Author

Emily Aubert

Emily Aubert is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at emily.aubert@ballotpedia.org

Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: March 28-April 3, 2020

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

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“With the coronavirus injecting upheaval into a primary contest that was finally starting to appear more settled, the earliest Biden, the delegate leader, could now win the nomination is on the night of the June 2 primaries, if he nabs about 60% of the outstanding delegates.

In order for Sanders to clinch the nomination under that same timeframe he would need to net roughly 83% of the remaining delegates—a much higher portion of the delegate pool than the 39% he’s collected thus far.”

– Rick Klein and MaryAlice Parks, ABC News

“When you’ve got governors with stratospheric approval ratings for their handling of the crisis and ratings that are 20 and 30 points higher than the president’s and you have governors from states like California and New York and Illinois leading the crisis response — all big-name, major-league governors — you’re going to see that leadership reflected in polls for the presidency in future election years. This is the kind of stuff that gets forged and built into your resume.”

– Doug Herman, Democratic strategist

Week in Review

More states postpone primaries in response to the coronavirus

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:

  • New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo postponed the state’s presidential primary from April 23 to June 23.
  • Ohio: Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB 197 into law, rescheduling the state’s March 17 primary for April 28.
  • Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation postponing the state’s primary from April 28 to June 2.
  • KansasThe Kansas Democratic Party announced its party-administered presidential primary, scheduled for May 2, would be conducted entirely by mail.
  • West Virginia: Gov. Jim Justice announced on Wednesday that West Virginia’s primary will be postponed from May 12 to June 9.
  • Puerto Rico: After being initially postponed from March 29 to April 26, the Democratic primary was postponed a second time to an unspecified date.
  • Wisconsin: Federal judge William Conley ordered the final day to receive absentee ballots be extended from April 7 to April 13. The primary remains scheduled for April 7.

Democratic National Convention postponed until August

The Democratic Party postponed its presidential nominating convention to the week of August 17 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Organizers pushed back the event, which was originally scheduled for July 13-16, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“After a great deal of scenario planning and giving thought to how it is this event can have the greatest impact in the electoral process and the greatest impact in terms of what we can bring to Milwaukee, we felt the best decision, not knowing all the answers, was to delay this,” said convention chief executive Joe Solmonese. “More than anything we continue to monitor the public health landscape.”

Coronavirus task forces projects at least 100,000 deaths

Donald Trump and the White House’s coronavirus task force discussed testing, mortality rates, and supply chain issues for masks, ventilators, and other medical supplies in briefings this week.

Trump said more than 1 million Americans have been tested for the coronavirus. Social distancing guidelines, which were set to expire on Monday, have been extended until April 30.

The task force also estimated 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus compared to 2.2 million without any countermeasures. Trump also tested negative for the coronavirus for a second time.

The administration said on Tuesday that it would not reopen HealthCare.gov for a special enrollment period.

Protect Our Care, America First Action, and Biden release campaign ads

The Democratic-aligned group, Protect Our Care, made a five-figure ad buy in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania that criticizes Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus.

The pro-Trump America First Action is spending $10 million to target Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin with television and digital ads and a mail campaign.

Biden released a new digital ad that will play on Facebook and Instagram in battleground states. Calling medical professionals fighting coronavirus soldiers, Biden says in the clip, “As President, I wouldn’t send an American soldier anywhere in the world without all the equipment and protection they need.”

Unite the Country, American Bridge partner to back Biden’s campaign

Unite the Country—a super PAC formed in 2019 to support Joe Biden’s presidential campaign—and Democratic opposition research group American Bridge are partnering on research, polling, fundraising, and digital and television ads.

Their joint goal is to raise $175 million to support Biden. Combined, they have already raised more than $70 million this election cycle. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm are co-chairing the partnership.

Trump campaign, RNC prepare to fight procedural changes to general election

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee are preparing for litigation to prevent major procedural changes to the general election in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “Trump advisers say they are open to certain changes, such as automatically sending absentee ballot applications to voters over age 65. But they’re opposed to other moves Democrats are pushing, such as sending every voter a ballot regardless of whether they ask for one, which Republicans argue would open the door to fraud,” Politico reported.

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Kimberly Guilfoyle is a Republican staffer with experience as a journalist and media personality. Guilfoyle received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco in 1994.

