accuses Biden

Biden accuses Trump of coronavirus lies as president pushes speedy vaccine timeline – Fox News

President Trump and 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden clashed over the timing of a potential coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, with Trump indicating a vaccine could become publicly available sooner than experts in his own administration have predicted.

When asked during the first presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday night whether Trump agreed with timelines from experts in his own administration who have said a vaccine would be widely available to the public by next summer, Trump said he has “’spoken to the companies [involved]” and they can have it “a lot sooner.”

“I disagree with both of them,” Trump said in reference to comments made by the head of Operation WARP speed and the CDC director. “It’s a possibility that we’ll have the answer before November 1 – it could also be after that.”

The president, who also said he has been in contact with the scientists “in charge,” added that the vaccine would be delivered “right away,” because the military is ready to deliver the vaccine to the public.

Trump mentioned Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson by name, which are all in final stages of clinical trials.


“Do you believe for a moment what he’s telling you, in light of all the lies he’s told you about the whole issue related to COVID?” Biden asked while looking at the camera. “And by the way, maybe you can inject some bleach in your arm and that would take care of it. This is the same man.”

Biden alleged the distribution of a vaccine, which may be completed by the end of 2020, would not occur until the middle of next year – which is in line with what the CDC director Robert Redfield said.

Biden mentioned that 40,000 people per day are contracting COVID-19 and said the situation “is what it is” because the president is who he is.

Across the U.S., there have been over 7.1 million cases of the novel coronavirus and at least 205,966 Americans have died from the virus.


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Biden releases

Biden releases income tax returns to contrast with Trump – The Washington Post

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal income taxes on earnings of more than $985,000 in 2019, according to returns he released Tuesday following a news report that President Trump has paid far less in recent years.

The disclosure, coming just hours before the first general election debate, highlights the contrast Biden is seeking to sharpen with Trump over their personal finances and transparency. The New York Times reported Sunday that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and again in 2017 and that he paid no income taxes 10 of the previous 15 years, due to losses he declared.

“The American people deserve transparency from their leaders, it’s why as of today, I’ve released 22 years of my tax returns,” Biden tweeted.

Trump has not voluntarily released his tax records, breaking his own promise before his election and deviating from the practices of his predecessors. He has explained his decision not to release them by saying that he is under an IRS audit. But there is no law preventing him from releasing his taxes during such a review.

Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), also released her 2019 taxes on Tuesday. Her return showed nearly $3.3 million in total income with her husband, Douglas Emhoff, who had a lucrative law practice from which he is currently on leave. They paid more than $1.1 million in federal taxes.

The revelations about Trump’s taxes have added a new political layer to the final weeks of the presidential contest. At recent campaign stops, Biden has been seeking to demonstrate a kinship with working-class voters, while casting Trump as an elitist who is out of touch with them. He has touted his humble roots in Scranton, Pa., and lack of an Ivy League diploma in an effort to draw a distinction from the president, who was raised in a wealthy family in New York and attended the University of Pennsylvania.

Since the New York Times story was published, Biden has tried to amplify that populist pitch. Biden is selling T-shirts and buttons on his campaign website that say, “I paid more in taxes than Donald Trump.” And he unveiled a “Trump tax calculator” online Monday.

“Do you pay more or less in federal income taxes than our ‘billionaire’ President? Use this calculator to find out,” it says.

Despite his wealth, Trump has long portrayed himself as a champion of White, working-class voters, and he benefited in 2016 when many of them abandoned the Democratic Party to side with him. The dueling strategies by the president and his challenger are being tested in Rust Belt battleground states that could determine the outcome of the election. Polls show Biden narrowly ahead of Trump in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, all of which were key to Trump’s stunning victory four years ago.

Earlier this week, Alan Garten, an attorney for the Trump Organization, said in a statement that the New York Times’s story “is riddled with gross inaccuracies.” But he identified only one specific issue: the amount of taxes Trump has paid to the federal government. The Times said it believed Garten was conflating federal income taxes with other taxes. Trump, asked repeatedly about the story, has not offered any specific criticisms.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh responded to Biden’s release with a statement arguing it was evidence that he was not telling the truth when he previously said he had never made more than $400,000. Touting his tax plan in Michigan this month, Biden said, “No one making under $400,000, which is more money than I’ve ever made, is going to have to pay more taxes.”

