Welcome to this weekly update ahead of the November 3 US presidential election. This week: Heavyweight Obama takes his first steps as a Biden booster, Biden needs money and Trump doesn’t like it when everyone votes by mail.
Joe Biden must have had a warm feeling about the past week. Two of his former rivals and his old boss told America they want to see him at the White House next year. The Democrats finally (and for the first time in years) seem to form one front again.
After Bernie Sanders When his campaign ended, the question was when would he join Biden and with how much enthusiasm. He fought Hillary Clinton in 2016 through June and came up with a meager statement of support a month later. This time was very different. Sanders appeared on Monday – five days after his departure from the race livestream from Biden and spoke to be there unanimous support from. “We need you at the White House. I’ll do everything I can to make sure of that, Joe,” he told his former rival.
The coast was safe after that Barack Obama, who then a day later behind his old running mate scissors. The former president publicly held back during the campaign, but when Biden became the dead-out winner after his historic comeback in early March, Obama began to push behind the scenes “to accelerate the endgame,” revealed The New York Times. Among other things, he had four long meetings with Bernie Sanders.
Elizabeth Warren completed the row on Wednesday with a endorsement on Twitter. She made it difficult for Sanders for months, as his only direct competitor on the left wing of the game. In the last months of 2019 and the first of 2020, her campaign derailed, as a train accident in slow motion. Most experts agree that this was partly due to things beyond her control, such as sexism, but also strategic miscalculations. For example, she was too right for many Sanders supporters and too left for many moderate Democrats.
Show Joe the money
The open support of Barack Obama is more than welcome to team Biden. He is a popular party icon and a major publicity gun.
We still have to find the best ways to use his talents during a ‘corona campaign’. Obama is at his best when you put him in front of a stadium full of people with a microphone, not when he records videos at his kitchen table. But it is plausible that donors are sensitive to the star power from the former president, which is desperately needed.
March was not only the month Biden resurrected, but also the month when he was forced to move his campaign almost entirely to the Internet. Ultimately, his campaign posted a record return on donations in the first half of March: $ 33 million. The figures for the rest of the month are not yet known.
However, Biden and the Democrats are well behind in the overall picture. From the beginning of the campaign to the end of February, Trump and his party collected approximately $ 459 million, according to election board data. The Democrats raised $ 203 million during that period – less than half.
Biden employees are now looking for people who can boost fundraising, reported CNBC late last month based on anonymous sources. They would prey on former employees of exited candidates Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.
Employees of a polling station in Racine process electoral notes sent by mail during the April elections in Wisconsin. (Photo: ProShots)
Is a postal vote free from fraud?
Wisconsin allowed the Democratic primaries (plus a set of local and regional elections) to continue on April 7, after chaotic bickering between the Democratic governor and the Republican-dominated parliament of the state. It was a mess. Many (often elderly) employees of polling stations did not show up and long lines arose in various places. Voters also complained massively about the health risks they were exposed to, and the results were long overdue.
You don’t want that kind of situation on the day of a presidential election. Since it is not clear whether the coronavirus will disappear (or flare up again) in November and elections cannot be postponed beyond the end of the year, consideration should be given to how to vote in a one and a half meter society.
Voting by mail may offer a solution, but preparations must start more than six months in advance, experts say. So there are short-term decisions to be taken.
President Trump and his allies are bothering. “Ballot papers by mail are very dangerous,” Trump said in a somewhat difficult-to-follow manner earlier this month. “They pick them up. In many cases they are fraudulent. Banknotes by mail – they are cheating, okay? People are cheating.”
Experts make short work of the statement that voting by letter is unsafe. It News21 project Arizona State University investigated electoral fraud between 2001 and 2012 and found only 491 cases of alleged post-vote cheating, out of billions of votes.
In five states (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington), all elections are already held exclusively by post, and in several other states, citizens are free to decide whether they want to take advantage of that opportunity.
Higher turnout is better for Democrats
What seems to be the real problem for Trump and the Republicans is the belief that it can turn out wrong for their party if voting by post becomes the norm nationwide. The president said at the end of last month, plainly that “you will never get a Republican elected in this country again”.
The Democrats have a demographic predominance, but their supporters get a lot less easily to the ballot box. If you send voters a ballot paper and a return envelope, the reasoning will be lower.
Various studies have found that voting by letter only provides a small advantage. Democrats and Republicans can take advantage of this. In fact, some Democrats are concerned that it will hurt the turnout for their party: black voters and voters of Latin American descent, very important to Democrats, are less likely to vote by post than white voters.
In the meantime, the Republican Party is encouraging its constituencies to vote by post in at least 16 states.
“There is a very clear difference between applying for a vote by mail if you are unable to vote on the spot and automatically voting each registered voter,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said when confronted on Monday. .
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