Doctor Says Bloomberg in ‘Outstanding Health’: Campaign Update

(Bloomberg) -- Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign released a letter Thursday from his doctor attesting to the candidate’s “outstanding health.”

Stephen Sisson, a physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, said in the letter that the 77-year-old former New York mayor takes a blood thinner and cholesterol-controlling medication, had small skin cancers removed and is treated for arthritis and heartburn.

Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

“Mr. Bloomberg is in great physical shape,” Sisson said, noting that the former New York City mayor exercises regularly. “There are no medical concerns, present or looming, that would prevent him from serving as president of the United States.”

Elizabeth Warren, 70, was the first of the septuagenarian Democratic candidates to issue a doctor’s statement. Hers said she was in “excellent health.” Bernie Sanders, 78, and Joe Biden, 77, say they will release such letters but haven’t yet.

Trump Ties With Top Democrats in Wisconsin Poll (4:16 p.m.)

The top five Democratic presidential candidates are in a dead heat with Donald Trump in head-to-head contests in the key battleground state of Wisconsin, according to a Marquette Law School poll released Thursday.

Trump narrowly carried the state in 2016. In hypothetical general election matchups for 2020, Joe Biden had 47% to Trump’s 46%; Bernie Sanders had 45% to Trump’s 47%, Elizabeth Warren had 44% to Trump’s 45%, Pete Buttigieg had 43% to Trump’s 44% and Cory Booker had 43% to Trump’s 44%. The poll of registered voters conducted Dec. 3-8 had a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.

The poll also showed Biden in a statistical tie with Sanders in the Democratic presidential field. Biden had the support of 23% of Democratic primary voters, Sanders had 19% -- within the 6.3 percentage-point margin of error for the Democratic sample. Warren had 16%, while Buttigieg had 15%.

No other candidate cracked double-digits.

The survey also found that 40% of Wisconsin’s registered voters believe Trump should be impeached, while 52% don’t think so and 6% say they don’t know. -- Sahil Kapur

Debates Won’t Interfere With Senate Trial (12:14 p.m.)

One way or another, the Democratic senators running for president won’t have to choose between a primary-campaign debate or a likely impeachment trial of Donald Trump early next year.

The Democratic National Committee on Thursday announced four presidential primary debates in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina in January and February.

But with five senators still in the race, those dates might compete with a Senate trial on removing Trump from office over his pressuring of Ukraine to launch investigations, even if Republicans opt for a speedy trial on expected articles of impeachment from the House.

Xochitl Hinojosa, a spokeswoman for the DNC, said it would keep an eye on the calendar. “If a conflict with an impeachment trial is unavoidable, the DNC will evaluate its options and work with all the candidates to accommodate them,” she tweeted.

The criteria for participating in next year’s debates haven’t been announced. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar have already qualified for the last debate of 2019 in December. Senators Cory Booker and Michael Bennet still haven’t improved enough in the polls to qualify for that forum. -- Ryan Teague Beckwith

Booker Won’t Make December Debate, Aide Says (11:46 a.m.)

Cory Booker’s campaign manager said he doesn’t expect the candidate to make the cut for the Democratic presidential debate stage in Los Angeles on Dec. 19.

“While we have made the unique-donor threshold we are not expecting to make the four-poll threshold and be on the debate stage,” Addisu Demissie said on a call with reporters.

Candidates have until midnight Thursday to obtain 4% in four DNC-approved national polls or 6% in two early-state polls and donations from 200,000 individuals to qualify for the sixth Democratic debate. Booker met the donor threshold after a call for support at the end of the November debate, but he did not have any qualifying polls.

Demissie said the campaign saw its best fundraising stretch to date after the November debate, raising $3 million in three weeks. The campaign plans to put in a $500,000 ad buy in Iowa in the upcoming weeks. -- Emma Kinery

COMING UP

Biden will travel to San Antonio, Texas, for a community event on Friday afternoon.

Biden, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders and Tom Steyer will participate in a forum organized by 11 public education organizations in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Seven Democratic presidential candidates have so far qualified for the final debate of 2019 in Los Angeles on Dec. 19.

(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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