Republicans Were Counting On An ‘America Vs. Socialism’ Dichotomy For 2020. Then Came The Pandemic.
The coronavirus is unending political plans on both sides, but has hit Republicans particularly hard as more and more Americans turn to the government for help. Meanwhile, Democrats refocus their message to point to how quickly the economic success voters attribute to President Donald Trump has been wiped out. And Wisconsin mayors call on state officials to postpone Tuesday's primary.
The New York Times:
Politics Through The Looking Glass: Virus Scrambles The Left-Right Lines
The 2020 edition of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., in February offered a theme-park version of what was to be President Trump’s re-election message: Under the banner of “America vs. Socialism,” the convention featured anti-Marx branded popcorn, an RV emblazed with the words “Socialism Takes Capitalism Creates” and a children’s book promoting personal freedom and private-property rights. Speeches included tirades against big government and “Medicare for all.” (Rutenberg, 4/5)
The New York Times:
Progressives Built An Organizing Juggernaut For 2020. Then The Virus Hit.
When it became clear last month that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. would almost certainly win the Democratic nomination, many of the progressive Democrats who supported other presidential candidates were disappointed but not deterred. They quickly shifted their electoral focus to candidates lower on the ballot. The plan was straightforward: They would donate to a slew of insurgent congressional candidates, and a stable of grass-roots groups would be ready and waiting to organize for the general election and beyond. (Herndon and Philbrick, 4/5)
Dems Find A Rallying Cry: Trump Tanked The Economy
For most of the presidential campaign, the economy looked like the one thing that could overcome Donald Trump’s stubbornly low approval ratings and carry him to a second term. Even many Democrats acknowledged they had no cohesive economic message of their own. But now that the coronavirus has laid waste to the surging stock market and low unemployment, Democrats are discovering another obstacle — framing a coherent economic argument that all the party’s factions can rally around. (Siders and Schneider, 4/6)
Campaigns Face Attack Ad Dilemma Amid Coronavirus Crisis
A volley of political advertisements attacking the government's responses to the coronavirus pandemic has some strategists worried that going negative at a time of crisis will backfire. Most of the ads have so far come from Democrats and have been sharply critical of President Trump’s delayed response to the outbreak. (Greenwood, Manchester and Brufke, 4/5)
‘It's A Sh-- Sandwich': Republicans Rage As Florida Becomes A Nightmare For Trump
The staggering unemployment exploding on President Donald Trump’s watch would worry any incumbent running for reelection, but troubles in Florida are injecting an added dose of fear into a jittery GOP. Already anxious about Trump’s chances in the nation’s biggest swing state, Republicans now are dealing with thousands of unemployed workers unable to navigate the Florida system to apply for help. And the blowback is directed straight at Trump’s top allies in the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott. (Fineout and Caputo, 4/3)
Citing Coronavirus, Wisconsin Mayors Urge Postponement Of Tuesday's Election
Nine Wisconsin mayors, including those representing the state’s five largest cities, on Sunday urged the state’s top public health official to postpone Tuesday’s primary election due to the coronavirus pandemic. The mayors of Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay and six others asked Wisconsin Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm in a letter to use emergency powers under the state constitution to postpone in-person voting and avoid “putting hundreds of thousands of citizens at risk.” (Ax, 4/6)
The Washington Post:
Wisconsin Legislature Comes Under Fire For ‘Unconscionable’ Decision To Hold Primary Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Two members of the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Sunday denounced the Republican-led legislature for moving forward with the state’s primary this Tuesday, warning that the move will put the lives of Wisconsin residents at risk amid the spiraling coronavirus pandemic. The two commissioners — Ann S. Jacobs and Mark L. Thomsen, both Democratic appointees — voiced their concerns in a letter to state House Speaker Robin Vos (R) and state Senate Republican leader Scott L. Fitzgerald. (Sonmez, 4/5)
The Wall Street Journal:
Supreme Court To Weigh In On Wisconsin’s Absentee Ballots
The Supreme Court was poised Sunday to decide whether Wisconsin voters would have an extra six days to submit absentee ballots to compensate for the disruption imposed by the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday’s in-person primary election. While more than a dozen other states postponed spring election dates to avoid conflicting with public-health orders to minimize crowds and public gatherings, Wisconsin decided to proceed with its April 7 primary. (Bravin and Corse, 4/5)
Who Has Emergency Authority Over Elections? Nobody’s Quite Sure.
In each of the past seven years, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin has sought authority to revamp or reschedule elections in case of emergency. Every time, the legislature has blocked him. These rebuffs had repercussions in Westborough, a Boston suburb that was set to hold its town election last month. As COVID-19 cases rose across the state, the governor shut down gatherings of more than 25 people two days before ballots were to be cast, making it illegal for voters to congregate at the local polling place, a senior center, on election day, March 17. (Huseman, 4/6)