The Campaign Report – April 26, 2020

“President Trump’s erratic handling of the coronavirus outbreak, the worsening economy and a cascade of ominous public and private polling have Republicans increasingly nervous that they are at risk of losing the presidency and the Senate if Mr. Trump does not put the nation on a radically improved course,” the New York Times reports.

“The scale of the G.O.P.’s challenge has crystallized in the last week. With 26 million Americans now having filed for unemployment benefits, Mr. Trump’s standing in states that he carried in 2016 looks increasingly wobbly: New surveys show him trailing significantly in battleground states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, and he is even narrowly behind in must-win Florida.”

Washington Post: “The low-key podcast also has become one of the clearest windows into Biden, offering a flavor for how he would govern, the types of people he would surround himself with and the questions he poses to advisers. He has used the weekly shows as a public audition for some of his potential running mates — a circumstance that goes unspoken — and to showcase a kitchen cabinet, all from the studio in the basement of his Wilmington, Del., home now serving as campaign headquarters.”

“Everything about Biden’s podcast — the production quality, the viewership numbers, the presentation, the occasional questions from listeners and the chummy tone of the man with the microphone — is a dramatic departure from the daily show put on by President Trump. Where Trump displays brash confidence at his coronavirus briefings, Biden often concedes that others are smarter than him.”

New York Times: “Joe Biden usually rises before 8 a.m. at his home in Wilmington, Del., and starts his day with a workout in an upstairs gym that contains a Peloton bike, weights and a treadmill. He often enjoys a protein shake for breakfast and puts on a suit or blazer much of the time. In the evenings, he and his wife, Jill, sit down together for dinner, a ritual that was absent for much of the last frenzied year on the campaign trail.”

“In the intervening hours, Mr. Biden attempts to win the presidency without leaving his house.”

“A huge surge in voting by mail is coming whether states prepare for it or not — and without clear direction from the federal government, states are preparing to muscle through their own changes to get ready for the glut of mail ballots coming their way in November,” Politico reports.

“Joe Biden wants a more progressive approach to economic stimulus legislation than Washington has taken so far, including much stricter oversight of the Trump Administration, much tougher conditions on business bailouts and long-term investments in infrastructure and climate that have so far been largely absent from congressional debates,” Politicoreports.

“In a fiery half-hour interview, the presumptive Democratic nominee sounded a bit like his angrier and less moderate primary rivals, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, though in unexpurgated Biden style. The former vice president said that the next round of coronavirus stimulus needs to be ‘a hell of a lot bigger’ than last month’s $2 trillion CARES Act, that it needs to include massive aid to states and cities to prevent them from ‘laying off a hell of a lot of teachers and cops and firefighters,’ and that the administration is already ‘wasting a hell of a lot of money.’”

A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll finds President Trump leading Joe Biden in the presidential race, 49% to 45%, with 7% of voters saying they were undecided.

Harry Enten: “Trump stands at a negative eight point net favorability (favorable – unfavorable) rating in an average of six recent high quality polls… Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s not helping Trump’s cause, as his net favorability rating is higher than Trump’s in all these polls, and he’s winning the overwhelming share of those voters who like neither Trump nor he.”

“Put simply, Biden’s not allowing Trump to turn this into a choice election between two disliked candidates, as it was in 2016.”

Harry Enten: “A lot of Democrats have been hankering for Biden to try and get out to be more part of the daily media conversation. The latest numbers suggest that these voices are likely wrong. Biden’s proving that the less media he receives, the better it is for his electoral prospects.”

“Joe Biden’s unexpectedly rapid consolidation of the Democratic presidential nomination has upended calculations in both parties about the U.S. Senate landscape, with Democrats hopeful that Biden can actively help with close races and Republicans increasingly nervous about losing their 53-47 majority,” the Washington Post reports.

“Biden’s ascent has dented GOP plans to paint Democratic candidates as left-wing extremists, something they were eager to do had Sen. Bernie Sanders emerged as the nominee. Instead, the Democrats now have a more moderate standard-bearer who is intimately familiar with the Senate, in close touch with top candidates and keenly aware of how Senate control could affect his potential presidency.”

Axios: “Some swing voters in Canton, Ohio, who were won over by President Trump’s say-anything bravado in 2016, now wish he’d be less partisan and more expert-driven — like a governor.”

“There’s little appetite for partisan politics among these voters when it comes to a crisis with life-and-death consequences. They want a leader who will work with health and science experts, find solutions, and activate in a way that won’t polarize the country.”

They described Trump as “lackadaisical” with his words, not always sounding “the most educated,” and being “all over the place.”

The Atlantic: “Biden’s campaign confirmed that he called Abrams, but didn’t say more. According to several people familiar with the campaign’s running-mate selection process, Abrams is not currently a likely choice.”

“Joe Biden pushed back on suggestions that the November election could be postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying Sunday it’s important that voting continues as it has during other crises in American history,” Bloomberg reports.

Said Biden: “I know there’s a lot of rumors and speculation as to, is the other guy going to try to postpone the election in November and all that. There’s no need to do that.”

He also said Trump might try to delay election because it’s “only way he thinks he can possibly win.”

Amy Walter: “However, most voters in these states don’t use it (except for Colorado, which is a vote-by-mail state). Voters in Arizona are very comfortable with vote-by-mail, as 73% cast their ballots this way in 2016. But, in some of the biggest battlegrounds for 2020, including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, less than 10% of voters returned their ballots by mail in 2016.”

“As we saw in the Wisconsin April election, voters can adapt and readjust quickly. But, it is still going to be a lift to convince voters — many of whom are already suspicious of things like machine voting — that sending their ballot in the mail will be safe and reliable. Only eight of these competitive states (Florida, Colorado, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Virginia), require that the state ‘track when their ballot has been sent out by election officials and then when the election official receives the marked ballot back, and whether or not the ballot was counted.’”

“President Trump has been warned by his political advisers in recent weeks that his perilously low standing with suburban female voters could be worsening amid the lingering coronavirus crisis, imperiling his chances for re-election,” the Daily Beast reports.

“Five sources on the Trump campaign or in the administration told The Daily Beast that they fear the global pandemic and resulting U.S. economic downturn are potentially feeding frustration with the president among this demographic, which the campaign’s own polling sees as crucial in 2020. Two of the sources said the issue of suburban women has been raised in direct conversations with Trump in the past four weeks.”

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

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