New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s presidential primary election will be postponed from April 28 until June 23 amid coronavirus fears, CNN reports.
“I see Cuomo as the Democratic nominee this year. If we could switch Biden out for him, that’s the winner. He’s unlikable, which I really like.”
— Bill Maher, quoted by the New York Times, summing up the “warm, fuzzy feeling for the cold, calculating pol that developed among many Democrats in the past week.”
“Joe Biden’s campaign is mounting an aggressive behind-the-scenes effort to address the biggest weakness of his candidacy: A lack of enthusiasm among the liberal base, particularly young voters,” Politico reports.
“Since his landslide victories earlier this month, Biden’s advisers have engaged in talks with a range of top progressive groups, including some that endorsed his chief rival, Bernie Sanders, according to multiple sources familiar with the conversations. The outreach to left-wing organizations and individuals — representing causes from climate change and immigrant rights to gun control and mobilizing underserved black and brown communities — is focused on young activists. Broadly speaking, they viewed Biden as one of the least-inspiring candidates in the sprawling Democratic primary field.”
A new Fox News poll finds Joe Biden is up by 49% to 40% over President Trump, a lead that is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error.
Another 11% would vote for someone else or are undecided.
Interesting: Biden’s advantage grows to 25 points, 57% to 32%, in close counties (where Hillary Clinton and Trump were within 10 points in 2016).
President Trump’s campaign released a new ad that uses sound bytes from various public figures that make it appear they are praising the president for his efforts combating the coronavirus.
Philadelphia Inquirer: “June 2 is shaping up to be the Super Tuesday of postponed primaries. Pennsylvania will join 11 states and the District of Columbia in voting that day, after rescheduling its primary due to the coronavirus.”
“Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday signed a bill moving the primary back five weeks to allow enough time for people to register to vote by mail, for polling locations to shift and to give election officials time to prepare for an election in unprecedented circumstances.”
“A leading Democratic super PAC is reserving $17 million worth of digital ads in key battleground states to start after the Democratic National Convention in July and run through Election Day in November,” McClatchy reports.
“The online ad blitz from Priorities USA is slated for Arizona, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — a quintet of swing states that strategists in both parties expect to be at the center of the general election.”
Not surprisingly, those are the five Toss Up states on the consensus electoral map.
“West Virginia is rolling out a plan to send every registered voter in the state an application to vote absentee in upcoming elections as people across the state follow a ‘Stay at Home’ order from the governor amid the COVID-19 outbreak,” WHSV reports.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign is making “seven in-house software projects available to everyone for free on GitHub, the most popular destination for open-source software on the web, in the hope that other Democratic campaigns can build on what they developed during the campaign,” Wired reports.
Cook Political Report: “As the COVID-19 outbreak forces more states to delay spring primary and runoff dates, it’s had another, more subtle effect: it’s all but frozen the House recruitment process in place and curtailed fundraising, benefiting incumbents and candidates who had already built large war chests and disadvantaging recent entrants. On the whole, that boosts Democrats, the party on defense this cycle.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged that “it’s going to be a very steep road” to defeat former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic primary, discussing in frank terms the challenges facing his already lagging campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reports.
Said Sanders: “We are assessing the situation we’re in. It’s changing every day because elections are being delayed. We don’t hold rallies, obviously. We don’t do door-to-door campaigning, which hundreds of thousands of volunteers had been doing. We’re doing a virtual campaign, if you like. But right now, we’re focusing on the health care and economic crisis facing the country.”
Ryan Liza: “The Biden campaign has been studying the ’18 midterms. No, not the ones two years ago when Democrats took over the House by aggressively recruiting moderates and sweeping swing districts across the country, a precursor to Biden’s own centrist strategy in the Democratic presidential primaries this year.”
“They’ve been studying the midterms of 1918, the year of the Spanish flu pandemic when large gatherings were banned in many places and candidates were forced to invent new ways to communicate with voters and run their campaigns. Turnout plummeted that year to 40%, from 50% in the 1914 midterms.”
President Trump said there is “no way” he’ll cancel the GOP convention in August, despite the uncertainty surrounding planned events due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Hill reports.
Said Trump: “We are definitely planning — it’s toward the end of August. Somebody was asking today, ‘Will you cancel your convention?’ I said no way I’m going to cancel the convention. We’re going to have the convention, it’s going to be incredible.”
Joe Biden has told former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) is in his “top three” to be his vice presidential nominee, Mediaite reports.
“A source close to the Biden campaign said Biden has privately mentioned Cortez Masto as someone who would be on his shortlist for vice president and said he really likes and respects her, appreciates her intellect and leadership, and the history she made as the first Latina U.S. senator.”
“For President Trump, the power and the perils of incumbency are on full display as he seeks to steer the nation through a never-before-seen moment in modern America. He’s cast himself as a wartime president, even as he sends conflicting signals on whether his bigger priority is ending the pandemic or restarting the US economy, both of which will now undoubtedly influence his re-election,” CNN reports.
“Seven months before Election Day, the President is working overtime to build a glowing narrative about his administration’s coronavirus response.”
“His rally-like rhetoric from the White House may be paying dividends — for now, at least — as three polls this week show more Americans view Trump’s handling of the crisis through a positive light than a negative one. His approval rating has ticked up. It’s an open question whether those early reviews represent more of a rallying effect, which presidents often experience during times of national emergency, or if the support will endure after the true scope of the deadly outbreak is fully known.”
Now trending on the political dictionary: “Rose Garden campaign.”
Gabe Debenedetti: “Not one of the top Biden associates I spoke with in the last week had much doubt where he would ultimately focus a lot of his eventual vetting: his former rivals Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar. Realistically, a congressman close to the Biden inner circle predicted, no matter what happens, ‘the final five will include those three.’”
“Keeping in mind his own experience and his age, the former veep, 77, has always insisted to friends that his running mate must be ready to be president. But people close to him say he has recently become increasingly explicit that he may be choosing his own replacement, and that the candidates’ competence is now likely to be front and center in his considerations.”
“Donald Trump is getting hammered by millions of dollars in Democratic campaign ads depicting his response to the coronavirus as negligent and inept. But the main super PAC backing his reelection has been silent in response — and Trump’s political advisers are not happy about it,” Politico reports.
“In interviews, more than a half-dozen White House aides, campaign officials and other Trump allies said they felt deserted by the group, America First Action, openly questioning why it’s leaving Trump exposed on the airwaves at the most vulnerable moment of his presidency.”