Experience:

  • 2018-2019: America First Action, vice chairwoman
  • 2006-2018: Fox News
    • Outnumbered host
    • The Five co-host
    • The Lineup host
    • Legal analyst
  • 2004-2006: Court TV, Both Sides co-host
  • 2004-2006: CNN, legal analyst
  • 2000-2004: City of San Francisco, assistant district attorney

What We’re Reading

Flashback: March 30-April 3, 2016

  • March 30, 2016: The National Border Patrol Council endorsed Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary.
  • March 31, 2016: Donald Trump met with Reince Priebus, then the chair of the Republican National Committee, to discuss convention rules.
  • April 1, 2016: The first Libertarian Party debate, featuring Gary Johnson, John McAfee, and Austin Petersen, aired on Fox Business News.
  • April 2, 2016: Reuters reported that the State Department suspended its plans for an internal investigation of how classified information was handled on Hillary Clinton’s private email server at the request of the FBI.
  • April 3, 2016: Approximately 2,000 Bernie Sanders supporters demonstrated outside of CNN’s Los Angeles bureau to protest against media bias.

What is the highest number of rounds of balloting in presidential convention history?



Democrats postpone national convention until August

The Democratic Party postponed its presidential nominating convention to the week of August 17 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Organizers pushed back the event, which was originally scheduled for July 13-16, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“After a great deal of scenario planning and giving thought to how it is this event can have the greatest impact in the electoral process and the greatest impact in terms of what we can bring to Milwaukee, we felt the best decision, not knowing all the answers, was to delay this,” said convention chief executive Joe Solmones. “More than anything we continue to monitor the public health landscape.”

The entire primary landscape has shifted in recent weeks. Sixteen states and territories—representing 28% of all pledged delegates—are now holding their Democratic primary events in June.



DNC postpones national convention until August

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
April 3, 2020: The Democratic National Convention was postponed from July to August. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders called for Iran sanctions relief.        

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:

  • Democratic National Convention: The Democratic Party postponed its presidential nominating convention to the week of August 17 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Organizers pushed back the event, which was originally scheduled for July 13-16, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    “After a great deal of scenario planning and giving thought to how it is this event can have the greatest impact in the electoral process and the greatest impact in terms of what we can bring to Milwaukee, we felt the best decision, not knowing all the answers, was to delay this,” said convention chief executive Joe Solmones. “More than anything we continue to monitor the public health landscape.”

  • Puerto Rico: After being initially postponed from March 29 to April 26, the Democratic primary was postponed a second time to an unspecified date.
  • Wisconsin: Federal judge William Conley ordered the final day to submit absentee ballots be extended from April 7 to April 13. The primary remains scheduled for April 7.

Each Friday, we highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.
Kimberly Guilfoyle is a Republican staffer with experience as a journalist and media personality. Guilfoyle received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco in 1994.

Experience:

  • 2018-2019: America First Action, vice chairwoman
  • 2006-2018: Fox News
    • Outnumbered host
    • The Five co-host
    • The Lineup host
    • Legal analyst
  • 2004-2006: Court TV, Both Sides co-host
  • 2004-2006: CNN, legal analyst
  • 2000-2004: City of San Francisco, assistant district attorney

Notable Quote of the Day

“When you’ve got governors with stratospheric approval ratings for their handling of the crisis and ratings that are 20 and 30 points higher than the president’s and you have governors from states like California and New York and Illinois leading the crisis response — all big-name, major-league governors — you’re going to see that leadership reflected in polls for the presidency in future election years. This is the kind of stuff that gets forged and built into your resume.”

– Doug Herman, Democratic strategist

Democrats

  • During a virtual fundraiser on Thursday, Joe Biden said Bernie Sanders should not be pushed out of the race. He said, “Now’s not the time for me or anyone to call for him to drop out. I know firsthand what a personal decision that is.”
  • Biden called for the Trump administration to ease economic sanctions against Iran on Thursday. He said in a statement, “In times of global crisis, America should lead. We should be the first to offer help to people who are hurting or in danger. That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been. And, in the midst of this deadly pandemic that respects no borders, the United States should take steps to offer what relief we can to those nations hardest hit by this virus — including Iran — even as we prioritize the health of the American people.”
  • Sanders co-signed a letter to Secretaries Mike Pompeo and Steve Mnuchin earlier this week calling for the U.S. to suspend sanctions on Iran during the coronavirus pandemic. “Rather than continue to invoke new sanctions in the Iranian people’s hour of need, we urge you to substantially suspend sanctions on Iran during this global public health emergency in a humanitarian gesture to the Iranian people to better enable them to fight the virus,” the letter said.
  • Sanders called for airline grants in the coronavirus relief bill to be approved to fund the paychecks and benefits of 2 million airline workers.

