Written by Erica Salowe, Researcher
Edited by David Gaffney, Partner
I’ve always been one to appreciate a good plot twist, and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar finishing third in the New Hampshire primary came out of left field from my seat in the peanut gallery. Although Bernie Sanders walked away with 26% of the vote and the win, the results were fairly evenly spread with Pete Buttigieg earning 24% and Klobuchar taking bronze at 20%.
So why was there such a narrow margin between these three candidates, and how did Klobuchar trample erstwhile top contender Joe Biden? Well, with the benefit of hindsight, maybe Klobuchar’s achievement shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Klobuchar’s aides had long ago recognised the unique opportunities New Hampshire provides: independents are allowed to vote in the democratic primary, same-day registration is permitted, and three of the state’s biggest newspapers had given the Minnesota senator their endorsement. Her team capitalised on these advantages with substantial investments in advertising over the weekend.
Klobuchar has also positioned herself as a centrist who promotes pragmatic policy, contrasting with some of her competitors’ more polarising discourse on free healthcare and education. Sustaining long-term popularity in senate, Klobuchar has a proven track record for appealing to independent and working-class voters. Most recently, Klobuchar visited Nashua – a New Hampshire town typically frequented by Republican candidates – to express her moderate views on supporting small business.
As Mike Moffo pointed out in last week’s View From the Street, increased media coverage brings with it a level of name recognition that can greatly improve national polling numbers. While the press has criticised Biden for underperforming in New Hampshire, Klobuchar’s results have led to a surge in coverage of her fiery moments rebuking Buttigieg’s “cool newcomer” rhetoric.
However, there are some caveats to consider as Klobuchar’s campaign moves forward. New Hampshire is small, rural and mostly Caucasian. There’s no telling how she will fare in the more diverse upcoming primaries of Nevada and South Carolina, and she has not polled as strongly as her competitors with black and Latino voters.
Encouraging as her result in New Hampshire will be to Klobuchar and her supporters, she’s still a long way from winning the nomination. However, there’s something to be said about her unanticipated achievement over more outspoken contenders and her endurance in this incredibly competitive race. Let’s see how long she can ride this wave of momentum.
A rise in fly-tipping incidents across the UK have been linked to organised crime, with officials claiming fake companies are renting buildings and illegally dumping and abandoning waste. Incidents are occurring largely in London and Manchester, with one Environment Agency area manager comparing the scope of fly-tipping crime to that of drugs.
China has revealed that there have been another 242 deaths and nearly 15,000 additional infections of coronavirus in Hubei province, whose capital Wuhan was where the outbreak originated. Authorities in Hubei reported that they will be sealing all buildings and putting residential areas under 24 hour surveillance. UK health officials are also bracing for more reports of infection after a confirmed case in London.
Northern Ireland secretary Julian Smith’s job is in the balance as Boris Johnson conducts a cabinet reshuffle, despite Smith having secured the latest power-sharing deal at Stormont. Anne-Marie Trevelyan is expected to be selected as Johnson’s international development secretary but it is predicted that Johnson will dismiss up to four female cabinet ministers. Downing Street has said in response that the cabinet will be more gender-balanced and will see around half of the junior ministerial positions awarded to women. (£)
Business and economy
In response to criticism of its marketing tactics, Unilever has announced it will limit the use of cartoons in ice cream product advertisements in an effort to reduce child obesity rates. The company has also said it will refrain from using celebrities who appeal to children in advertisements. These commitments will take effect for all products by the end of 2020, as Unilever plans to roll out “responsibly made” products with lower calorie and sugar content.
Bernard Looney, chief executive of oil giant BP, has pledged that the company will aim to reach net zero emissions to meet the UK government’s 2050 goal. Few details have emerged about the detail and logistics of BP’s transition, although Looney said further plans will be announced in September.