Indeed, the tax returns Biden released before Tuesday showed annual earnings eclipsing $400,000.

The former vice president, who has long fashioned himself as “Middle Class Joe” and touted his frequent status as the poorest member of the Senate when he was in Congress, experienced a dramatic increase in earnings after leaving public office in early 2017. Previously disclosed records show his family income was more than $15 million in 2017 and 2018. The money came mostly from book contracts and speaking fees.

After leaving office, Biden commanded fees as high $200,000 per speech. He no longer gave paid speeches after entering the presidential race in April 2019, a move coinciding with his drop in income from the two years leading up to his campaign.

In all three years, the Bidens utilized “S Corporations,” vehicles that can help reduce certain tax liabilities.

The Bidens paid five and seven-figure tax bills for 2016 and 2017, respectively, the years for which Trump, according to the Times report, paid $750 each.

Trump and Biden were slated to debate for the first time in Cleveland on Tuesday night. Polls in Ohio, another important bellwether that Trump won, also show a competitive race.

Ahead of their showdown, Biden aides touted the tax release and previewed a potential line of attack.

“This is a historic level of transparency meant to give the American people faith, once again, that their leaders will look out for them, not their own bottom line,” Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told reporters on a conference call.

Matt Viser contributed to this report.

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aggressively Biden

Biden aggressively prepares for debate while Trump cautions against excess preparation – Fox News

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are preparing for Tuesday’s debate in starkly different ways, with the latter engaging in mock stand-offs while the former says he’s leveraging as practice the contentious environment he already faces as president.

According to multiple reports, President Trump has refrained from traditional debate prep and eschewed practice sessions. Trump indicated on Sunday that former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, helped him prep but it’s unclear what exactly that entailed.

After beating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who prepared extensively in 2016, Trump is suggesting he doesn’t want to overdo it.

“Sometimes you can go too much in that stuff,” Trump said during a press briefing on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Biden has been holding mock debate sessions with senior adviser Bob Bauer and participated in huddles with top aides, according to CBS.


Tuesday’s debate, hosted by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, will be just one of many that Biden will have participated in as a politician. With decades as a senator, presidential candidate, and vice presidential nominee, Biden has plenty of hands-on experience with high-stakes debates.

Trump has reportedly considered bringing up Hunter Biden, the Democratic nominee’s son, as well as former Senate staffer Tara Reade’s allegation that Biden sexually assaulted her in the 90s. Biden’s team, on the other hand, believes Tuesday’s debate topics, which include coronavirus pandemic, racial unrest, and election integrity, will give Biden an opportunity to highlight Trump’s failures.

“I’m prepared to go out and make my case as to why I think he’s failed and why I think the answers I have to proceed will help the American people, the American economy and make us safer internationally,” Biden said, arguing that Trump won’t convince voters with broadsides because “the people know the president is a liar.”

But, as both sides acknowledge, Trump is far from the typical debate opponent. His zingers from 2016 have become iconic while he’s gained a reputation for his ability to fire off quick comebacks on the fly.

“The president prepares by being president,” Trump campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh reportedly said. “And by regularly facing hostile news media. That’s pretty good practice by any measure.”


Trump himself touted the questioning he faced in a recent ABC town hall, which many saw as comparatively harsh in light of questioning Biden faced during a similar event on CNN.

“You know what I call it it? ‘Debate prep.’ I call it ‘free debate prep,'” Trump told supporters in Minnesota.

Besides facing down the press, Trump and his team have been studying footage of Biden’s previous debates for ways to attack the former vice president. Trump’s advisers, according to CBS, have also been feeding him flash cards and videos between stops on Air Force One.

Both sides are already indicating they’ll have to deal with the others’ lies, although Biden’s advisers have signaled the former vice president won’t spend too much time fact-checking Trump, according to The New York Times.