Republicans

  • During the daily coronavirus task force daily briefing, Donald Trump and his team discussed supply chain issues for masks, ventilators, and other medical supplies. Trump also tested negative for the coronavirus for a second time.

General Election Updates

  • The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee are preparing for litigation to prevent major procedural changes to the general election in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “Trump advisers say they are open to certain changes, such as automatically sending absentee ballot applications to voters over age 65. But they’re opposed to other moves Democrats are pushing, such as sending every voter a ballot regardless of whether they ask for one, which Republicans argue would open the door to fraud,” Politico reported.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: April 3, 2016

Approximately 2,000 Bernie Sanders supporters demonstrated outside of CNN’s Los Angeles bureau to protest against media bias.

Click here to learn more.



America First Action launches $10 million ad campaign against Biden

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
April 2, 2020: America First Action is spending $10 million to target Joe Biden in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Biden expects the Democratic National Convention to be postponed from July to August. blank    blankblank   


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:

  • West Virginia: Gov. Jim Justice announced on Wednesday that West Virginia’s primary will be postponed from May 12 to June 9.


Notable Quote of the Day

“Voters in swing states with larger coronavirus outbreaks could behave differently than other swing states on Election Day due to the effects from the outbreak. An extended order to shut down businesses, for instance, could keep more people out of work and strain local businesses. Those in states with a higher death toll could be more critical of Trump’s leadership.”

– Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner

Democrats

  • Joe Biden said he believed the Democratic National Convention would have to be postponed from July to August due to the coronavirus. “And then, even then, the Republican and Democratic conventions are going to have to…be prepared for the alternative.” He said it would be easier to move since the Olympics Games were postponed until 2021.

  • Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said the campaign would communicate with Donald Trump’s team to arrange a phone call between Biden and Trump on the coronavirus.

  • In an interview on ABC’s The ViewBernie Sanders defended his decision to remain in the race. “Last I heard, people in a Democracy have a right to vote and have a right to vote for the agenda that they think can work for America,” he said.

  • Sanders also called for Wisconsin to postpone its April 7 primary due to concerns with the coronavirus. He said early voting should be extended and the election should move to be entirely vote-by-mail.

  • The Democratic-aligned group, Protect Our Care, made a five-figure ad buy in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania that criticizes Trump’s response to the coronavirus.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump campaign director of communications Tim Murtaugh discussed campaign strategy with surrogates on Wednesday. According to NBC News, Murtaugh said, “This is the bottom line: President Trump is leading the nation in this war against the coronavirus, and Joe Biden, the Democrats and the media have decided to be the opposition in that war.”

  • The pro-Trump America First Action is spending $10 million to target Biden in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin with television and digital ads and a mail campaign

Flashback: April 2, 2016

Reuters reported that the State Department suspended its plans for an internal investigation of how classified information was handled on Hillary Clinton’s private email server at the request of the FBI. “The internal review is on hold, pending completion of the FBI’s work. We’ll reassess next steps after the FBI’s work is complete,” said State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau.blank

Click here to learn more.



Trump administration projects at least 100,000 deaths from coronavirus

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
April 1, 2020: Donald Trump and the White House’s coronavirus task force discussed the projected mortality rate during a daily press conference on Tuesday. Joe Biden endorsed two Wisconsin school referendums in Milwaukee and Racine. blank    blankblank   

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:

Kansas: The Kansas Democratic Party announced its party-administered presidential primary election, scheduled for May 2, would be conducted entirely by mail.


Notable Quote of the Day

“With the coronavirus injecting upheaval into a primary contest that was finally starting to appear more settled, the earliest Biden, the delegate leader, could now win the nomination is on the night of the June 2 primaries, if he nabs about 60% of the outstanding delegates.

