The Campaign Report – May 24, 2020

A new Fox News poll finds Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in the presidential race nationally, 48% to 40%. Key takeaway: Among voters who are extremely motivated about voting this fall, Biden has a 12-point advantage, 53% to 41%.

A new Crooked Media/Change Research poll in Michigan finds Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in the presidential race, 49% to 46%. Interesting takeaway: “Half of Biden’s lead (1.5%) comes from people who didn’t vote in 2016, or voted third party.”

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds just 39% of Americans approve of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus — the lowest percentage for the president since the poll began tracking it in March.

A new AP-NORC poll finds that 41% of Americans approve of President Trump’s job performance, while 58% disapprove.

First Read: “What is clear is that Trump is trailing Biden right now by a larger margin than he trailed Hillary Clinton in 2016; that his approval rating is worse than the last Dem and GOP presidents to win re-election; and that Americans have increasingly soured on his handling of the coronavirus.”

Kaiser Foundation Tracking Poll: “While most Republicans approve and most Democrats disapprove of President Trump’s performance across the board, independents are conflicted. Most disapprove of his overall performance (54%) and on coronavirus (52%) and health care (51%), but most approve on his performance on the economy (59%). The crucial group of ‘swing voters,’ who are not yet certain about their presidential vote in November, are also negative in their assessments of President Trump’s presidency. Six in 10 swing voters (59%) disapprove of the president’s overall job performance, and similar shares disapprove of his handling of coronavirus (61%) and health care (58%). Swing voters remain positive in their assessments of his handling of the economy (59% approve).”

Fox News Poll: “The latest Fox News Poll finds voters trust Biden to do a better job than Trump on health care by 17 points, coronavirus by 9, and relations with China by 6. Trump is trusted more on the economy by a slim 3-point margin.”

Joe Biden released an attack ad against President Trump, slamming his decision to play golf on Memorial Day Weekend amid the rising coronavirus death toll in the United States. From the ad: “The death toll is still rising. The president is playing golf.’

Biden launched a new digital ad charging that President Trump has reacted to the coronavirus pandemic like a “deer in the headlights” and has been “too scared to act, too panicked to tell the truth, too weak to lead.”

The narrator continues: “Panicked at the thought of what a stock market collapse could mean to his re-election, he failed to act and the virus got out of control and shut down the nation and crushed the economy.”

CNN: “Joe Biden is thinking big.”

“Confronted with the prospect of taking office next year in the depths of a historic economic and health crisis, Biden is now talking about a bolder presidency, with ambitions stretching beyond the restoration of pre-Donald Trump normalcy.”

“And there is a growing sense in Democratic circles, particularly among the progressive wing of the party, that there is one sure way to show he means it: Make Elizabeth Warren his running mate.”

New York Times: “Joe Biden speaks with Elizabeth Warren about once a week. They review the latest developments on the Covid-19 crisis and the collapsing economy. They trade ideas about how a Democratic president, like Mr. Biden, might rescue the country. They exchange tales about their lives sheltered in place, he in Wilmington, Del., and she in Cambridge, Mass.”

“Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren are members of the same generation, Democrats shaped by modest upbringings who became United States senators and candidates for their party’s presidential nomination. But with Mr. Biden now actively considering Ms. Warren to be his running mate, it’s their ideological differences — and whether they can build a complementary, productive relationship — that will ultimately determine whether she emerges as No. 2 on the ticket.”

Warren, whose full-throated opposition to high-dollar fund-raising events was a central tenet of her presidential campaign, has agreed to host such a gathering of donors for Joe Biden, who is considering her to be his running mate, the New York Times reports.

Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) told SiriusXM’s The Dean Obeidallah Show that she was on “the shortlist” to be Biden’s vice presidential nominee, saying that she’d accept the job if offered. Said Demings: “If Vice President Biden asked me to serve along with him, I would be honored to do just that.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) “has been asked by Joe Biden to undergo a formal vetting to be considered as his vice presidential running mate, one of several potential contenders now being scrutinized by his aides ahead of a final decision,” CBS News reports.

Both of New Hampshire’s U.S. senators in recent weeks were asked by presumptive nominee Joe Biden’s team to participate in the initial vetting process to be considered as his running mate, WMUR reports. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) agreed and has participated in initial interviews. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), while honored to be considered, declined about two weeks ago, citing her commitment to New Hampshire.

Pennsylvania could determine the presidency. But it might not be clear for days who won the state on Nov. 3,” Politico reports. “Election officials throughout the critical battleground, which is implementing no-excuse mail-in voting for the first time ever amid a pandemic, say they are unlikely to finish counting those ballots the night of the general election.”

“Senior political advisers to President Trump warned Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday that Republican Sen. Martha McSally is falling dangerously behind in the critical swing state of Arizona,”  Politico reports.

“Trump’s campaign team was meeting with the president at the White House to discuss the state of play in a handful of battleground states. Toward the end of the meeting, Trump pulled McConnell, who was at the White House to meet with him on another matter, into the Roosevelt Room. The discussion turned to Arizona, where recent polling has shown Trump and McSally trailing.”

New York Times: “In October, President Trump declares a state of emergency in major cities in battleground states, like Milwaukee and Detroit, banning polling places from opening.”

“A week before the election, Attorney General William P. Barr announces a criminal investigation into the Democratic presidential nominee, Joseph R. Biden Jr.”

