The Campaign Report – March 30, 2020

Navigator tracking poll finds President Trump is now under water on his handling of the coronavirus outbreak — this week, Trump saw a 13-point swing in his net approval on his handling of the pandemic, from 52% to 42% (+10) to 47% to 50% (-3).

Key finding: “Trump is wildly out of step with Americans with his new push to relax social distancing. Only 5% say we should roll back precautions, even at the expense of economic losses, while 74% say we should wait however long it takes for public health experts to say it’s safe, including 70% of Republicans.”

Axios: Minnesota swing voters balk at Trump’s Easter deadline.

Rick Hasen: “The November 2020 presidential election won’t be run perfectly—we have never had a perfect election conducted in this country or elsewhere—but the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic add special stress to what was already going to be a difficult election and underline the need to insure that it is run in a way that maximizes both voter access and integrity.”

“Even before the current crisis I had been deeply concerned about the chances of a 2020 ‘election meltdown,’ in which the 47 percent or more of the population on the losing side would not accept the results as legitimate. I am even more worried now because of the changes and shortcuts that will be necessary to successfully run November’s tally amidst a pandemic. Here is what we need to do to minimize the chances of a November meltdown.”

Associated Press: “There are exceptions, but Republican leaders have been far more likely to resist the most aggressive social distancing measures, emboldened by President Trump’s initial rosy outlook and a smaller early caseload in their more rural communities across middle America. But in the more crowded population centers on the East and West coasts where the disease first appeared, the Democrats in charge have been more willing to embrace strict steps such as curfews, sweeping business closures and law enforcement assistance.”

“It is an election year divide that could have deadly consequences.”

Jonathan Bernstein says this election isn’t about Biden at all and will mostly be a referendum on Trump: “The truth is that most people dramatically overestimate the electoral importance of candidates in general, and of challengers to an incumbent president in particular. The 2020 election will be determined overwhelmingly by feelings about President Trump, pro and con. It’s hard to see that because we’re strongly biased toward believing that losers lose and winners win — so we tend to think that Mitt Romney, John Kerry, Bob Dole and Walter Mondale were terrible candidates who ran lousy campaigns, while Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan were gifted politicians who ran brilliant ones.

In reality, the main difference between those two group is that the first faced popular presidents while Clinton and Reagan defeated unpopular ones. Winning a presidential nomination almost always requires significant skill. Winning a general election? Skills can help on the margin, but not much. Especially for a challenger when the president is running for re-election.”

Nate Silver: “Almost nothing about what Joe Biden is doing for the next few weeks is gonna matter much for November. And almost everything about what Donald Trump is doing is going to matter a lot.”

“Joe Biden took his virtual presidential campaign to the next level Monday when he launched a podcast as the coronavirus forces him to get creative in reaching voters otherwise distracted by a global pandemic,” NBC Newsreports.

“The podcast Here’s the Deal is intended to provide listeners ‘a voice of clarity during uncertain times’ by delving into pressing subjects affecting Americans’ day-to-day lives in conversations between Biden and ‘national top experts,’ according to its media kit.”

“Joe Biden’s campaign is mounting an aggressive behind-the-scenes effort to address the biggest weakness of his candidacy: A lack of enthusiasm among the liberal base, particularly young voters,” Politico reports.

“Since his landslide victories earlier this month, Biden’s advisers have engaged in talks with a range of top progressive groups, including some that endorsed his chief rival, Bernie Sanders, according to multiple sources familiar with the conversations. The outreach to left-wing organizations and individuals — representing causes from climate change and immigrant rights to gun control and mobilizing underserved black and brown communities — is focused on young activists. Broadly speaking, they viewed Biden as one of the least-inspiring candidates in the sprawling Democratic primary field.”

A new Siena College poll in New York finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s favorability rating has soared to 71%, up 27 points in just a month to its highest level since early 2013.

That’s driven entirely by his response to COVID-19, where a stunning 87% of the public approves of his handling of the situation. His support is so broad that even 70% of Republicans approve of his work on the virus.

  • Biden-Harris 50% Trump-Pence 42%
  • Biden-Klobuchar 50% Trump-Pence 42%
  • Biden-Warren 52% Trump-Pence 42%

“Well-funded Democratic nonprofits and super PACs are adjusting their messaging and tactics in response to the coronavirus pandemic as they pour tens of millions of dollars into ad campaigns and digital platforms in an attempt to beat President Trump in November,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“The left-leaning groups have spent months polling, interviewing voters in battleground states and building digital outreach operations to avoid any missteps from 2016. Now that the pandemic has shut down traditional canvassing and campaigning, the groups say they are leaning more on that digital infrastructure.”

“The result: Voters who are more dependent than ever on technology for social connection can expect to see more Democratic-boosting content on Facebook, Instagram and even videogame platforms. And while ads focus on everything from the cost of prescription medication to the impact of tariffs on Wisconsin dairy farmers, many of the Democratic groups are putting Mr. Trump’s coronavirus response at the forefront.”

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) was asked by the Financial Times whether he thought Joe Biden would pick Stacey Abrams as his running mate.

Said Clyburn: “I doubt it. There’s something to be said for somebody who has been out there.”

Clyburn does, however, want to see a black woman on the ticket and has his eyes on another Georgia politician. “There is a young lady right there in Georgia who I think would make a tremendous VP candidate, and that’s the mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms.”

New York Times: “The president has already displayed impatience and pique that could damage his re-election chances, lashing out at governors, refusing to take any responsibility for the coronavirus crisis and suggesting Americans can return to life as usual in a way that experts say could exacerbate the spread of the virus.”

“His campaign is already discussing the possibility of a rally-style event in one of the less-affected states in late April, although one adviser said those discussions are preliminary.”

“Presidential elections are typically prime time for bringing new people into the political process, but the coronavirus pandemic is making voter registration more difficult than ever, prompting concerns that many young Americans and other nonvoters might miss their chance to get onto the rolls before November,” NBC News reports.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s presidential primary election will be postponed from April 28 until June 23 amid coronavirus fears, CNN reports.

When you’ve lost Rasmussen….

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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