“Arguing over facts, litigating whether what he’s saying is accurate, that is not winning to Biden,” said Jen Psaki, a former Obama aide who is close to Biden’s team. “This is an opportunity to speak directly to the American people.”


Trump’s team, meanwhile, has taken a two-pronged approach, both raising and lowering expectations based on Biden’s previous performances.

“Joe Biden spent a lot of time in his basement to study up. He’s been in this game for 47 years. I assume he’ll do OK,” Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and campaign adviser said. “Quite frankly, the bar has been lowered so much for Joe Biden that if he stays awake for the whole thing it’s like maybe he won.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Biden Trump

Trump, Biden have one debate goal: Don’t lose | TheHill – The Hill

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick ‘threatens’ Affordable Care Act MORE and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins MORE will meet face to face for the first time on Tuesday for a highly anticipated debate that could set the course for the five remaining weeks of the campaign.

The clash will present both candidates with an opportunity to frame the choice before voters this November, to lay out their case and prosecute the case against each other.

But it will also give both candidates the opportunity to commit gaffes that will define them in the minds of voters. In an election in which so few voters remain undecided, the prospect of a self-inflicted wound — a forgetful moment, an awkward line, a slip of the tongue — is a greater threat to either Trump or Biden than anything they might say about each other.

“A debate does not change a lot of minds. Most people come to the debate when we get to this point in a long campaign and they’re committed. They’re viewing the debate for reinforcement and motivation,” said Mitchell McKinney, director of the Political Communication Institute at the University of Missouri.

The primary goal Trump and Biden must achieve isn’t to win, debate historians and experts said. It’s to not lose.

“What you want to do is you want to hold your base, so you try not to lose, basically. You try to avoid the big gaffe, the misstatement,” said Joseph Tuman, a political communications expert at San Francisco State University.

The challenge will be especially difficult for President Trump, as the incumbent. Sitting presidents have had rocky first debates in recent history, partly because they are used to being the unquestioned center of attention in every room they enter. For four years, Trump has not stood on stage with an equal.

“There is a long history of incumbent presidents struggling, especially in their first debates. They’re out of practice,” said Aaron Kall, the dean of students and director of debate at the University of Michigan. “You’re the president. You have people that work for you, and they’re unlikely to tell you what you really need to hear.”

In 2012, President Obama stumbled so badly in his first clash with Republican nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyCrenshaw looms large as Democrats look to flip Texas House seat The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election Trump dumbfounds GOP with latest unforced error MORE that he apologized afterward to his staff. In 2004, President George W. Bush was caught flat-footed by then-Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe Memo: Warning signs flash for Trump on debates Divided country, divided church TV ads favored Biden 2-1 in past month MORE’s (D-Mass.) aggressive attacks.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan seemed unfocused and forgetful in his first debate against former Vice President Walter Mondale. That raised questions about Reagan’s age and mental fitness — questions he turned back with a memorable quip in their second meeting.

“I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign,” Reagan said at the subsequent debate. “I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Obama acknowledged to staffers he had not prepared for the first debate against Romney, and he turned in a stronger performance in his second outing. Trump has said he is doing little formal preparation, too. He is unlikely to sit for sessions in which aides pepper him with criticism to gird him for Biden’s attacks.

“In Mr. Trump, we have a person who doesn’t take criticism well,” Tuman said. “This is a guy with thin skin.”

Still, rocky debate performances are not a death knell for a sitting president. Obama, Bush and Reagan may have lost some voters in their first outings with rivals, but all three won reelection — Reagan won 49 states.

Where Trump may be out of practice standing next to a rival who will challenge him directly, Biden has much more recent experience. He struggled to stand out in many of the early debates during the Democratic primary, and he was especially taken aback by the criticism lobbed his way — most notably by Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisPelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick ‘threatens’ Affordable Care Act What Kamala Harris’ VP nomination means to us Harris slams Trump’s Supreme Court pick as an attempt to ‘destroy the Affordable Care Act’ MORE (D-Calif.), who is now his running mate.