Boris Johnson faces criticism from victims and families affected by online harm as the prime minister prepares to ease sanctions on social media companies. Plans would have previously placed responsibility on social media companies to protect users from online bullying and toxic images, but a potential backlash from tech giants has spurred changes to the sanctions. Ministers have considered appointing Ofcom to regulate social media companies, but no formal decision has yet been reached. (£)
Columns of note
In The Guardian, Phillip Ball warns against using terms like “super-spreader” to define someone who unintentionally spreads the coronavirus to a large number of people. After traveling on business to Singapore, catching and spreading the virus to at least eleven people, a Brighton businessman has been subjected to extensive harassment after being tagged a “super-spreader”. Little is known about the coronavirus and why some people are more likely to spread the disease than others and Ball argues that attaching culpability to those who widely spread the virus is reminiscent of prejudice during the HIV epidemic. Lessons ought to be taken from history, he says, as the media learns to report super-spreading events instead of implicating people.
In The Telegraph, Tom Harris questions transport secretary Grant Shapps’ announcement that a ban on the sale of diesel, petrol or hybrid cars may be introduced as soon as 2032, despite the 2050 timeline for the UK reaching zero carbon emissions. Harris expresses doubt that this new target date will be achieved, considering the current low demand for electric vehicles. He also warns that forcing Britons to adopt electric vehicles could have unintended and counterintuitive consequences. (£)
What happened yesterday?
The World Health Organisation report suggesting coronavirus infections were plateauing in China’s Hubei province had led to record high closings for the US and Europe. The increased activity from restored investor confidence led to the S&P 500, the Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing higher by 0.6%, 0.7%, and 0.7% respectively. The Stoxx Europe 600 index also closed on a record high. (£)
S&P Global issued a statement predicting the effects of coronavirus on global GDP growth would be short-term, although industries may feel more of an impact if they are affected by containment measures or are highly dependent on Chinese household spending.
However, investors may have acted too soon; an overnight Reuter’s report revealed that the Hubei province reported a sharp increase of 242 new coronavirus deaths and 14,840 new cases. The yen, gold and bonds have risen with news of the jump in cases.
In the FTSE 100, NMC Health rose 10.05% to 856.40. On the blue chip index, Anglo American rose 4.73%, Antofagasta gained 3.86%, and Barratt Developments increased 3.48%. Fallers included Tui at 4.77%, Ocado at 3.47%, and Imperial Brands at 1.76%.
Overall, the FTSE 100 closed at 7,534.37, gaining 34.93 points. The FTSE 250 closed at 21,793.48, representing a gain of 147.46 points.
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Did you know?
During your lifetime, you will produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.
House of Commons Oral questions
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Attorney General
Business Statement Business Questions to the Leader of the House of Commons - Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg
General debate Matters to be raised before the forthcoming Adjournment
Adjournment Coventry Ikea store closure - Zarah Sultana House of Lords
Adoption of a formal definition of Islamophobia - Lord Sheikh Enhancing the economics of former industrial and mining towns and villages in the North of England - Lord Greaves Services offered by public and private sector organisations to bereaved people - Baroness Ludford Following the sinking of a boat carrying Rohingya refugees in the Bay of Bengal, what steps are being taken to assist Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh - Lord Collins of Highbury Threats posed by pests and diseases to native trees in the UK - Lord Hope of Craighead
Short debate Safety of smart motorways and what plans the government have to review their policy towards them - Baroness McIntosh of Pickering
Debate All-Party Parliamentary Group for Adoption and Permanence’s Report 'Investing in families: the Adoption Support Fund beyond 2020' - Lord Russell of Liverpool Orders and regulations Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (Commencement No.14) Order 2019 - The Earl of Courtown Public Bodies (Abolition of Public Works Loan Commissioners) Order 2019 - The Earl of Courtown Andrey Lugovoy and Dmitri Kovtun Freezing Order 2020 - The Earl of Courtown Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2020 - The Earl of Courtown Northumberland (Structural Changes) Order 2019 - The Earl of Courtown
Scottish Parliament No business scheduled.