A new Public Policy Polling survey in Michigan finds Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in the presidential race, 50% to 42% with 8% still undecided. Trump’s approval rate in the state is 43% to 51%.
An internal poll in Georgia conducted for the House GOP Caucus finds Donald Trump barely leads Joe Biden, 45% to 44%. Only about 5% of Georgians are undecided, and another 6% back a third-party candidate.
Also interesting: A majority of voters disapprove of the way Trump (51%) and Gov. Brian Kemp (54%) are handling the pandemic.
A new survey finds that voters in all 50 states say their governor is doing a better job than President Trump in handling the coronavirus pandemic. In Delaware, President Trump has a 40% approval rating while Governor Carney has a 71% approval rating.
“Big money donors are pressuring Joe Biden to not choose Sen. Elizabeth Warren as his running mate, even while the centrist former vice president tries to appeal to progressive voters,” CNBC reports.
“Biden and his team have heard from many donors in the business community about who they think would be best to be chosen as his vice presidential nominee.”
Said one Biden fundraiser: “I think a lot of the donor base, on board and coming, would prefer almost anyone but Elizabeth. I don’t see him choosing her for veep.”
David Wasserman: “The latest campaign finance reports covering the first quarter of 2020 are in, and they couldn’t have been much more brutal for Republicans. Freshman Democrats, continuing to ride a wave of anti-Trump donor enthusiasm, are dominating GOP challengers in dollars — and the coronavirus’s chilling effect on fundraising could make it even tougher to catch up and put the majority all but out of reach for Republicans.”
Jason Zengerle: “Biden’s campaign advisers scouted his house for a suitable location where he could film campaign (and proof-of-life) appearances. They quickly settled on an out-of-the-way spot in his basement in front of a bookshelf adorned with family photos and personal artifacts, including the American flag that flew over the United States Capitol in honor of his late son Beau. Over the course of two hectic days, a video-production crew installed the wiring, lighting and camera necessary for a full-fledged TV studio. On March 23, standing behind a lectern affixed with his campaign logo, Biden prepared to address the nation via livestream for the first time.”
“In the subsequent weeks, the lectern has been replaced with a chair, and Biden, who as vice president became accustomed to having interviewers come to him, has tried to acclimate himself to the remote setup. Now rarely a day goes by that the candidate — sometimes in a suit, sometimes in a sweater, always in front of that bookshelf — doesn’t pop up on Morning Joe or Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show, the local news in Detroit or his own Facebook page, to let Americans know he’s still out there.”
McClatchy: “Beset by deep restrictions on how they can campaign during the outbreak, an alliance of more than a half-dozen left-leaning organizations said Thursday that they would begin a massive letter-writing campaign to urge low-frequency voters to turn out for the November elections.”
“And unlike most messages in modern campaigns, these partially handwritten letters will be sent not over email but by the U.S. Postal Service — packaged in an envelope with a stamp attached as if people were communicating in a pre-internet age.”
NBC News: “While Americans across the country are canceling weddings, sporting events and music festivals, Trump has insisted to aides that the Republican National Convention — specifically his nationally televised prime-time address — go forward in August.”
“So the president’s political advisers are actively discussing ways to scale down the four-day event in hopes it can safely proceed amid concerns about the coronavirus.”
Said one: “There will be a convention. You can bank on that.”
“But the people involved in the planning said the GOP convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, will likely look drastically different from past political conventions. One plan under consideration is to have only delegates and alternate delegates attend, and to space them out on the convention floor.”
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball: “The focus on the evenly-matched battle for the Senate has in some ways narrowed to four GOP-held seats: Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina.”
“Practically speaking, Democrats probably have to win all four, and the White House, to win the Senate.”
“However, the map may be expanding. Democrats’ best bet among the other targets probably is Montana, but we still see a small Republican edge there.”
“Joe Biden has agreed to let former primary rival Bernie Sanders keep hundreds of delegates he would otherwise forfeit by dropping out of the presidential race in a deal designed to avoid the bitter feelings that marred the party in 2016 and helped lead to Hillary Clinton’s defeat,” the AP reports.
Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) told a conservative radio host that he will challenge incumbent Gov. Janet Mills (D) in 2022, the Portland Press Herald reports.
Said LePage: “Believe me, I will challenge her. Yes, I am going to challenge Janet Mills in 2022 because the state will be worse off than it was when I took over in 2010 and I do believe I have the skill set to fix it.”
Cook Political Report: “When we look at [the Lindsay Graham – Jaime Harrison race in South Carolina], it’s clear it’s no longer one that is being ignored by either party. And our definition of a race that is “Likely Republican” is simply a race that is ‘not considered competitive at this point, but [has] the potential to become engaged.’ This race fits that criteria, though there is still needs to be a lot more to be done — and political winds that need to shift — for Harrison to have a real chance to flip it, and that may never happen. Still, it is a race that merits more attention in the larger Senate landscape, so we are moving South Carolina from Solid to Likely Republican.”
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball makes the same rating change.
“Joe Biden has chosen a team of advisers to oversee his search for a running mate, as he prepares for one of the most consequential decisions he will make in the months ahead,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“The selection process will be led by former Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Cynthia Hogan, Mr. Biden’s former White House and Senate counsel.”
“Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is about to launch its first major TV ad offensive of the general election — a move that comes as the president attempts to reverse a dangerous slide six months out from the election,” Politico reports.
“The campaign is expected to spend seven figures on a nationwide advertising blitz touting Trump’s performance managing the coronavirus crisis, according to two people familiar with the plans. The spots will begin Sunday and air for a week.”
“The campaign expected to follow with a second wave of ads unloading on Joe Biden.”
Wall Street Journal: “‘Mark my words, I think he is going to try to kick back the election somehow,’ Joe Biden recently said of President Trump during an online fundraiser. To ‘try’ is one thing. But there are constitutional and legal reasons why a president can’t delay a federal election or extend his term of office, which should dispel any worries.”
“Start with the text of the Constitution. The 20th Amendment is exceedingly clear: ‘The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January.’ There’s no clause that allows presidents to remain in office beyond Jan. 20 or to invoke some emergency power to extend a term of office.”