But Biden grew more comfortable on the debate stage. He attacked former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida Democratic groups using Bloomberg money to launch M in Spanish language ads in Florida Bloomberg pays fines for 32,000 felons in Florida so they can vote MORE in the last multi-candidate forum just before Super Tuesday, and he turned in perhaps his best performance in a one-on-one matchup against Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Sanders tells Maher ‘there will be a number of plans’ to remove Trump if he loses Sirota reacts to report of harassment, doxing by Harris supporters MORE (I-Vt.), just before primaries that effectively ended Sanders’s chance at the nomination.

In vice presidential debates in 2008 and 2012, Biden effectively parried critiques from Republican nominees Sarah Palin and Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanKenosha will be a good bellwether in 2020 At indoor rally, Pence says election runs through Wisconsin Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates MORE.

“He didn’t do great when there were a half dozen, ten people on stage and there wasn’t a lot to contrast. But he did do well against Bernie Sanders, who’s a formidable debater,” Kall said. “His debate performance against Sarah Palin in 2008 and Paul Ryan in 2012 were both above average.”

Trump has helped Biden, in a way, by setting expectations of the former vice president artificially low. Trump has questioned Biden’s mental stamina, and his surrogates have wondered whether Biden would show up, though Biden’s campaign has never uttered even the suggestion that he would not participate.

Some in Trump’s orbit have belatedly changed course, pointing to Biden’s long career in the Senate and his experience on the debate stage in hopes of raising expectations. But the bar has been set, most prominently by the president himself.

“What [Trump] has done, in many ways, is lower expectations for voters, who are now watching these debates looking to see if Biden is going to confirm Mr. Trump’s characterization of him,” Tuman said. “All Biden has to do in this first debate is sound like a guy with a pulse and someone who can do subject-verb-object in sentence construction and he’ll get over the low bar Trump has set for him.”

The wild card in any one-on-one matchup will be the third man on stage, Fox News Sunday host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceTrump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Will Chis Wallace’s debate topics favor Biden over Trump? House to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power MORE. Wallace has already laid out the six topics he will focus on: the candidates’ respective records; the coronavirus pandemic; the economy; race and violence in American cities; the open Supreme Court seat; and the integrity of the election.

But what will remain unclear until the klieg lights are on and the cameras are rolling is how active a role Wallace wants to play.

“He’s a good moderator, he has a lot of experience. He’s not going to be intimidated by the candidates,” Kall said of Wallace, who is moderating his second general election debate. “The main question will be how much does he want to inject himself.”

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Biden Goebbels

‘He’s sort of like Goebbels’: Biden compares Trump to Nazi propagandist – POLITICO

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Saturday compared Donald Trump to a German Nazi propagandist for the president’s barrage of attacks against him on the campaign trail.

When Biden was asked during an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle how he would combat Trump’s repeated claim that he was pushing a socialist agenda, the former vice president didn’t mince words.

Trump is “sort of like Goebbels,” Biden said, invoking the name of Joseph Goebbels, the mastermind of Nazi Germany’s propaganda machine. “You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge” among voters.

Biden went on to say that the president was using socialism as a way to distract from his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, while likening Trump to another authoritative figure from the past.

“I think people see very clearly the difference between me and Donald Trump,” Biden said. “Trump is clearing protests in front of the White House that are peaceful, you know, with the military. This guy is more Castro than Churchill.”

The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, the Republican Jewish Coalition called on Biden to retract and apologize for the “egregious comment.”

Biden said that he wasn’t worried when Trump said Wednesday he’d refuse to leave the White House if he were defeated in November, relegating the remarks to part of the same tactic he argued the president is employing as the campaign enters its home stretch.

“It’s always about distraction with him,” Biden said as he expressed confidence that Americans would turn out in “large numbers” to vote. “It’s going to be clear from the beginning exactly where this is going.”

Biden and Trump are set to face each other for the first time during this campaign at the first presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday evening.

