Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on a joint livestream with Joe Biden Monday that he’s endorsing Biden for president, five days after suspending his own presidential campaign, Axios reports. Said Sanders to Biden: “We have to make Trump a one-term president and we need you in the White House.” It took Sanders 36 days to endorse Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“Bernie, I want to thank you for that, it means a great deal,” Biden said a couple minutes later. What followed was a diplomatic conversation between the two former rivals, who referred to each other by their first names and hinted at several “task forces” to address policy priorities, including on the economy, education, crimal justice reform, immigration and climate change.
“I promise you I will not let you down,” Biden said at the conversation’s end, before asking if Sanders had anything to add. “I thought we’d play some chess,” Sanders joked. “What do you think?”
A new Firehouse Strategies poll of likely voters, Joe Biden leads President Trump in a general election match up, 53% to 43%, with just 4% undecided.
Also interesting: Trump’s approval rating on the coronavirus crisis (51%) is currently lower than the approval ratings of Congress (57%) and governors (75%).
A new Critical Insights poll in Maine finds a further drop in approval for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) since last fall, from 42% to 37%, while the share of voters who disapproved of her performance climbed to 52%.
In contrast, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) remained popular, with 59% of voters approving of his performance.
President Trump’s approval in Maine is just 36%.
Tampa Bay Times: “Unlike other governors, DeSantis doesn’t hold regular public briefings. He has ceded the biggest decisions, like whether to close beaches, to city and county officials, yet he hasn’t talked to many of them. Early on, he clashed with federal officials over whether Florida had community spread of the virus.”
“DeSantis’ uneven response has made him an outlier among his counterparts across the country. The approval ratings of most governors have soared during the crisis. DeSantis, one of America’s most popular governors a few months ago, has seen his support plummet. One poll found him the third-worst rated governor at handling the coronavirus in the country.”
The Tampa Bay Times showing DeSantis’ polling collapsing shows Joe Biden leading Trump in Florida 46% to 40%.
A new UtahPolicy.com/KUTV poll in Utah finds President Trump leading Joe Biden by just five points, 46% to 41%, with 5% saying they’ll vote for a third party.
Nate Cohn: “If anyone holds the early edge, it is Mr. Biden. He leads by an average of six points in national live-interview polls of registered voters. But the election will be decided by voters in the battleground states, not registered voters nationwide, and there the story is not nearly so clear or rosy for Mr. Biden.”
“At the moment, a reasonable estimate is that Mr. Biden is performing four or five points worse among likely voters in the critical states than he is among registered voters nationwide. As a result, he holds only a narrow and tenuous edge in the race for the Electoral College, if he holds one at all.”
Joe Biden writing in the New York Times: “Make no mistake: An effective plan to beat the virus is the ultimate answer to how we get our economy back on track. So we should stop thinking of the health and economic responses as separate. They are not.”
“The Bloomberg-owned firm Hawkfish, which ran the presidential campaign of Mike Bloomberg, is in serious talks to serve the presidential campaign of Joe Biden,” The Intercept reports.
“Along with Biden’s campaign, the firm is courting a wide swath of other progressive and Democratic organizations, opening up the possibility of Bloomberg gaining significant control over the party’s technology and data infrastructure.”
A new Economist/YouGov Poll finds 57% of Americans now believe that President Trump waited too long to act on the coronavirus pandemic that is devastating the nation.
That includes 85% of Democrats and 56% of independents but just 20% of Republicans.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made clear to the New York Times that she intended to support Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee, but said his current overtures to progressives must go further.
Said Ocasio-Cortez: “The whole process of coming together should be uncomfortable for everyone involved — that’s how you know it’s working. And if Biden is only doing things he’s comfortable with, then it’s not enough.”
President Trump’s reelection campaign and the RNC jointly brought in a $212 million haul in the first three months of 2020, CBS News reports.
The party and Trump campaign have more than $240 million cash-on-hand.
Associated Press: “In 1992, Americans ousted an incumbent president in the middle of an economic downturn because his challenger, Bill Clinton, seemed to better feel their pain.”
“Twenty years later, when the nation was still climbing out of another recession, voters stuck with President Barack Obama rather than siding with challenger Mitt Romney, who was caught on tape dismissing half the population as people who ‘believe they are the victims.’ Voters may again be seeking solace, as well as solutions, in this year’s presidential race, one still being reshaped by the unprecedented public health and economic turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic.”
“And if empathy is the question, the contrast is stark and the challenge for President Trump may be steep. Though he has a visceral bond with his most loyal supporters, he’s far more likely to use grievance or even biting humor to make his case. His presumptive Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, meanwhile, is a politician defined by personal grief and loss, who has long had an ability to use his own family tragedies to connect with voters.”
“The pandemic’s impact on their daily lives and their assessments of the perils it poses have exploded, a new USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll finds, amid rising uncertainty about when routine daily activities will seem safe again.”
“The changes are dramatic but not surprising in the wake of four devastating weeks in which almost all Americans have been ordered to stay at home and the nation’s death toll has reached a global record. The number who say the virus poses a high threat to them personally and to the USA doubled.”
Wired: “Biden’s victory is, on one level, entirely unsurprising. He is the immediate past vice president, reminding Democratic voters of a time that they would very much like to return to. He led in national polls throughout the race. He performed poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire, but it took only one victory in South Carolina for him to consolidate the support of party leadership and build real momentum. But that’s too simple of an explanation. It conflates the Biden candidacy with the Biden campaign. Joe Biden’s candidacy was strong. His campaign wasn’t.”
“There are a few measurable activities that we generally associate with strong campaigns. They identify supporters, raise money, make headlines, frame the debate, knock on doors, make phone calls, and turn people out to vote. Biden’s did virtually none of those things.”