April 14, 2020


Biden's primary triumph opens Democrats' map against Trump (Neal Rothschild, 4/14/10, Axios)

Joe Biden's resurgence to become the Democrats' presumptive nominee is opening new paths to defeat President Trump, swing-state polls show.

The big picture: If Biden can keep his current leads over Trump in general-election matchups, it could create opportunities for pickups of three big states -- Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.

That's without hurting Dems' chances to take back Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, the key wins that sent Trump to the White House in 2016.
The Real Clear Politics national polling average shows that either Biden (+5.9%) or Sanders (+4.2%) would have been positioned to defeat Trump if the election were held today...

Populism isn't popular.

Economic meltdown gives Democrats new hope in Texas (CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO and RENUKA RAYASAM, 04/13/2020, Politico)

Democrats have long hoped to transform the stubbornly red state. Though it was overshadowed by Beto O'Rourke's narrow loss to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz two years ago, Democrats flipped 14 seats combined in the GOP-controlled state House and state Senate, plus two congressional districts.

While the pandemic is exceedingly unlikely to swing the biggest contests in 2020, more than a dozen Texas politicians and strategists told POLITICO that fallout from the virus could hasten the state's drift away from Republicans spurred by demographic shifts in burgeoning areas repelled by President Donald Trump.

The economic impact threatens to hurt down-ticket Republicans, who for decades have hitched their fortunes to a robust economy. Democrats are targeting seven U.S. House seats and defending two, mostly in the suburbs of the largest cities: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, El Paso and Fort Worth. Winning the state House is not out of the question for Democrats. They need to flip nine seats and are targeting districts that O'Rourke carried two years ago to get there.

In an interview, O'Rourke said Republicans' handling of the coronavirus -- and the huge economic and health toll the coronavirus is taking on Texas -- have altered the political dynamics in the state.

"We have yet to feel the full brunt of this pandemic in Texas," O'Rourke said. He rebuked Republican Gov. Greg Abbott for what he described as a feeble confrontation of the virus, praised local Democratic leaders and said the disparity would resonate with Texans in the fall.

"That's really going to affect a lot of what you see in November up the ballot -- we've got 38 Electoral College votes on the line for [Joe] Biden or Trump and down the ballot for these statehouse races. ... People are horrified at Republican leadership right now."

Posted by at April 14, 2020 12:00 AM