Tuesday Reads: Six Primaries Today, But Coronavirus Still Tops the NewsPosted: March 10, 2020
Today there will be primaries in 6 states with 352 delegates up for grabs: Michigan, Washington, Missouri, Mississippi, Idaho, and North Dakota. What to watch for in each state, according to Buzzfeed News:
The 2020 Democratic primary radically changed last Tuesday, when Joe Biden surpassed even the highest expectations to build a delegate lead over Bernie Sanders. This Tuesday, the race could effectively lock into place.
Six states with a total of 352 delegates vote in the Democratic presidential primary today, which isn’t really a second Super Tuesday, even though many are calling it that (California, which voted last week, had 415 delegates on its own). But with Biden already up just about 80 delegates over Sanders going into Tuesday, a strong performance in these states could give him a lead that will be tough for Sanders to overcome. And alternatively, a surprising result for Sanders could make the primary more competitive than some assume it is right now, leading into states later this month that on paper look strong for Biden.
The biggest haul of delegates will come from Michigan, followed by Washington.
Michigan…is the big state tonight, with 125 delegates. Sanders won the primary here in 2016 over Hillary Clinton in a surprise, helping to revive his campaign even as the two basically split delegates evenly (67 for Sanders and 63 for Clinton).
Sanders and Biden have both spent much of the last week focused on winning the state. A win for Biden, especially one by a decisive margin, could be brutal for Sanders. A win for Sanders could prove that his promised coalition of young people — including young people of color — and the white working class still has life. Recent polls have shown a double-digit lead for Biden, but they showed one for Clinton ahead of the 2016 primary, too….
Washington…is tonight’s second-biggest state, with 89 delegates. Sanders won the state in a blowout in 2016 and is hoping to win by a decent margin again this year.
But Sanders has a disadvantage this year relative to 2016: The state will no longer hold caucuses, where he performed well with hyper-engaged, organized supporters. Washington this year is conducting its primary entirely by mail. About 22% of ballots were returned before Super Tuesday, which could limit a Biden bounce. Voting by mail has also reduced fears about the state’s coronavirus outbreak limiting turnout. But the result here isn’t necessarily certain: There’s been limited recent polling, and neither candidate has campaigned here in the last week.
A Detroit Free Press poll released Monday found that Biden has a 24-point lead over Sanders, with the former vice president drawing 51 percent of Democratic voters’ support to Sanders’ 27 percent. A Monmouth University poll, also released Monday, saw Biden with 51 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, while 36 percent supported Sanders. The RealClearPolitics polling average puts Biden up by 22.6 points.
Still, the Free Press noted, Sanders overcame a similar polling margin to win the state four years ago: The paper’s 2016 survey by the same pollsters gave Hillary Clinton a 25-point lead, but Sanders eventually won by 1.4 percentage points thanks to an unexpected surge of younger voters….
Biden has a narrow lead in Washington after eroding Sanders’ early lead with his Super Tuesday momentum. According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Biden’s up by 2 points over Sanders.
The progressive-leaning state has 89 delegates — it’s the second-biggest trove of the day after Michigan — and Sanders won it handily in 2016….
Biden is also leading the polls in Missouri and Mississippi. Results in the tiny states of Idaho and North Dakota are anyone’s guess.
Obviously, the coronavirus is is leading the news today, despite the importance of the primaries. Here’s the latest.
Is what’s happening in Italy a preview for the U.S.? CBS News: Coronavirus brings Italy’s “darkest hour,” and takes a mounting toll in the U.S.
As Italians woke up to the most severe restrictions on their every-day lives since World War II, China said it was easing virus-control measures in the province where the COVID-19 disease emerged late last year. The contrasting conditions on two of the biggest battlefronts against the virus showed its severity, and the feasibility of corralling and controlling it.
Italy has imposed unprecedented travel restrictions on its 60 million people to control the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the country.
“I am going to sign a decree that can be summarised as follows: I stay at home,” Conte said on television, announcing that the entire country would effectively be placed on lockdown from Tuesday.
“Travel must be avoided across the entire peninsula unless it is justified by professional reasons, by cases of need or for health reasons,” Conte said.
These measures extend a quarantine zone that Italy had imposed on its northern heartland around Milan and the greater Lombardy region, Venice, and Pesaro Urbino on Sunday.
The restrictions will run until April 3.
All schools and universities will immediately close. Serie A football matches and all other sporting events are also being suspended for the coming month.
All ski resorts are out of action and cinemas, museums, nightclubs and similar venues must remain shut after being ordered to close their doors over the weekend, the decree said.
While religious institutions will stay open, as long as people can stay a metre from one another, ceremonies such as marriages, baptisms and funerals are banned.
Read more at the link.