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Biden Democratic

Biden, Democratic Victories Would Be Best Outcome For The Economy, Moody’s Says – Forbes


A victory for Joe Biden over Donald Trump and a Democratic sweep—where Republicans lose the Senate—would result in the biggest rebound in economic growth and employment, according to a recent analysis of both candidates’ economic proposals by Moody’s Analytics.


7.4 million more jobs would be added under Biden than Trump, Moody’s estimates.

Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Key Facts

Moody’s analyzed four potential outcomes for the November presidential election: A total Democratic sweep; a total Republican sweep; Democrats winning the presidency and the House but not the Senate; and status quo with Trump in the White House, Democrats controlling the House and Republicans holding the Senate.

Based on the economic proposals of both President Trump and Biden, “the economic outlook is strongest under the scenario in which Biden and the Democrats sweep Congress and fully adopt their economic agenda,” said Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi.

A Blue Wave—in which Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House—would result in the highest number of jobs added and the best rebound in economic growth, Moody’s found.

In that scenario, Biden would be allowed to enact more wide-sweeping economic policy changes such as spending trillions on infrastructure, education and social safety, while also boosting trade and immigration.

“Greater government spending adds directly to [GDP] and jobs,” Zandi said, while also arguing that the higher taxes Biden has proposed to fund some of these plans have an “indirect impact” and would not slow the economy.

Moody’s analysis found that a Trump victory would be a worse outcome for the economy because of his smaller proposals for fiscal stimulus and the increased likelihood of deeper trade tensions and cuts to immigration.

Trump has proposed “much less expansive support to the economy from tax and spending policies,” Moody’s said, adding that his planned immigration cuts are a “significant impediment to longer-term economic growth” as it slows both the job market growth and labor productivity.

Crucial Quote

“Even allowing for some variability in the accuracy of the economic modeling and underlying assumptions that drive our analysis, we conclude that Biden’s economic proposals would result in a stronger U.S. economy than Trump’s,” Moody’s concluded.

Big Number: 7.4 Million

That’s how many more jobs would be added to the economy under Biden than Trump, Moody’s report found. “Largely because of Biden’s substantially more expansive fiscal policies, the economy would return to full employment more quickly coming out of the pandemic than under Trump—in the second half of 2022 under Biden, compared with the first half of 2024 under Trump.”

Key Background

While recent economic data has signaled the start of a recovery from the coronavirus recession, prospects for a quick rebound are quickly dwindling. Many experts have warned that it could take years for the U.S. economy to fully recover from the impact of the pandemic. While the stock market hit record highs in August, it’s so far had a dismal September including four straight weeks of losses. Ongoing uncertainty over the next round of fiscal stimulus from Congress and an alarming rise in new coronavirus cases in Europe and the U.S. have both threatened to derail the economic recovery. The job market is also still struggling, with the unemployment rate currently at 8.4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another 870,000 Americans filed unemployment claims last week, while the number of continuing jobless claims is still well over 12 million—much higher than levels seen in previous recessions.

What To Watch For

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress on Wednesday that further fiscal stimulus would be crucial if the U.S. economic recovery is to continue, saying that there’s still “a long way to go.” Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been stuck in a stalemate, struggling to agree on the size and provisions of the next coronavirus stimulus bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday, however, that Democrats are preparing a new, smaller relief package worth around $2.4 trillion—but Republicans have advocated for a bill costing no more than $1.5 trillion. If Republicans turn down Democrats’ latest offer, the House could vote on the new proposal next week even without GOP support.

Further Reading

A Biden Victory And Split Congress Is Best For Stocks, But Here’s What Would Kill Markets After Election Night (Forbes)

Stimulus Bill Before Election Day? Unlikely, Wall Street Says (Forbes)

Stimulus Update: House Democrats Considering New, Smaller Relief Package (Forbes)

Stocks Finish Higher Even After Another 870,000 Americans File For Unemployment (Forbes)

Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus

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Biden Trump

Rove: Trump, not Biden, has more ‘difficult’ challenge in first presidential debate – Fox News

Joe Biden has a “pretty simple mission” going into the first presidential debate against President Trump, Fox News contributor Karl Rove explained Wednesday on “Fox & Friends.”

