The Campaign Report – March 31, 2020

“Wisconsin is moving forward with plans to hold its primary election next Tuesday, creating a chaotic scenario that’s left state and local election officials scrambling to hold a primary in the middle of a pandemic,” CNN reports.

“Wisconsin elections officials are trying to keep up as absentee ballots surge, poll workers drop out and supplies are in short demand a week away from a primary in which in-person voting is still set to proceed — despite Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order and 1,351 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state as of Tuesday afternoon.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged that he has an “admittedly narrow path” to overtake Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential race, but he insisted he could still become the party’s nominee, the Washington Post reports. The only path he has is if Biden dies, and if that happens, Andrew Cuomo will be chosen as the nominee, not Bernie.

A new DailyKos/Civiqs poll finds 57% of Americans say the U.S. government acted too slowly to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, including 18% of Republicans. Just 35% think the government acted in a timely fashion. Overall, 51% of Americans disapprove of how President Trump has handled the response to the coronavirus.

“In interviews with Politico, eight election administrators and voting rights advocates said it is still too difficult for many voters to cast absentee ballots, even as two-thirds of American adults say they would be uncomfortable going to a polling place to vote, according to a new Pew Research Center survey — and as local, state and federal governments encourage or require Americans to stay home.”

“The consequences could shake the 2020 elections: Turnout had been expected to break modern records but instead could turn sharply downward, based on the path the coronavirus pandemic takes over the next few months. The patchwork system has thrown a wrench into every 2020 campaign, from the presidential hopefuls down to state and local candidates, as they navigate different state laws and emerging policy changes to make sure their voters can cast ballots amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds more than 9 in 10 Americans say they think the coronavirus outbreak is likely to cause an economic recession. More than 6 in 10 are predicting that the downturn will rival or eclipse the Great Recession of a decade ago.

“Two of the most prominent outside Democratic groups are forming a partnership to pool resources and research to help elect Joe Biden this fall, an attempt at consolidating fund-raising in an increasingly competitive marketplace for third-party organizations,” the New York Times reports.

“Unite the Country, the super PAC formed late last year to support Mr. Biden, and the progressive group American Bridge are teaming up to coordinate their efforts in hopes of raising about $175 million together to defeat President Trump in November, leaders from the two groups said Monday.”

Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball investigates how both parties might navigate having to hold their nominating conventions virtually, which may be more of a possibility for Democrats only because their convention is scheduled earlier in the summer.

“For many Democrats, it’s the election of a lifetime. Yet the question preoccupying the party for several days this month was whether their presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden, could get the webcast working in his rec room,” Politico reports.

“It was a telling obsession, one that revealed the extent of the party’s anxiety as it comes to a nail-biting conclusion: Despite all the arguments Democrats have crafted and all the evidence they have amassed against Donald Trump, his reelection is likely to rise or fall on his handling of the coronavirus crisis and its fallout alone.”

“The effect of the coronavirus on Trump’s popularity will not become clear for weeks or months. But the pandemic’s impact on the Democratic Party has already been severe. Primary elections are being postponed, allowing Bernie Sanders to linger in the race and delay until June the ability of Biden to mathematically clinch the nomination and fully turn his focus to Trump.”

“Laid off campaign staffers to Michael Bloomberg’s campaign who received their final paychecks on Tuesday were docked hundreds of dollars to cover taxes on their campaign-issued cellphone and laptop,” NBC News reports.

“The deductions came as a lawsuit against the Bloomberg campaign, alleging that the campaign fraudulently promised jobs through November, has grown from one plaintiff to more than 50. The plaintiffs are seeking to get the case certified as a class action in seven states, a move that could raise the number of claimants to over a thousand.”

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

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