Biden campaign: More press access doesn’t work out the way his team would hope
Joe Biden is set to glide to Election Day with minimal confrontation from the press.
From Aug. 31 to Oct. 13, Biden answered 365 questions from the press, according to the Trump campaign — less than half as many questions as President Trump, who answered 753. Biden’s campaign has not disputed those numbers.
While the coronavirus pandemic prompted Biden’s campaign to limit in-person activities as a safety measure, it also gave it a convenient excuse to limit access to the Democratic presidential nominee.
On the rare occasion Biden holds a press conference, he calls on reporters from a list created by his staff. He’s succeeded in refusing to give a straight answer about what he thinks of court-packing.
From the perspective of the Biden campaign, there is little incentive to put Biden in the spotlight when he leads Trump in the polls, especially since when Biden does get a challenging question, he often flubs.
A local news reporter who interviewed Biden on Monday noted that a Gallup poll found that 56% of people think that they are better off today than they were four years ago. Why then, he asked, should voters vote for Biden?
“Well, if they think that, they probably shouldn’t,” Biden responded. He also quipped, “Their memory is not very good, quite frankly.”
It’s a longtime campaign line by Biden, who, since the ’70s, has asked voters during various runs to “look me over,” and if they don’t like what they see, “vote for the other guy.”
But with just three weeks until Election Day, that attitude flies in the face of other campaign aides saying to not take anything for granted. – by Emily Larsen
House: Race tests how deeply blue Democratic Virginia has gone
An open House district in Virginia stretching 250 miles up from the North Carolina state line to the outer Washington, D.C., exurbs will help test just how blue the commonwealth has become.
The 5th District is open because the sitting Republican congressman, Denver Riggleman, lost his fight for renomination at a party convention in early summer. Conservatives said Riggleman, a strong supporter of President Trump, had strayed ideologically after performing a same-sex wedding for a pair of staff members.
Riggleman lost the nomination to Bob Good, a former Liberty University official and staunch social conservative.
Good now faces Cameron Webb, a doctor and lawyer whose campaign says it raised $2.7 million in the most recent fundraising quarter.
The district has been Republican for most of 20 years, other than the single 2009-11 House term when Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello held it after riding the Barack Obama-led blue wave in 2008.
The district has a plus-6 Republican lean, according to the Cook Political Report. But like much of Virginia, it’s been slowly moving left. Democrats in Virginia have romped to victory in the Trump era, having from 2017 on won the governorship and all statewide offices, both chambers of the Legislature, and ousted three Republican House incumbents.
Good, the Republican nominee, is banking on the district’s traditionally conservative social lean. Webb, meanwhile, is focusing on expanded healthcare and economic development. And his double University of Virginia degrees, in law and medicine, don’t hurt either in a district that includes the liberal college town of Charlottesville.
There’s also an open question of how disaffected Riggleman supporters are going to vote. The outgoing congressman and Good have hardly patched up relations since the party convention, which was conducted as a drive-in event during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. – by David Mark
Senate: One likely pickup for Republicans will come from Alabama
In a cycle of seemingly endless bad news for Republicans, there is one piece of good fortune they can count on. On Nov. 3, Republican Tommy Tuberville is going to win back the Alabama Senate seat they lost to Democrat Doug Jones in a special election in late 2017. Jones appears to see the writing on the wall. During his nearly three years in the Senate, Jones has not bothered to forge a centrist path. The Democrat has scrambled for pictures with President Trump or supported his high-profile nominees to the federal judiciary.
Instead, Jones has voted on the Senate floor like your average, competent, principled liberal Democrat. But though admirable, it’s not what you do if you want to have a fighting chance to win reelection statewide as a Democrat in Alabama, perhaps the most pro-Trump red state in the nation, in a presidential election year.
Then again, there was no way this accidental senator was going to hold off Tuberville. The former Auburn University football coach could parade around Alabama in a Louisiana State University jersey or a University of Tennessee jersey, and he would still win with ease, as long as the name on the back of that jersey was “Trump.” Indeed, the only drama in the Alabama Senate race this year was whether former senator, and Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, could overcome Tuberville to win his old seat back.
Trump, who still blames Sessions for the special counsel investigation into possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 elections, endorsed Tuberville. And very pointedly, he made clear to Alabama Republicans that he loathed Sessions. Turn out the lights, the party’s over. See you soon, Sen. Ball Coach. – by David M. Drucker
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