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The Root's 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings: Harris Throws Black Voters Under the Bus(ing?)

This week’s Black Power Rankings focus on African-American women. Why? Because last weekend was the 25th anniversary of the Essence Festival in New Orleans, one of the biggest, most influential annual gatherings of black women in America (they even made a movie about it!). Essence Fest is basically a mandatory visit for Democratic candidates at this point (even Mother Jones knows it), right up there with eating fried Twinkies at the Iowa State Fair, shilling for cash, and invoking Stacey Abrams’ name like a magic chant.

Since black women are the most important voting bloc of the modern Democratic Party, we decided that any candidate who left Essence Fest on “read” and didn’t show up, send a video, DM or smoke signal couldn’t be in our top 3. Therefore, we had some big shifts this week. As usual, here is our methodology for rankings.

How do you rank a campaign’s Black Power? Well, we have our “FLEX” rating, aka:

-Finances: Are you paying black staff, advertisers, consultants?

-Legislation: What legislation are you pushing or have passed for black people?

-External Polling: No matter how good you are for black people, if your poll numbers are terrible we can’t rank you that high!

-X-Factor: What’s your rhetoric like? How do you handle a crisis or the kinds of events and scandals that directly impact black lives?

This week’s big riser? Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke storms up five spots to land in the top 5 for the first time. Biggest loser? Bernie Sanders drops three spots after not showing up at Essence Fest and not rolling out any new policy targeted at black voters. Sorry, you can’t take a week off from black folks Bernie; we’ll notice. We also have a first-time appearance on our Black Power Rankings by California Rep. Eric Swalwell, but it’s going to be a short stay. Without further ado, The Root 2020 Presidential Week 3 Power Rankings!


Beto O'Rourke gets Endorsement from Iowa (Video)


Penalizing candidates who interrupt, and other changes coming to the Democratic debates

Another big change is that candidates who interrupt "consistently" will be penalized and have time taken away from them, though CNN did not specify how it defines the level of interruption that would trigger the penalty nor much time would be deducted.

In Miami, NBC News moderator Chuck Todd was widely criticized for having the candidates give one-word answers or just raise their hands in response to complex policy issues. CNN announced there will be no such "down-the-line questions."

Here's a rundown of some of the other rules:

-Each candidate gets 60 seconds to answers a moderator's question and 30 seconds for responses or rebuttals if attacked by another

-Colored lights will be used to show the candidates how much time they have, with yellow indicating 15 seconds, flashing red indicating
5 seconds and solid red meaning their time is up.

- Questions asked by the moderators will appear at the bottom of viewers' screens.


Tweets from Tennessee voters

Beto can win people over ANYWHERE.


Christina Wilkes leaves Speaker Pelosi press office to work for Beto O'Rourke

Another excellent hire!


O'Rourke to kick off New Hampshire swing with focus on immigration reform (1st candidate to commit)

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke will bring attention to the border crisis when he returns here Friday, with plans to highlight his plans for immigration reform by attending a Lights for Liberty vigil to end human detention camps. O’Rourke is the first Democratic presidential candidate to announce participation in one of more than 500 vigils planned worldwide on July 12, which highlight inhumane and unsafe conditions experienced by immigrant children and asylum-seekers at detention facilities throughout the U.S.

“He will join us in New Hampshire to share his vision for a humane immigration policy written in our own image and urge Granite Staters to stand up and take action,” said Mike Ollen, O’Rourke’s New Hampshire state director. “Beto knows that in a democracy, where the people are the government and the government is the people, these inhumane policies are on all of us, and it’s up to us to change them.”

The event in Peterborough will kick off O’Rourke’s fourth visit to New Hampshire since announcing his run for the presidency, having visited all 10 counties in the state within his first visit. It also follows a sweeping immigration reform plan that he rolled out in May, which plans to reverse President Trump’s positions and actions while also aiming to rebuild immigration and naturalization systems.

O’Rourke has also visited three separate facilities holding migrant children in the last two weeks, including Homestead in Florida during the first democratic primary debate.


Beto O'Rourke draws hundreds in Nashville, slams Trump's immigration policies during two-day stop

Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke drew a crowd of supporters in Nashville Sunday, largely focusing on immigration as he vowed to undo current federal policies on asylum seekers and pitched his ability to appeal to red state voters.

The former Texas congressman is spending two days in Nashville, drawing hundreds for a rally at Marathon Music Works on Sunday before he is scheduled to tour a food bank and take part in a roundtable on immigration Monday.

"Like you, until recently, I thought I lived in a state that was too red to count," O'Rourke told the crowd, recalling his bid for U.S. Senate last year when he lost against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in a tight, highly contested race that generated record midterm turnout, specifically among young voters.

He stayed afterward to take photos with each of the hundreds of supporters who waited in line.
"I think that Tennessee and Nashville are places that are, frankly, taken for granted by Democrats or written off altogether," O'Rourke told The Tennessean after the rally.



Beto Rally in Nashville - FIERY speech, GREAT CROWD! (Over 400 people waiting in photo line) VIDEO


Great crowd!

And for non facebook folks: https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1ypKdvOdjPVJW



Hey Nashville...Beto O'Rourke Rally with musical guests tomorrow 7/6


Watch Beto O'Rourke Climate Justice Round Table in New Orleans (VIDEO)

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