2020 elections

Weeks before the first votes of the 2020 presidential election, Americans report a high level of concern about how secure that election will be and worry about the perils of disinformation, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they believed the U.S. is not very prepared or not prepared at all to keep November's election safe and secure.

The candidates in the top 1% have accounted for about 78% of the ad spending in the presidential race so far, according to new numbers.

The two self-funding billionaires in the Democratic primary, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and activist business executive Tom Steyer, have spent the most by far — a combined $320 million, out of $409.8 million spent in the presidential contest up to Jan. 13.

There are now no more official debates before Democrats begin voting.

Tuesday night's debate was the last before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3, and it featured six of the 12 remaining candidates — the top four of whom polls show to be neck and neck.

Democratic primary voters got a substantive debate in which the candidates clashed over what it means to be commander in chief, gender politics and, of course, health care.

Here are four takeaways from Tuesday night's debate:

JESSICA BAKEMAN / WLRN

On this Tuesday, Jan. 14, episode of Sundial:

Teachers Demand More School Funding

Thousands of teachers from across the state Monday traveled to Tallahassee before the start of the 2020 legislative session to demand higher pay and better benefits. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis declared 2020 to be “the year of the teacher” and announced a proposal to set a statewide minimum teacher salary at $47,500 and to create a new bonus program. Some educators feel that is not enough. 

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET

We're up to the seventh debate, and down to six candidates.

The leading Democratic presidential candidates return to the debate stage Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET — this time in Iowa, which hosts the first-in-the-nation caucuses in less than three weeks.

WUSF FILE

When Martha Santiago moved to Polk County, Florida, from Puerto Rico in 1979 to teach in one of the county’s first bilingual schools, there were two certainties.

One was that oranges were an economic engine in the county that is wedged between Tampa and Orlando. The other was that orange picking and other agricultural labor was done mostly by undocumented workers from Mexico.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

On an afternoon in November, 17 people from across Miami-Dade County gathered in a Miami courtroom to have their voting rights restored. The hearing would be an early indication that party politics are playing a role in how a controversial state law is being rolled out.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

With the presidency on the ballot this year, there are real fears of attempts by foreign powers to interfere in Florida’s election. Increasing election security is a priority for local, state and federal officials.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Julián Castro, the only Latino candidate in the Democratic field, has ended his presidential campaign.

Castro released a video on Twitter on Thursday, saying that his campaign had "stood up for the most vulnerable people" and had "given a voice to those who are often forgotten."

He adds in the video: "I'm not done fighting. I'll keep working toward a nation where everyone counts."

Castro served as secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration and, before that, was mayor of San Antonio, Texas.

David Goldman / AP via Miami Herald

Minimum-wage workers in Florida will receive a small pay increase with the start of the new year.

Updated at 8:28 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court panel in New Orleans has dealt another blow to the Affordable Care Act, agreeing with a lower-court judge that the portion of the health law requiring most people to have coverage is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated the tax penalty that was intended to enforce it.

But it is sending the case back to the lower court to decide how much of the rest of the law can stand in light of that ruling.

The top seven Democratic presidential candidates will appear on stage in Los Angeles Thursday night in the sixth debate of the year.

The debate comes just one day after President Trump became the third president of the United States to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

Here's what you need to know:

Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris is dropping out of the presidential race, citing a lack of funds. She informed her campaign staff of the decision on a conference call and later sent an email to supporters, in which she wrote "my campaign for president simply doesn't have the financial resources we need to continue."

It’s dubbed a “jungle” primary system. And the Florida Republican and Democratic parties want no part of it.

Now, the Florida Supreme Court will decide whether a proposed constitutional amendment that would overhaul the state’s primary-election system will go before voters in November 2020.

LA Johnson / NPR

The Thanksgiving table sometimes serves as a therapeutic forum for airing personal and political grievances.

This year, South Florida families will have a lot of fodder: the upcoming 2020 presidential election; the threat of rising seas; and even football, namely a historic recent win by Florida International University against the University of Miami Hurricanes.

WLRN wants to hear from you. What topics are you bringing up on Turkey Day?

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