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates on Tuesday announced the issues that the moderator of the first debate — “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace — has selected as topics for the first 2020 general election debate.

The Democratic presidential nominee and Trump will spar on their records, the Supreme Court, the coronavirus pandemic, economy, race and violence in major cities, and the integrity of the election.


“Each candidate will lay out the narrative of their campaign, rationale on why you ought to vote for them,” Rove said, adding, “The president’s frankly is more difficult to do because has to both explain what he’s done … what he wants to do,” and “what’s the next act that’s in him.”

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Trump will face off in the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, moderated by

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Trump will face off in the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, moderated by “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace.

After all that, Rove added, Trump needs to contrast it with Biden.


“He’s got to say, you know what I’ve done on the economy, you feel it in your bones, here are the next concrete steps I want to do to strengthen our economy in the future and look at all these bad things that will demolish our prosperity that Joe Biden wants to do, for example,” Rove noted.

“Biden, on the other hand, he’s got a pretty simple mission,” he said.

“If Donald Trump bungled coronavirus response and I’m the normal Democrat, don’t be afraid of me if you’re sort of a Republican in the suburbs and are thinking about doing something other than voting Republican. A little bit easier to do, but we’ll see how well he carries it off,” Rove said.

As the race continues to tighten nationally in polls, Rove suggested the Biden campaign needs to let the former vice president speak more off-script and reach out to moderates if he wants to make up for any lost ground.


Biden told reporters Wednesday that he “started to prepare but I haven’t gotten into it really heavily” but will begin to Thursday.

The first debate between the former vice president and the GOP incumbent in the White House will take place Tuesday, Sept. 29, at Case Western University and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Biden Trump

Biden and Trump face voters onstage for the first time | The 2020 Fix – Washington Post

Biden and Trump face voters onstage for the first time | The 2020 Fix – YouTube

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Biden polling

Biden’s polling lead nears magic number – POLITICO

According to the latest RealClearPolitics average, Biden is sitting at 49.3 percent in national surveys and has a 6.2 percentage point lead over President Donald Trump. That’s significantly higher than Clinton’s 44.9 percent mark this time four years ago, which was good for only a 1 point lead.

It’s the same story in many of the battleground states: Biden is at or within 2 points of majority support in enough states to lock down an Electoral College victory, compared with Clinton’s low- to mid-40s scores in mid-September 2016 in the same states, some of which she would end up losing as late-deciding voters went decisively for Trump.

“One of the worries that kept me up at night in ’16 was we just always felt like there was a bigger number of undecideds. And if they broke predominantly in a direction, then the whole thing could change,” said Steve Schale, a Florida-based Democratic strategist and the executive director of a pro-Biden super PAC. “I don’t think there was a single poll in Florida that had [Clinton] over 48 percent. I think that was the case in a lot of places.”

It’s a fundamental difference in Democrats’ standing compared to this time four years ago. While Biden has not locked up the election, the path to victory that Trump took in 2016 is currently blocked.

Trump is mired in the low- to mid-40s — roughly where he was four years ago. But this time, Trump is the incumbent president. And with fewer undecideds or voters poised to select third-party candidates, Trump is running out of time to improve his poll numbers and close the gap.

“As the incumbent with a tough approval rating, he needs to kick it up. And obviously he’s trying to do that by squeezing a few more votes out of his base, at the risk of even annoying other [voters],” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion, which last week found Biden leading Trump in Pennsylvania and tied with him at Florida. “So the Biden number is interesting — and obviously, if you get 50 [percent], that’s the home run.”

In Florida, the latest RealClearPolitics average has Biden ahead by nearly 2 percentage points, 48.7 percent to 47.1 percent. While Biden’s margin is not meaningfully different from Clinton’s 1-point deficit this time four years ago, both Clinton (45.2 percent) and Trump (46.2 percent) were in the mid-40s, thanks to a larger pool of undecided voters.

