Politics

(Washington)

Attorney General Barr held a press conference this morning as a prelude the to lightly redacted Mueller report that is being released today. Generally speaking, Barr stuck to his previous summary of the report, saying there was nothing that amounted to obstruction of justice or collusion. He did give some further details, however, mentioning that there were ten instances where Mueller highlighted possible obstruction of justice. As a response to the statements, the Democrats, led by Pelosi and Schumer, are calling for Mueller himself to testify as soon as possible.


FINSUM: The political chaos about this report will not abate until the text is released and Congress and the nation hear from Mueller. We think it will happen soon.

(New York)

The field for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidency could hardly be more crowded. 18 candidates have already declared, and a handful more, including heavyweights like Joe Biden, are expected to announce their candidacy. The big question right now is “who is leading?”. It is hard to answer perfectly, but two proxies—google activity by region, and fundraising, tell an interesting story. So far, it is Bernie Sanders as a clear leader, as he has garnered the most search and media interest and also leads in both self-funding and external fundraising by a wide margin. Kamala Harris has also garnered significant interest and and stands third in total funding. Sanders also leads in another interesting area—the share of small donations as a portion of total donations, a demonstration of a candidate’s total following.


FINSUM: Elizabeth Warren is also in the mix, but just from the early data we still think Bernie is going to be the candidate who faces Trump.

(Washington)

In what seems slightly odd timing, Goldman Sachs is going on the record about the 2020 election. The bank is saying Donald Trump is likely to win re-election. Goldman says his lead is “narrow” but that his chances are improved by the crowded Democratic field and the success of the economy. What is so interesting about the call is that in runs in contrast to most polls, which Goldman points out, saying “While we believe the majority of market participants expect President Trump to win a second term, we note that prediction markets point in the opposite direction and imply that the Democratic candidate has a 56% probability of winning and the Republican candidate has a 44% chance”.


FINSUM: We have to agree with Goldman. Trump’s base seems to have grown in strength since his initial election, and the politics of the left seem more likely to fragment their base (including into third party candidates) that unite them behind a single leader.

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