• Evan L.

The Campaign Must Go On

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Candidates React to COVID-19

This week was the week that Coronavirus put the world on pause.

Quarantines were enforced.

The entire world or sports shut down.

Broadway lowered the curtain.

The stock market careened.

The President, Donald Trump, attempted to assuage concerns of a jittery American public. His address was short but did little to stifle concern. Accordingly, Democratic primary candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders presented varying approaches at leadership in a Time of Crisis.

The week encapsulated a remarkable moment in American politics, putting on vivid display how the trio of leaders responded to an evolving crisis that is reconstructing modern American life.

“I can promise you that when I’m president, we will prepare better, respond better and recover better,” Biden said. “And I will always, always tell you the truth. That is the responsibility of a president.” Biden outlined how the Pentagon could build new hospital beds, how researchers could strive for a vaccine, and how testing kits should be free and readily available.

Sanders, declaring that the crisis was “on the scale of a major war,” and adding, “The number of casualties may actually be even higher than what the Armed Forces experienced in World War II.” said the government should pressure pharmaceutical companies to provide eventual virus-related medications at-cost, set up a national hotline that could help people assess their symptoms and dramatically increase testing.

Sunday Debate Moved to D.C.

Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate is being moved from Arizona to Washington, D.C., "out of an abundance of caution" over the spread of coronavirus, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday.

The debate, the first one-on-one clash between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, was originally scheduled to be held in Phoenix, Ariz. The DNC and CNN, which is hosting the debate alongside Univision, announced earlier in the week that there would be no live audience, spin room or media filing center as campaigns, media organizations and other groups take steps to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Coronavirus is also shaking up the moderating panel for the debate. Also announced was that Univision’s Jorge Ramos was in proximity with someone who was in direct contact with a person that tested positive for coronavirus and will not be participating in Sunday's debate.

Biden will come into the debate with momentum; his winning streak continued on Tuesday when he won the Idaho, Mississippi and Missouri nominating contests as well as the Michigan primary, which Sanders won in 2016. Sanders said he did not plan to drop out the race, pointing to his victory in California and consistent message to carry on throughout the primary.

To qualify for the debate, candidates had to receive at least 20% of the total pledged delegates allocated by 9 a.m. ET on March 15. This will be the first debate where candidates don’t need to reach certain polling numbers. The new requirement will likely exclude Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who has 2 delegates to Biden’s 864 and Sanders’ 710, as of Thursday.

Primary Calendar

Joe Biden is in line to widen his lead over Bernie Sanders in Florida in Tuesday‘s Democratic primary, according to a new poll that gives the former vice president a staggering 44-point delta over his opponent.

Biden is lapping Sanders in voter support, with support from 66 percent of likely Democratic primary voters to 22 percent for Sanders, according to a University of North Florida poll. Three other states also will vote on March 17: Illinois, Ohio and Arizona. In Florida, more than 728,000 Democrats already have cast ballots.

Biden hopes to sweep all four states, but Florida is more than a big delegate prize. A Biden blowout in the battleground state would send a warning to President Donald Trump in his newly adopted home state, which Trump needs to carry to win a second term.

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DAYS UNTIL 2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: 234

DPT 2020 RECENT ARCHIVES

March 6 (A Clearer Picture: Bernie, Joe (and Tulsi!))

February 28 (Who WE Are Voting For)

February 21 (From the Heart: Vote for Who?)

February 14 (Bernie Wins NH - The Cliffhanger Continues)

February 7 (What the Heck Just Happened in Iowa)

January 31 (Iowa Caucus Monday and it's Still Anyone's Race)

January 24 (Celebrity Endorsement Scorecard; New York Times Double Endorsement)

January 17 (Booker Drops Out; Chappelle Backs Yang)

January 10 (Judge Judy's First Endorsement; Delegate Projection)

January 3(Happy New Year: Quick Recap on the Primary)

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