In most of the 13 swing states identified by POLITICO — those rated as toss-ups or just leaning toward one party in our Election Forecast — Biden is not only outperforming Clinton in terms of the margin between him and Trump, his average vote share is also greater than Clinton’s was at this point four years ago.

Biden leads in 10 of the 13 states, according to RealClearPolitics averages, trailing Trump only in Georgia, Iowa and Texas. In Sept. 2016, Clinton also trailed in Arizona, Florida and Ohio.

In addition to nearing 49 percent in Florida, Biden is at 49.2 percent in Arizona, 47.8 percent in Michigan, 51.6 percent in Minnesota, 48 percent in New Hampshire, 49 percent in Pennsylvania and just over 50 percent in Wisconsin.

Victories in those states, where Biden’s lead over Trump is at least 4 points, would clinch the presidency for the former vice president even if Trump won the other swing states. In fact, if Biden won Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, he could afford to cede Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio — each of which he leads right now — and still become the next president.

Trump’s vote share in some states, like Florida, is also a little closer to 50 percent than four years ago. But almost across the board, Biden is outperforming Clinton by greater margins than Trump is outrunning his own 2016 performance.

“We don’t have a dominant third-party candidate who is going to take a big chunk of those voters who are like, ‘I hate both of them,’” said Republican pollster Jon McHenry. “So they should be a little bit closer [to 50 percent].”

That means that Trump can’t just rely on the kind of late surge he got four years ago to gobble up undecided or third-party voters. He needs to persuade at least some voters who say they prefer Biden to switch in the closing weeks of the race, a task made more challenging by Trump’s position as the sitting president.

“It’s always hard to convince someone who’s made a decision to do something not to do it,” said Schale, the longtime Biden ally. “And I think the other challenge Trump has is he wasn’t an incumbent [in 2016]. There wasn’t a record, and — historically — job approval matters in these things. He’s in the mid-40s in a lot of these states.”

As an incumbent with low approval ratings, Trump has fewer remaining opportunities lefto make the kinds of gains he needs, particularly with voting already underway in a handful of states — and set to begin soon in many others.

“Even if you were talking about a race being 48 [percent] Trump, 46 Biden — you wouldn’t feel bad about Biden’s chances in that scenario because he’s the challenger, and you want the incumbent to be at 50 or above. Especially if there’s not a significant third-party vote this time,” said McHenry. “So, if you’re looking at it from that perspective, really, Trump is running against 50. And whether he’s within 2 or 3 of Biden, you would want to see him making some gains sooner rather than later.

“I still think that this race can wind up turning on the first debate,” he added. “I’d be hesitant to make any bold predictions about the presidential race until we see what happens there.”

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Biden Carrey

Jim Carrey to Play Joe Biden on SNL Season 46 – Vulture

Jim Carrey
Photo: Alessio Botticelli/GC Images

Saturday Night Live has found a pretty big star to go head-to-head with Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump for the upcoming 46th season of the NBC series. In a new interview with Vulture, SNL boss Lorne Michaels revealed that Jim Carrey has signed on to play Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. “You’ll see the same people. I mean, Maya Rudolph is coming back, and Alec [Baldwin] will be back. And Jim Carrey is going to do Biden,” Michaels said, explaining that the casting started with Carrey expressing interest in the part and then “it came down to discussions of what his take was … He will give the part energy and strength, and [Laughs] hopefully it’s funny.”

Prior to Carrey stepping into the role, Biden was portrayed by three different people throughout SNL’s 45th season. Woody Harrelson played Biden three times, starting with his hosting stint for the season premiere in September 2019. Jason Sudeikis, who played Biden on SNL during Barack Obama’s presidency, returned to play him during RuPaul’s episode in early February 2020, followed by a single appearance by John Mulaney during his episode later that same month.

In addition to the Carrey news, Michaels also revealed to Vulture that SNL has added three new featured players to the cast: Lauren Holt, Punkie Johnson, and Andrew Dismukes. Read our full interview with Michaels about the upcoming season of SNL here.

Jim Carrey to Play Joe Biden on SNL Season 46

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