The office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was scheduled to deliver the Worldwide Threat Assessment to the House Intelligence Committee on Feb. 12 and the hearing has not been rescheduled, according to staffers and members of the House and Senate intelligence committees. The DNI’s office declined requests for a comment on the status of the report. Democratic staffers say they do not expect the report to be released any time soon.
The final draft of the report remains classified but the two officials who have read it say it contains warnings similar to those in the last installment, which was published on January 29, 2019. The 2019 report warns on page 29 that, “The United States will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large-scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support.”
The 2019 warning was the third time in as many years that the nation’s intelligence experts said that a new strain of influenza could lead to a pandemic, and that the U.S. and the world were unprepared. “Although the international community has made tenuous improvements to global health security, these gains may be inadequate to address the challenge of what we anticipate will be more frequent outbreaks of infectious diseases because of rapid unplanned urbanization, prolonged humanitarian crises, human incursion into previously unsettled land, expansion of international travel and trade, and regional climate change,” the 2019 threat assessment warned.
Rather than acting on these recurrent warnings and bolstering America’s ability to respond to an outbreak, the Trump administration has instead cut back money and personnel from pandemic preparedness.
Click the link to read the rest.
Apparently, Trump doesn’t want immigrants to know how to protect themselves from the virusThe Miami Herald : Trump administration orders immigration courts to immediately remove coronavirus posters.
Immigration court staff nationwide have been ordered by the Trump administration to take down all coronavirus posters from courtrooms and waiting areas.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review, which falls under the Department of Justice, told all judges and staff members in an email Monday that all coronavirus posters, which explain in English and Spanish how to prevent catching and spreading the virus, had to be removed immediately.
“This is just a reminder that immigration judges do not have the authority to post, or ask you to post, signage for their individual courtrooms or the waiting areas,” wrote Christopher A. Santoro, the country’s acting chief immigration judge in a mass email to immigration court administrators nationwide.
“Per our leadership, the CDC flyer is not authorized for posting in the immigration courts. If you see one (attached), please remove it. Thank you.”
The information in the flyers came from the CDC. Why doesn’t the Trump administration want people in these courts to have the information?
Will the Republicans change their attitudes now that some GOP lawmakers–and maybe even Trump and Pence–have been exposed to the virus?
The Daily Beast: CPAC Attendees Want to Know Who the Mystery Coronavirus Patient Is.
Revelations that a man infected with the novel coronavirus hobnobbed with top Republicans at the annual Conservative Public Action Conference last month has prompted a wave of fright among Republican operatives who attended the conference and fear they may have been exposed, too. And as the fear has mounted so too have complaints that the conference’s planners have been too secretive about the man’s identity.
The American Conservative Union, which organizes the annual event in National Harbor, Maryland, announced Saturday afternoon that a man who was infected with the coronavirus attended CPAC. Since then, four prominent Republicans—Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ), Rep. Doug Collins (GA), and Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL)—have announced that they’re self-quarantining after interacting with the man.
Gaetz has undergone a test for the virus. In contrast, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who also had contact with the infected man, said he won’t self-quarantine.
Gaetz flew on Air Force One with Trump yesterday and rode with him in the presidential limosine. Doug Collins was seen shaking hands and talking with Trump after the conference. For unknown reasons, Trump has not been tested for the virus.
A CPAC attendee infected with coronavirus attended multiple days of the conference on a gold-level VIP ticket as well as a Friday night Shabbat dinner associated with the event, according to people familiar with the situation.
The infected attendee was a CPAC regular who made a hobby of meeting high-profile conference speakers and taking photographs with them. His gold-level ticket gave him access to a private lounge directly outside the green room for speakers on the conference’s main stage.
As of early Monday evening, event organizers have contacted “just over a dozen” people who they have identified as having direct contact with the infected attendee, according to Ian Walters, spokesman for the American Conservative Union, which organizes the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
The ACU’s handling of the case has led to grumbling from some conferencegoers, who have complained of a two-tiered system: VIPs have been notified directly even to be told they did not interact with the infected man, while ordinary rank-and-file attendees have by and large been left to wonder, receiving only vaguer information in mass emails. Meanwhile, critics have noted the irony of prominent officials downplaying the outbreak even as the disease may silently have been spreading among the Trump administration’s own members and supporters.
More stories to check out today:
Jennifer Senior at The New York Times: President Trump Is Unfit for This Crisis. Period.
Brian Klass at The Washington Post: The coronavirus is Trump’s Chernobyl.
The Atlantic: The Dangerous Delays in U.S. Coronavirus Testing Continue.
Tom Bossert at The Washington Post: It’s now or never for the U.S. if it hopes to keep coronavirus from burning out of control.
The Daily Beast: Trump Chatted With Taliban Leaders on Secret U.S. Kill-or-Capture List.