they think the Democratic Party's future is dim (zero) or bright (10). The average score was just over 7, suggesting these swing voters think younger candidates like Beto are going to carry the party in a positive direction.

Go deeper: Ohio voters crave Obama

Go deeper

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U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo responded to George Floyd's brother on CNN Sunday evening, in the family's first exchange with the police department since Floyd's killing.

What they're saying: Arradondo, when asked by Philonise Floyd if he plans to arrest all officers involved in his brother's death, said that "being silent, or not intervening, to me, you're complicit. So I don't see a level of distinction any different," he said, adding that "Mr. Floyd died in our hands, and so I see that as being complicit." He noted that charges will come through the county attorney office.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck plows into Minneapolis protesters

The tanker after plowing into protesters on the shut-down bridge in Minneapolis on Sunday evening. Authorities said it appeared protesters escaped injury. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Minnesota authorities said in a statement they're investigating as a criminal matter what happened with a truck that "drove into demonstrators" on a Minneapolis bridge Sunday evening while the eight-lane road was closed for a protest.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn't appear any protesters were hit by the truck."