In order for Sanders to clinch the nomination under that same timeframe he would need to net roughly 83% of the remaining delegates—a much higher portion of the delegate pool than the 39% he’s collected thus far.”

– Rick Klein and MaryAlice Parks

Democrats

  • Joe Biden released a new digital ad that will play on Facebook and Instagram in battleground states. Calling medical professionals fighting coronavirus soldiers, Biden said, “As President, I wouldn’t send an American soldier anywhere in the world without all the equipment and protection they need. We should not do any less for the heroes on the frontlines in this battle we’re in now.”

  • Biden endorsed two Wisconsin school referendums in Milwaukee and Racine on Tuesday. The $87 million referendum in Milwaukee would support operational expenses, and the $1 billion referendum in Racine would fund the renovation and construction of facilities.

  • Bernie Sanders sent a letter to the United States Postal Service on Tuesday requesting information on how the agency is protecting letter carriers, instituting social distancing measures, and prioritizing the delivery of emergency supplies.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump and the White House’s coronavirus task force discussed medical supplies and the projected mortality rate during a daily press conference on Tuesday. The task force said an estimated 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus compared to 2.2 million without any countermeasures.

  • The Trump administration said on Tuesday that it would not reopen HealthCare.gov for a special enrollment period. Politico reported that the administration was reviewing other options. The Trump administration also announced on Tuesday that it was lowering annual increases for fuel economy and emission standards from 5% to 1.5%.

Flashback: April 1, 2016

The first Libertarian Party debate, featuring Gary Johnson, John McAfee, and Austin Petersen, aired on Fox Business News.

Click here to learn more.



Unite the Country, American Bridge partner to support Biden

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
March 31, 2020: Unite the Country and American Bridge are partnering on research, polling, fundraising, and digital and television ads to support Joe Biden. Donald Trump announced more than 1 million Americans have been tested for the coronavirus.

 Poll Spotlight

Notable Quote of the Day

“That Thursday night speech by our nominee [at the Democratic National Convention] could be seen by 50 to 60 million Americans, most of them who haven’t paid a minute of attention to the primary. That’s the conversation that takes us to winning.

If we have to cancel and Trump has a convention with 40,000 people screaming and yelling … that’s an advantage to Trump, because nobody saw us except some text they got, and then they watched Trump.”

– Bob Mulholland, DNC member from California

Democrats

  • Unite the Country—a super PAC formed in 2019 to support Joe Biden’s presidential campaign—and Democratic opposition research group American Bridge are partnering on research, polling, fundraising, and digital and television ads. Their joint goal is to raise $175 million to support Biden. Combined, they have already raised more than $70 million this election cycle. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm are co-chairing the partnership.
  • Biden launched a podcast on Monday called Here’s the Deal. The first episode of the show features Biden’s conversation with Ron Klain, the Obama administration’s Ebola response coordinator.
  • Bernie Sanders discussed Medicare for All and the coronavirus pandemic in a virtual interview on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. He also hosted a virtual roundtable on the coronavirus with Rep. Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Rev. William J. Barber II, journalist Sonia Shah, and academic Cornel West.

Republicans

  • During his daily press briefing, Donald Trump said more than 1 million Americans have been tested for the coronavirus. Social distancing guidelines, which were set to expire on Monday, have been extended until April 30.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: March 31, 2016

Donald Trump met with Reince Priebus, then the chair of the Republican National Committee, to discuss convention rules.

Click here to learn more.



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.



Gabbard suspends campaign, endorses Biden

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
March 20, 2020: Tulsi Gabbard suspended her campaign and endorsed Joe Biden. Connecticut moved its presidential primary from Apr. 28 to Jun. 2.

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:

  • Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Thursday that Connecticut would move its presidential primary from Apr. 28 to Jun. 2.

        

Each Friday, we highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.

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​

Notable Quote of the Day

“Illinois was the one state that voted this past Tuesday that does not make extensive use of early voting or voting by mail. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that turnout was lower in Illinois than it was four years ago. Only about 1.5 million people turned out to vote in Illinois’ Democratic primary. Four years ago, a little over 2 million people voted.