“After Mr. Biden wins a narrow Electoral College victory, Mr. Trump refuses to accept the results, won’t leave the White House and declines to allow the Biden transition team customary access to agencies before the Jan. 20 inauguration.”

“Far-fetched conspiracy theories? Not to a group of worst-case scenario planners — mostly Democrats, but some anti-Trump Republicans as well — who have been gaming out various doomsday options for the 2020 presidential election. Outraged by Mr. Trump and fearful that he might try to disrupt the campaign before, during and after Election Day, they are engaged in a process that began in the realm of science fiction but has nudged closer to reality as Mr. Trump and his administration abandon longstanding political norms.”

Politico: ““The party is placing a surprisingly large bet on the real estate executive to take on first-term GOP Sen. Joni Ernst in Iowa in a bid to expand their path back to the Senate majority. If Greenfield wins the June 2 primary, she’ll face Ernst in a state that’s turned against Democrats since 2012, when Barack Obama carried it for the second time.”

“The closing weeks before the primary have brought a flurry of activity: Democrats’ leading super PAC has already spent $6 million on television ads to boost the previously unknown Greenfield’s positive image, and another super PAC is spending $1 million attacking one of her opponents. The intervention has rankled the other Democratic candidates, who say the Washington establishment is trying to smother their chances.”

“President Trump’s declining support among older voters since the coronavirus took hold is well documented, but new data offers a clearer understanding of why that’s happening — and how it could impact the November election,” Axios reports.

“Among the 65+ crowd, it’s women driving the exodus. Joe Biden’s appeal with senior men climbed during his surprise comeback to be the presumed Democratic nominee, but not necessarily at Trump’s expense — and new polling suggests it may be ebbing in any case.”

Dana Millbank: America’s seniors sacrificed on the altar of reopening.

Harry Enten: “Democrats have Georgia on their minds. When former Vice President Joe Biden’s team presented their electoral strategy in mid-May, Georgia was one of three states, along with Arizona and Texas, that they believed they could compete in, even though those places haven’t voted for a Democratic presidential nominee in at least 20 years.”

“A look at the statistics tell us that Biden’s team isn’t bluffing. Georgia is definitely in play in the 2020 presidential election, even if it isn’t as strong a pickup opportunity for Democrats as some other states.”

Trump’s advisers are increasingly concerned about Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s (R-GA) campaign in Georgia, a newly competitive state where the president’s own poll numbers have tightened against Joe Biden, the New York Times  reports. “Because the field is so crowded, Georgia officials expect no candidate to get a majority, forcing a runoff. And the president’s team is planning to stay out of the race until the runoff approaches, which wouldn’t be until January 2021.”

Loeffler “is behind in the polls and best known for her fortuitously timed stock trades. But the Georgia Republican insisted during a 25-minute interview that she’s not going anywhere,” Politico reports. Said Loeffler: “Not only am I not dropping out, but I’m gonna win. And no one’s going to intimidate me into thinking that that’s the right course for our party, for our state, for our country. I’m working hard to help reelect the president. I’m working hard to win my seat and keep the Senate in Republican hands.”

“The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly transforming this year’s elections, changing the way tens of millions of people cast ballots and putting thousands of election officials at the center of a pitched political fight as they rush to adapt with limited time and funding,” the Washington Post reports.

“In a watershed moment for American voting, nearly 30 states have changed rules or practices for this year’s primaries or the general election in response to the public health threat posed by covid-19… The new policies affect roughly 86.6 million registered voters — including more than 40 million people who now have the temporary right to cast an absentee ballot because of the virus.”

“Republicans in Oregon this week nominated a Senate candidate with a deep history of promoting and vowing support for the QAnon conspiracy theory, providing the fringe movement its largest electoral platform yet and roiling Republicans over having a candidate who openly embraces baseless conspiracy theories,” ABC News reports.

“Her primary win has forced Republicans to grapple with having a state-wide nominee who openly embraces the conspiracy theory.”

“When asked about supporting Perkins in the general election, the Republican National Committee did not comment. The Oregon state Republican Party issued a lukewarm and seemingly reluctant statement saying, ‘By virtue of being the GOP nominee, this is what we do – support them in winning the general election.’”

Business Insider confirms what we had noticed earlier: Former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove is advising the Trump campaign and has been in regular contact with campaign manager Brad Parscale since the midterms.

A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll finds 44% of Republicans believe that Bill Gates is plotting to use a mass coronavirus vaccination campaign as a pretext to implant microchips in billions of people and monitor their movements. Just 26% of Republicans correctly identify the story as false.

In contrast, only 19% of Democrats believe the same spurious narrative about Gates while a majority recognize that it’s not true.

“A sudden shift in support for President Trump among religious conservatives is triggering alarm bells inside his reelection campaign,” Politico reports.

“The anxiety over Trump’s standing with the Christian right surfaced after a pair of surveys by reputable outfits earlier this month found waning confidence in the administration’s coronavirus response among key religious groups, with a staggering decline in the president’s favorability among white evangelicals and white Catholics. Both are crucial constituencies that supported Trump by wide margins in 2016 and could sink his reelection prospects if their turnout shrinks this fall.”

“The polls paint a bleak picture for Trump… One GOP official said the dip in the president’s evangelical support also appeared in internal party polling.”

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

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