Thursday, March 19, 2020

Bernie and Biden appear to be working on a deal

Daily Wire
March 19, 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic — or more to the point, panic about the pandemic — has canceled just about everything in American life, somewhere buried in our collective conscious is that thing that was happening this year… What was it? The election. Yes, it's still on, for now, and with every new primary contest, the race comes increasingly into focus: It's now Trump vs. Biden, with rapidly fading Bernie sending signals that he's finally going to cancel the revolution.

So how is Trump vs. Biden shaping up, especially in light of the COVID-19 economic chaos? And which woman will Biden pick as his running mate? Here's the latest installment of Election Wire.

1. Biden's lead builds.


MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Tuesday saw another three primary contests — in Arizona, Florida and Illinois (a fourth, Ohio's, was literally canceled by coronavirus). And, for the third Tuesday in a row, Biden wiped the floor with his democratic socialist competitor.

Biden ended up taking 281 of the 441 delegates up for grabs Tuesday. Sanders managed to come out of it with just 140. The Vermont senator was most competitive in Arizona, but was absolutely buried by Biden in Florida, one of the most crucial of the swing states. Biden grabbed 151 of Florida's 219 delegates, while Sanders picked up just 52.

The delegate count now gives Biden a nearly 300-delegate advantage to date:

  • Biden – 1181
  • Sanders – 885
  • Warren – 72 (out)
  • Bloomberg – 61 (out)
  • Buttigieg – 26 (out)
  • Klobuchar – 7 (out)
  • Gabbard – 2 (out)

2. Bernie and Biden appear to be working on a deal.


Alice Keeney/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A series of moves by the two Democratic campaigns has sparked speculation that Sanders is working out an exit deal with Biden. The day after Sanders got hammered in the primaries this week, The Washington Post reported on a couple of new developments. "Sanders campaign officials said the senator from Vermont planned to leave Washington and return home, where he and his wife, Jane, would talk to supporters and determine the future of his presidential run," the paper reported.

In a claim confirmed by Sanders' team, Biden's deputy campaign manager also told the Post that the two campaigns have been "in regular contact at a senior level" since last week to discuss how coronavirus is impacting the race and "to discuss both Vice President Biden's and Senator Sanders' ideas on policy responses to the virus." Biden campaign officials have also made it their "internal policy" to not criticize Sanders anymore. The combination of the developments, according to the Post, points to Sanders negotiating "an exit."


3. Gabbard finally gets out.


Ethan Miller/Getty Images

On Thursday, Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D) — who'd managed to earn just 2 delegates out of the 2,234 so far allotted — finally dropped out of the race. Why now? The same answer for every "why" right now: coronavirus.

"Our nation is facing an unprecedented global crisis that highlights the inextricable bonds of humanity, and how foreign policy and domestic policy are inseparable," Gabbard said in her announcement Thursday. "The best way I can be of service at this time is to continue to work for the health and well-being of the people of Hawaii and our country in Congress, and to stand ready to serve in uniform should the Hawaii National Guard be activated."

Like most of the other now-former Democratic candidates, Gabbard promptly endorsed Biden, a move that raised some eyebrows because of her 2016 Sanders endorsement. Former presidential candidate Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) also endorsed Biden Thursday.

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4. Biden vows to pick a woman.


MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

During the rather bizarre, audience-less debate between Biden and Sanders in Washington D.C. Sunday night, Biden vowed to pick a woman as his running mate. He also threw in the promise that he'd nominate the first African-American woman to the Supreme Court. "I committed that if I'm elected president [and] have an opportunity to appoint someone to the courts, I'll appoint the first black woman to the courts. It's required that they have representation now. It's long overdue," said Biden. "Secondly, if I am elected president, my cabinet, my administration will look like the country, and I commit that I will, in fact, pick a woman to be vice president. There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow. I would pick a woman to be my vice president."

So who are the frontrunners for Biden's female running mate? Here are some of the most likely candidates:

  • Stacey Abrams (D), the failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate who won't admit she lost

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who came in third in her own state primary and wasn't quite radical enough to lure Sanders supporters and not moderate enough to pull any from Biden

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a Midwesterner who gained just 7 delegates and quickly threw her support to Biden before dropping out last week

  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who got out of the race soon after landing some low blows on Biden

📊 5. National poll watch: Biden vs. Trump.


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

So how does a Biden vs. Trump general election look? While national polls have their limits in usefulness, they at least provide us a sense of general momentum and favorability. Polling from the last two weeks consistently shows Biden with a significant advantage over the president, averaging nearly 9 points: 51 – 42.5. That's certainly not great for Trump, but, as 2016 demonstrated so dramatically, what ultimately matters are the state polls.

A few key battle state poll averages from Real Clear Politics:

  • Arizona: Biden +3.8 (48 – 44.2)
  • Florida: Biden +1.3 (49 – 47.7)
  • North Carolina: Biden +3.4 (48.7 – 45.3)
  • Ohio: Biden +4 (49 – 45)
  • Pennsylvania: Biden +3.8 (47.3 – 43.5)
  • Texas: Trump +2.6 (47.8 – 45.2)
  • Wisconsin: Tied (45 – 45)

In other words, Trump has a lot of work to do, particularly with the coronavirus wiping out all of the stock market gains from the "Trump bull market" and the media and the Democrats dead-set on promoting hysteria and then blaming the president for the results.


6. Democrats devoting big money to hitting Trump on coronavirus.


Alex Wong/Getty Images

Right on cue, big money Democratic groups are coordinating to take aim at Trump over COVID-19. One of these Democratic mega-groups, Pacronym, will reportedly invest at least $5 million in their first ad campaign, which will target key battleground states and will portray Trump as dangerously downplaying the threat of coronavirus. "This is a public health issue and a national security issue, but it's also a public policy issue and thus a political one," a Democratic official associated with Pacronym told the Post this week.

"The ads will air in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and North Carolina — all states where Democratic votes are key, and all states that are leaning, at least slightly, towards Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election," The Daily Wire reported. "Around half the ads — $2.5 million work — will air before the end of April. The rest will air in July, around the time both parties hold their nominating conventions."


7. Will COVID-19 take down Trump?

Will coronavirus end up being the downfall of Trump? There's obviously a lot that could happen from now till the election, but the electoral impact of coronavirus will ultimately hinge on two questions: How much the public blames the president for the crisis, and how quickly the country recovers.

If the Democrats and their allies in the left-leaning media's "blame Trump" strategy convinces enough Americans that Trump blew it, even if the country recovers, that message could still have lasting impact on the polls in November. If not, and if the country does seem to be rebounding, Trump's pro-business, pro-jobs and pro-economy ethos might end up winning the day.


8. Meme of the week

Youngest Candidate Meme

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