Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: May 2-8, 2020

Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing
Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the news, events, and results of the 2020 presidential election.        

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Democrats have been split since 2016 over whether energizing black voters or winning over some white working-class voters in the industrial Midwest represents the best shot for the party in November. Hillary Clinton’s defeat four years ago was narrow enough that either option could explain it, giving Democrats little certainty as they try to wrestle the presidency from Trump.

Biden is believed to be considering as many as a dozen candidates, but much of the focus has centered on a handful of his former primary rivals, each of whom would fulfill different aims for the party: Warren, a liberal icon; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a Midwestern moderate; and Harris, who would be the first black female nominee. …

Public polling offers little guidance. A new CBS News-YouGov poll found Warren to be the top pick among registered Democrats, at 36 percent to 19 percent for Harris. But asked whether a liberal or a moderate running mate would make victory over Trump easier, 31 percent said a liberal would make Biden’s election easier; 42 percent felt that way about a moderate nominee.”

– Matt Viser, Annie Linskey, and Vanessa WilliamsThe Washington Post

“A pair of major developments give us a hint about how future trends will develop on the partisan battleground.

First: Heading into the 2020 election, President Trump is on track to far surpass President Barack Obama’s record in collecting small donor contributions — those under $200 — lending weight to his claim of populist legitimacy.

Second: Democratic candidates and their party committees are making inroads in gathering contributions from the wealthiest of the wealthy, the Forbes 400, a once solid Republican constituency. Democrats are also pulling ahead in contributions from highly educated professionals — doctors, lawyers, tech executives, software engineers, architects, scientists, teachers and so on. …

Trump’s success in raising small dollar contributions is not necessarily a harbinger of his prospects in November 2020. It does, however, raise a question about the contemporary role of the two major political parties.

Traditionally, one of the core strengths of the Democratic Party has been that voters trust it more than the Republican Party to protect and advance the interests of the middle class. In recent years, however, that advantage has been eroding.”

– Thomas B. EdsallThe New York Times

Week in Review

Delaware postpones Democratic primary for the second time 

On Thursday, Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) again postponed the state’s presidential primary, to July 7. The primary was originally scheduled to take place on April 28 before being postponed to June 2. Carney also announced that the state would mail absentee ballot applications automatically to all eligible voters in the primary.

Biden campaigns virtually in Florida

Joe Biden held a virtual campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday. He also participated in a roundtable with African American leaders in Jacksonville and visited a food bank in Orlando, all from his home in Delaware.

Judge reinstates New York’s Democratic primary 

On Tuesday, Judge Analisa Torres of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ordered the New York State Board of Elections to reinstate New York’s June 23 Democratic primary, which state officials had canceled on April 27. Torres wrote that the “removal of presidential candidates from the primary ballot not only deprived those candidates of the chance to garner votes for the Democratic Party’s nomination, but also deprived their pledged delegates of the opportunity to run for a position where they could influence the party platform, vote on party governance issues, pressure the eventual nominee on matters of personnel or policy, and react to unexpected developments at the Convention.” The primary was originally scheduled for April 28 but was postponed in response to the coronavirus pandemic before it was canceled. Democratic members of the New York State Board of Elections appealed the ruling on Wednesday.

Trump visits Honeywell factory in Phoenix 

Donald Trump visited Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday, where he toured a Honeywell factory that is making N95 respirator masks. He said in a speech at the factory, “Thanks to the profound commitment of our citizens we’ve flattened the curve. … We’re reopening our country, and it’s going to be something special.”

Biden wins Kansas Democratic primary   

The Democratic Party of Kansas released the results of its presidential preference primary Sunday. The primary was conducted entirely via mail-in ballot. Biden placed first in the ranked-choice tally with 76.9% of the vote to Bernie Sanders’ 23.1%.

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Staff Spotlight

Rufus Gifford is a Democratic staffer with experience in political advising and finance. Gifford received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1996.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2018 candidate for Massachussett’s 3rd Congressional District
  • 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, finance director

Other experience:

  • 2019-2020: UTEC, advisory board member
  • 2019-2020: Angeleno Group, senior advisor
  • 2019-2020: Run for Something, board of directors member
  • 2019-2020: Priorities USA, board of directors member
  • 2019-2020: Out Leadership, senior advisor
  • 2017-2020: GAME, advisory board member
  • 2013-2017: U.S. Embassy to Denmark, ambassador
  • 2009-2011: Democratic National Committee, finance director
  • 2008-2009: Presidential Inaugural Committee, California finance director

What We’re Reading

Flashback: May 4-8, 2016

  • May 8, 2016: 2008 Republican presidential nominee and former U.S. Sen. John McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he would support Trump in the presidential election. He commented, “You have to draw the conclusion that there is some distance, if not a disconnect, between party leaders and members of Congress and the many voters who have selected Donald Trump to be the nominee of the party. … You have to listen to people that have chosen the nominee of our Republican Party.”
  • May 7, 2016: Hillary Clinton defeated Bernie Sanders 60-40 in the Guam Democratic caucuses, winning four of Guam’s seven pledged Democratic delegates. By that time, 77% of pledged delegates had been allocated, and Clinton led Sanders by around 300 pledged delegates.
  • May 6, 2016: 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole and former Vice President Dick Cheney endorsed Trump. Dole stated, “The voters of our country have turned out in record numbers to support Mr. Trump. It is important that their votes be honored and it is time that we support the party’s presumptive nominee.”
  • May 5, 2016: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) stated that he was not ready to endorse Trump for president, saying that the “bulk of the burden on unifying the party will have to come from our presumptive nominee.” Trump replied that he was “not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda.”
  • May 4, 2016: Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) suspended his presidential campaign, one day after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) ended his campaign. Cruz and Kasich were the last of Donald Trump’s primary opponents to suspend their bids.

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