The Campaign Report – May 18, 2020

FiveThirtyEight: “In national head-to-head polls conducted since April 1, Trump is barely breaking even with most older Americans — and in some age groups, he’s even trailing Biden by as much as 1.4 points (see 45- to 64-year-olds).”

“The most startling shift, though, is among voters age 65 and older. Four years ago, Trump bested Hillary Clinton by 13 points, 55% to 42%… But now Biden narrowly leads Trump 48% to 47%, based on an average of 48 national polls that included that age group. If those figures hold until November, they would represent a seismic shift in the voting behavior of America’s oldest voters.”

Associated Press: “Trump has virtually no path to victory without winning Florida, and older voters are key to that effort. Older voters make up an outsize share of the voting population in the state, where Trump defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by just over 1 percentage point in 2016. Nationally, Trump carried voters 65 and older in the state by 9 percentage points, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.”

“Some Republicans warn that could be tough for Trump to repeat as the public health and economic fallout of the pandemic deepens.”

“Any erosion of support among seniors could doom Trump if this November’s election is as close as four years ago. A trio of Midwestern battlegrounds — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — feature sizable aging populations. Arizona, another state that Democrats hope to flip in 2020, is home to a growing number of retirees.”

Harry Enten: “One of the big questions when we look at national polls is whether or not they’re an accurate representation of what is going on at the state level. One of the easiest ways to check is to compare state poll results to the past presidential vote in a given state. I did so for all telephone polls that called cell phones since the beginning of April.”

“When we average out these state polls, they suggest that Biden’s running about 6 points ahead of Hillary Clinton’s final margin. In other words, the state level polls suggest that Biden has a national lead of around 8 points.”

A new Republican State Leadership Poll in Georgia finds Donald Trump barely edging Joe Biden in the presidential race, 48% to 46%. In the U.S. Senate race, Sen. David Purdue (R) leads challenger Jon Ossoff (D), 46% to 41%.

A new ECU poll shows Donald Trump with a slight lead over Joe Biden among registered voters., 46% to 43%. In the race for governor, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) holds a comfortable lead over challenger Dan Forest (R), 51% to 36%. The race for United States Senate is a virtual tie, with Sen. Thom Tillis (R) edging challenger Cal Cunningham (D), 41% to 40%.

Politico: “Interviews with nearly a dozen former governors, members of Congress, and other current and former party leaders revealed widespread apprehension about Trump’s standing six months out from the election.”

“Many fret that Trump’s hopes are now hitched to the pandemic; others point to demographic changes in once-reliably red states and to the challenge of running against a hard-to-define Democratic opponent who appeals to a wide swath of voters. The concerns give voice to an assortment of recent battleground state polling showing Trump struggling against Biden.”

Associated Press: “Trump and his allies are dusting off the playbook that helped defeat Hillary Clinton, reviving it in recent days as they try to frame 2020 as an election between a dishonest establishment politician and a political outsider being targeted for taking on the system. This time, however, the so-called outsider is the sitting president of the United States.”

Reuters: “With less than three weeks to go before the primary, 1,178,475 Pennsylvania voters have applied for absentee ballots, a 14-fold increase from 2016. Nearly 70% of those requests have come from registered Democrats, state data as of May 13 show. That margin is far wider than the 55% to 45% registration advantage held by Democrats in the state.”

“That’s a worrisome harbinger for Republicans looking ahead to the general election, if coronavirus remains a health threat and Democrats continue their mail-in advantage.”

PBS: GOP official says fraud warnings hamper vote-by-mail push.

“Joe Biden’s shortlist for vice president is deep in Democratic talent, filled with governors, senators and former rivals for the presidential nomination,” Politico reports.

“But one of the least-known among them is attracting an increasing amount of attention from Biden advisers, donors and Democrats in Congress — Val Demings.”

New York Times: “More than 36 million Americans are suddenly unemployed. Congress has allocated $2.2 trillion in aid, with more likely to be on the way as a fight looms over government debt. Millions more people are losing their health insurance and struggling to take care of their children and aging relatives. And nearly 90,000 are dead in a continuing public health catastrophe.”

“This was not the scenario Joe Biden Jr. anticipated confronting when he competed for the Democratic nomination on a conventional left-of-center platform. Now, with Mr. Biden leading President Trump in the polls, the former vice president and other Democratic leaders are racing to assemble a new governing agenda that meets the extraordinary times — and they agree it must be far bolder than anything the party establishment has embraced before.”

Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said that the campaign views Arizona, Texas and Georgia as battleground states they intend to contest and win, The Hill reports.

The campaign says Arizona is at the top of their list of red states that could turn blue for the first time in decades this November.

Said O’Malley Dillon: “This is something we are very, very focused on. We believe there will be an expanded map in 2020. We believe there will be battleground states that have never been battleground states before.”

Taking a page from his dad’s playbook, Eric Trump told Fox News that the coronavirus will “magically” disappear — after Election Day.

Said Trump: “They think they’re taking away Donald Trump’s greatest tool, which is to go into an arena and fill it with 50,000 people every time. You watch. They will milk it every single day between now and November 3rd.”

He added: “And guess what – after November 3rd, coronavirus will magically, all of the sudden, go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen.”

He called it a “very cognizant strategy.”

President Trump’s eldest son on Saturday posted a social media message suggesting Joe Biden was a pedophile, an incendiary and baseless charge that illustrates the tactics the president is turning to as he attempts to erase Mr. Biden’s early advantage in key state polls, the New York Times reports.

Former Sen Dave Durenberger (R-MN) endorsed Joe Biden for president in a Minneapolis Star Tribune op-ed.

Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI) said on Twitter that he will not run for president this year after saying last month that he would seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination

Said Amash: “After much reflection, I’ve concluded that circumstances don’t lend themselves to my success as a candidate for president this year, and therefore I will not be a candidate.”

“Joe Biden will ask donors to give as much as $620,600 to support his White House bid and down-ballot candidates, dramatically expanding his fundraising capability to compete with President Trump’s big-money machine,” the Washington Post reports.

“The Biden Victory Fund, a committee that raises money with the Democratic National Committee, on Saturday filed an agreement that allows wealthy donors to give large checks that will be shared by the campaign, the party and 26 state parties — the latest move by Democrats to ramp up the former vice president’s fundraising for the general election.”

“Mike Bloomberg is plotting a massive spending blitz to back Joe Biden’s quest for the White House,” CNBC reports.

“The former New York mayor and his closest political advisors are discussing whether Bloomberg’s expenditure will include major donations to pro-Biden super PACs, Biden’s joint fundraising effort with the Democratic National Committee, or another independent group.”

“Though it’s unclear how much Bloomberg will eventually spend, some of the people familiar with the matter noted that they anticipate Bloomberg to end up spending in excess of $250 million to support Biden… Any major financial support from Bloomberg backing Biden does not include what he could put toward assisting congressional Democrats.”

“Wisconsin has been the battleground for political proxy wars for nearly a decade, the backdrop for bruising feuds over labor unions, executive power, redistricting and President Trump,” the AP reports.

“Now, six months before a presidential election, the state is on fire again. With a divided state government and a polarized electorate, Wisconsin has emerged as a hotbed of partisan fighting over the coronavirus, including how to slow its spread, restart the economy, vote during a pandemic and judge Trump’s leadership.”

“In recent weeks, every political twist has been dissected by the parties, political scientists and the press, all searching for insight into which way the swing state might be swinging in the virus era.”

Brian Klass: “Since 2017, so many events in U.S. politics that were previously unthinkable have come to pass. Don’t believe me? A few days ago, the president of the United States baselessly accused a cable television host of murder and it barely made a blip in the news cycle. The shocking has become unsurprising — almost routine — under Donald Trump’s unhinged presidency.”

“We don’t know whether Trump will be reelected. But, as we head toward November, you have to ask yourself: If he loses, would it be more surprising if Trump graciously accepts defeat and congratulates his opponent or if he claimed to be the victim of a rigged election and a ‘deep state’ plot?”

“The answer seems clear.”

“Three months before their national convention is to kick off in Milwaukee, Democratic Party officials are planning for three scenarios depending on the severity of the coronavirus pandemic at the time. But the planners face a substantial problem in putting on the quadrennial event that is recognizable to Americans as the traditional launch of the presidential general election campaign: Many of the delegates don’t want to go,” the New York Times reports.

“Interviews with 59 members of the Democratic National Committee and superdelegates who will formally nominate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in August found that the vast majority of them don’t want to risk their own health or the health of others by traveling to Milwaukee and congregating inside the convention facilities.”

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

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