Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: March 14-20, 2020

Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing
Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: March 14-20, 2020

Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.        

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Notable Quote of the Week
“The perspective here should be: How do we hold the election in November? Not whether. We had elections during World War II. We held elections during the Civil War. We’re going to hold an election this year. We’ve got to figure out how to do it and to do it in a way that gives us a result that conforms to the idea that it’s the ‘will of the people.’”

– Edward Foley, Ohio State University election law professor

Week in Review

Six states postpone presidential primaries

Ballotpedia is monitoring changes made to election dates and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the presidential primary updates you need to know:

  • Louisana: Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced that Louisiana was rescheduling its presidential primary from April 4 to June 20. Louisiana was the first state to delay its presidential primary in response to the coronavirus.
  • Georgia: Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced on Saturday that Georgia was postponing its presidential primary from March 24 to May 19.
  • Ohio: Gov. Mike DeWine announced that polls would be closed on Tuesday, March 17, by the order of the state Department of Health. This action came after a state judge declined to postpone the primary election. The election was postponed to June 2.
  • Kentucky: Secretary of State Michael Adams announced that Kentucky’s primary, originally scheduled for May 19, would be postponed to June 23.
  • MarylandGov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland’s primary, originally scheduled for April 28, would be postponed to June 2.
  • Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Thursday that Connecticut would move its presidential primary from April 28 to June 2.

Biden wins primaries in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois

Three states—Arizona, Florida, and Illinois—held primaries on TuesdayJoe Biden won all three Democratic primaries and ended the night with at least 281 of the 441 pledged delegates available. Bernie Sanders is projected to receive at least 140 pledged delegates.

Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said on Wednesday, “The next primary contest is at least three weeks away. Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign.”

Trump clinches Republican nomination, Weld suspends campaign

In the Republican primary, Donald Trump crossed the delegate threshold necessary to clinch the Republican nomination—1,276 delegates—with his primary win in Florida on Tuesday.

Bill Weld suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday. He won one delegate from Iowa throughout the Republican primary process.

Biden, Sanders discuss coronavirus pandemic in first head-to-head debate

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders met in their first head-to-dead Democratic presidential primary debate. Originally scheduled to take place in Arizona, the debate was moved to Washington, D.C., due to public health concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden and Sanders discussed the pandemic, healthcare, the economy, climate change, and foreign policy. Both candidates spoke for approximately 46 minutes.

For highlights from the debate for each candidate, click here.

No date, location, or other details have been released about the 12th and final Democratic primary debate.

Gabbard suspends campaign, endorses Biden

Tulsi Gabbard suspended her presidential campaign on Thursday and endorsed Joe Biden. “Today, I’m suspending my presidential campaign, and offering my full support to Vice President Joe Biden in his quest to bring our country together,” she said in a statement.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Cristóbal Alex is a Democratic advisor with experience in politics, philanthropy, and law. Alex graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2001 with a J.D.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, deputy director of voter outreach and mobilization

Other experience:

  • 2014-2019: Latino Victory Project, founding president
  • 2011-2014: Ford Foundation, program officer
  • 2009-2011: Open Society Foundations, program officer
  • 2006-2009: National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, director
  • 2003-2006: MacDonald Hoague & Bayless, senior litigation associate
  • 2001-2004: Washington Court of Appeals, law clerk

What We’re Reading

Flashback: March 16-20, 2016

  • March 16, 2016: Fox News canceled its Republican presidential debate in Salt Lake City after Donald Trump and then John Kasich announced they would not attend.
  • March 17, 2016: Ted Cruz released two ads in Utah and Arizona. One featured an endorsement from Sen. Mike Lee and the other focused on immigration.
  • March 18, 2016: U.S. District Court Judge Jill Parrish dismissed a lawsuit challenging Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for president.
  • March 19, 2016: Donald Trump held a rally outside of Phoenix, Arizona.
  • March 20, 2106: John Kasich said he believed that the Republican National Convention would be a contested convention.

How many debates were held in the 2016 Democratic primary?

Click here to learn more.