Italy: PD’s Gentiloni and Zingaretti arrive for further talks on new government | AFP

Former Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni and Democratic Party leader Nicola Zingaretti arrive at the presidential palace as a new round of fraught negotiations begin to form a new government. IMAGES

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How Democrats Can Take Back Michigan in 2020

Both nights of the Democratic debates in Detroit posed a fundamental question for the Democratic Party: How far left is too far left to beat President Trump? That’s especially relevant in the upper Midwest, where Trump managed to flip Wisconsin, Ohio, and Michigan in 2016.

Congressman Dan Kildee understands how to win in a red state. The Democrat represents nearby Flint, Michigan — a Democratic stronghold that Trump chipped away at in 2016, winning 42.59% of the vote versus Mitt Romney’s 35.24% in Genesee County. The water crisis made national news and hit residents of all races. In the past few months, the town has become a must-stop for presidential candidates like Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, Sen. Cory Booker, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who have all made visits in just the past few weeks.

Kildee came to Detroit to hear which of them has a plan that might galvanize voters in Flint and across Michigan. He told VICE News ahead of the Wednesday evening debate that candidates need to speak directly to voters’ anxieties.

“I think there’s a misperception about what’s happening in the economy. You know, we hear all this stuff about the economy is great, unemployment’s low, the Dow is at whatever. People are still afraid. They’re nervous about the job they might have now, but they don’t think they make enough money to support their families,” he said.

Kildee bluntly assessed that Michiganders “can see through bullshit really easily.”
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Candidates continue Biden criticism after debate

The ideological divisions gripping the Democratic Party intensified on Wednesday as presidential candidates waged an acrimonious battle over health care, immigration and race. Criticism of Joe Biden continued after the debate. (Aug. 1)

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AP analysis: For Democrats, big government is back

The Democratic Party is in no mood for a coronation. Joe Biden stepped onto the debate stage Thursday as a fragile front-runner and walked away facing new questions about whether he can maintain his standing atop the field. (June 28)

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Why 2020 Democrats Can’t Take the LGBTQ+ Vote for Granted

Beto ran a 5K for the cause, Joe Biden took a turn behind the bar at the Stonewall Inn, Mayor Pete and Elizabeth Warren are selling Pride-themed items in their merch stores. It’s Pride Month, and the 2020 Democratic contenders have been courting LGBTQ voters in a big way. But although most LGBT voters identified as Democrats in 2018, being trans, gay or pansexual does not a Democrat make.

VICE News put together a panel made up of 12 members of the LGBTQ+ community and asked them about their politics — which were extremely diverse — and who they like for 2020.

“I think Donald Trump is really changing the Republican Party by working with the gay and lesbian community,” said Paul Ramirez, a Republican gay man and the vp of advertising at The Wisdom Companies. “If there was a homophobic drop of blood in him, we would have heard that 20 years ago.”

Others decidedly disagreed about Trump’s record on LBGTQ issues, and its effect on the community.

“When the Trump administration, or perhaps just Trump via Twitter, puts out a statement saying that ‘no more trans people are allowed in the military, that’s it we’re cutting you off and anybody in has got to leave.’ That affects the lives of transgender citizens of this country,” said actor Donnie Cianciotto, who identifies as a pansexual transgender man and a Democrat. “It makes us appear ‘less than’ to other people, who now can justify their bigotry and their transphobia, because look at what the government does.”

As for Mayor Pete, the openly gay candidate running for President, his out and proud status wasn’t enough for panelists, on either end of the political spectrum.

“There’s nothing fresh. He’s an Obama sequel,” said Brandon Straka, a Republican gay man and founder of the # WalkAway Campaign, which aims to get left-leaning voters to turn away from the Democratic Party. “The fact that he’s gay — that doesn’t mean he has my back as a trans person,” said LGBTQIA+ educator and activist Jamey Jesperson, who identifies as a progressive queer non-binary asexual transfemme. “It means nothing to me that he is a gay person, because he’s also cis, and he’s also white.”

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Why Do Iowa Democrats Love Joe Biden So Much? (HBO)

Joe Biden arrived in Iowa for his first campaign swing Tuesday. It was a long time coming for Iowa Democrats, who have consistently put him at the top of the early polls.

“Elecatability” is the magic word that fuels a lot of this support. Biden, Iowans say, is best positioned to defeat President Trump and therefore is the safe bet.

Democrats in Iowa are still feeling PTSD over the 2016 election. They thought they would win, they were sure they were. But then Trump pulled off the upset, leaving some to question if anything other than an older white guy with working class white cred can take Democrats back to the White House.

Vice News talked to voters at Biden’s first Iowa campaign stops about why some of them are turning away from the new faces in the Democratic Party diverse field and towards a guy America has known for a long, long time.

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Italian police clash with unemployed ahead of Democratic Party leader meeting

At least ten people were injured during #clashes between unemployed protesters and police forces in #Italy’s #Naples on Monday.
Footage shows protesters throwing objects towards riot police lined up in front of the theatre, with police forces using batons against them. Clashes erupted outside the Sannazaro theatre, ahead of the arrival of Democratic Party leader Nicola Zingaretti, who was set to open the campaign for the European elections.

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