That’s a turnout drop of 25%. Taking into account the change in the number of eligible voters, as compiled by Michael McDonald of the United States Elections Project, the drop was still 25%. Illinois had the worst turnout relative to 2016 of any state that has voted so far.”

– Harry Enten, CNN Politics senior writer and analyst

Democrats

  • Former 2020 presidential candidate and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) endorsed Joe BidenThe Steady State, a group of 80 Democratic, Republican, and independent national security officials, also endorsed Biden.
  • Tulsi Gabbard suspended her presidential campaign on Thursday and endorsed 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.
  • Bernie Sanders proposed the government cover 100% of small- and mid-sized businesses’ payroll if they do not lay off employees during the pandemic. He also said all student loan payments should be canceled during this period.

Republicans

  • The pro-Donald Trump super PAC, America First Action, said it is focusing on earned media during the coronavirus pandemic rather than spending any of its $300 million on negative ads against Biden.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: March 20, 2016

John Kasich said he believed that the Republican National Convention would be a contested convention.

Click here to learn more.



Sanders assessing campaign in coming weeks

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
March 19, 2020: Bernie Sanders is assessing the future of his presidential campaign. Bill Weld suspended his campaign on Wednesday. blank    blankblank   


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:

  • Delaware: Delaware election officials said Wednesday that the state was planning to continue with its April 28 primary. “We’re continuing to monitor the situation at this point and plan to proceed as scheduled,” state Elections Commissioner Anthony Albence said.


Notable Quote of the Day

“With Biden running away with it now, this would have been a good time to define him right off the bat. But it won’t break through now, nor would it look good. This hiatus in many ways helps Biden.”

– Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush White House press secretary

Democrats

  • Reps. Gerald Connolly (Va.), Raul Ruiz (Calif.), and Brad Sherman (Calif.) endorsed Joe Biden.

  • Kirkland & Ellis senior partner Jon Henes, the former national finance chair for Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, is forming a fundraising committee with other corporate restructuring attorneys to support Biden’s campaign.

  • Tulsi Gabbard hosted a telephone town hall for her constituents in Hawaii.

  • Bernie 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.”

Republicans

  • The Wall Street Journal reported on Donald Trump’s changing re-election strategy following the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The Lincoln Project, a group formed by anti-Trump Republicans, released an ad attacking Trump that compares him to a virus.

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

Flashback: March 19, 2016

Donald Trump held a rally outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

Click here to learn more.



Biden sweeps three primaries, Trump secures Republican nomination

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
March 18, 2020: Joe Biden wins primaries in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois. Donald Trump crosses the delegate threshold to secure the Republican nomination. Maryland moves its primary from April 28 to June 2. blank    blankblank   


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:

  • Maryland: Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland’s primary election, originally scheduled for April 28, would be postponed to June 2.


Notable Quote of the Day

“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

March 17 primary results

Three states—Arizona, Florida, and Illinois—held primaries on TuesdayJoe Biden won all three Democratic primaries and ended the night with at least 249 of the 441 pledged delegates available. Bernie Sanders is projected to receive at least 116 pledged delegates.



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.

Click here for March 17 presidential primary results by state.

Democrats

  • Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez called on state election officials to implement no-excuse absentee voting and mail out ballots to all registered voters rather than postpone primaries. “The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and we must do everything we can to protect and expand that right instead of bringing our democratic process to a halt,” he said.

  • The Secret Service began providing protection to Joe Biden on Tuesday. His code name is Celtic, the same name used during his vice presidency.

  • Biden discussed the coronavirus pandemic and appealed to Bernie Sanders supporters during an online address Tuesday night.

  • Tulsi Gabbard tweeted that primaries should not be held at this time because of the coronavirus pandemic. She said it would lead to senior voter suppression.

  • During a livestream on Tuesday night, Sanders proposed providing every household with a $2,000 cash payment each month during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Michael Bloomberg is donating $2 million to Swing Left to help organize grassroots campaigns in presidential battlegrounds and competitive congressional races.

Republicans

  • Donald Trump discussed economic stimulus initiatives during a briefing on Tuesday, including deferring IRS payments and possibly sending checks to every American.

Flashback: March 18, 2016

U.S. District Court Judge Jill Parrish dismissed a lawsuit challenging Ted Cruz’s eligibility to run for president. blank

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