In a non-surprising event, Joe Biden has wont the delayed Ohio primary on Tuesday. As of this writing, votes are still being counted as the election was done completely by mail; however Biden has nearly 80% of the votes cast with 110 delegates.
In a surprising move, Representative Justin Amash (I) of Michigan’s 3rd District has joined the Presidential Race in a 3rd Party Libertarian Bid. The Congressman was the first and only sitting Republican to back impeachment of Donald Trump – before Ukraine. He announced his support for impeaching the president after the Mueller Report was released last March. After announcing this, Amash was attacked by the right and dropped the GOP – becoming a Libertarian but registering as an Independent.
There is no clear path for Amash to win against Biden or Trump in November if he wins the nomination at the Libertarian Convention at the end of May. However, as we have seen in presidential elections of 1948, 1968, 1992, 2000 and 2016, a 3rd Party Candidate can do some real spoiling.
As Amash said on Twitter this week in his announcement:
“This election is too important for Donald Trump or Joe Biden to be running for president. But they have the right to run like anyone else. The answer to bad candidates is not to keep others off the ballot, but rather to give the people honest, practical, and capable alternatives.”
Just remember 4 years ago, many saw the 2016 election not by who was better, but who was “less worse” and many voted for Trump over Clinton. However, there were also millions in swing states that voted for neither and chose to vote for former Republican Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party or Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party. Although neither won a single electoral vote, their percentage share of all votes was over 6 Million people, over 5% of all votes cast. You know who lost by 80,000 votes? Hillary Clinton.
Popular Vote Share
William F. Weld
Dr. Jill Stein
It will be interested to see who Amash hurts in November, if at all. Will disenfranchised Republicans who have quit the GOP due to Trump (who has a 93% approval rating by Registered Republicans) cast a vote with Amash and against Trump or will Democrats/Independts who don’t view Joe Biden favorably slide to Amash.
Again, Amash has practically zero chance to be president as a 3rd Party bid, our country just does not support it, but if he can be a spoiler to either side, would he welcome that?
Today at 3pm EST via a combined live stream called Women Town Hall, former First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic Nominee for President Hillary Rodham Clinton endorsed Former Vice President Joe Biden for President. Clinton discussed her personal friendship with the Biden family and their trips to Scranton, PA – Biden’s home town.
Biden introduced Secretary Clinton as “the former Senator, Secretary of State, and the person who SHOULD be President.” Clinton of course, won the popular vote but lost the electoral college to Donald Trump in 2016.
Biden now has the last 5 Democratic Presidential Nominee’s support (Clinton, President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Former Vice President Al Gore, and President Bill Clinton)
Well, today is the delayed primary in Ohio – which has become a completely mail-in election. After initially delaying the primary, Republican Governor Mike DeWine has avoided the critical confusions and mistakes made in Wisconsin on April 7th, where reports say that over 30% of in-person voters have contracted the Coronavirus.
Ballots must have been post-marked before April 28th to count in the election.
The new major battle raging caused by COVID-19 pandemic is the access to voting rights. Every American is guaranteed a right to vote and Democrats in Congress have been trying to add election security and all Mail-In voting to COVID-19 relief legislation. However, Republicans have fought those efforts – as studies show the more access to voting available to those in low income and minority locations, the less likely it is for Republicans to win.
Many states have transitioned their upcoming elections or primaries to mail including Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, and Hawaii with exceptions coming.
Joe Biden is expected to win the Ohio primary, despite the fact that Sen. Bernie Sanders remains on the ballot after suspending his campaign early this month.
“Empathy. Kindness. Compassion. Equal rights for all. Service to our neighbors. Generosity.
These are all values that our nation was founded on. We haven’t always lived up to them, but we’ve never walked away from them before.”
That was Former Vice President Joe Biden’s message this weeeknd, one year into his campaign for President – now the presumptive Democratic nominee.
We all know the Coronavirus Pandemic has knocked this primary and election to the back-burner as the death toll topped 50,000 Americans this weekend and President Trump told reported that injesting disinfectants would help stop COVID-19. Yes – the President of the United States told millions of Americans to drink Bleach and Clorox. It is something out of a movie. That’s why we are the-Contenders bring you the news in order to help defeat this unfit man.
In the final debate between Senator Bernie Sanders and Biden in March, Biden committed to a mixed gender ticket. If elected, Biden will have made history as the Vice President to the first African American President and helped elect the first female Vice President in history. Of course late Senator John McCain (AZ.) chose former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, a choice that ultimately doomed the Maverick’s campaign & Hilary Clinton became the first woman nominated for either major party’s (Republican or Democrat) Presidential ticket – both woman failed to break the elusive ‘glass ceiling’ that has been ready to crack for years.
However, woman candidates for public office have done incredibly well in the past 10 years, especially in the 2018 midterm elections, which saw the most diverse group of woman and individuals of color elected across the board and helping Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) retake the Speaker’s Gavel as Speaker of the House. (Pelosi is the highest ranked woman in power in American history; the speaker is 3rd in line to the Presidency).
This pick for Biden is monumentally important. As we have covered here at The-Contenders, Biden has seen an impressive coalescing of the Democratic party behind him. There are many factors in a vice-president pick. Historically there are 4 important qualities that determine a running mate: Age, Geographical Region, name recognition and base/group support.
This week Senator Dick Durbin (IL.) said, “In short order Obama realized it was not only the right decision [picking Biden as VP], but the best decision he could have made. They developed a working relationship and I’ll bet you a nickel that’s what Biden’s looking for, too. He needs somebody he can have good chemistry with.”
For example, President Obama selecting Biden as his running mate to add years of experience and poise to the young Senator’s (at the time) campaign. Biden can go several ways with his pick. If elected, Biden will be 78 on Inauguration day next January and has not committed to service 2 terms if elected. It is clear that if Biden wins and chooses to retire at age 82 in 2024 the Vice President becomes the automatic and presumptive nominee for the Democratic party.
So let’s get into Biden’s decisions. Biden currently leads President Trump in most polls in swing states (Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, and Wisconsin).
Below is our list of logical and best fitting choices for Biden’s running mate.
Let’s start by ruling a few off the list:
Michelle Obama, Former First Lady: although this would most likely seal the election for Biden, a Biden-Obama ticket is not going to happen. If you read Mrs. Obama’s wonderful book Becoming she clearly states she has no interest in politics and never has – despite marrying the would be 44th President. Michelle Obama is consistently the most popular and respected woman in the world – but becoming the Vice President is not in her future.
Oprah Winfrey, Philanthropist: Many people aren’t universality known by one single named. Oprah is. The former actress-turned-talk-show-host-turned-billionaire philanthropist checks many boxes: That she can energize Democrats’ African-American base, female membership, white men and that she’s a celebrity. Rumors swirled in 2018 that she may run for the nomination and Bill Maher said, “Never underestimate the power of being in people’s living rooms for decades. That’s what got Trump elected,” Maher said. “This is now an ‘as seen on TV’ country.” However, Oprah has stated she is not interested in public office.
There are not many who crack this list, but the coronavirus pandemic has shifted most attention away from Washington and to the state and local levels.
Maybe Biden will shift to someone with a health care background? Maybe a local level leader like Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms would help. The Atlanta Mayor checks several boxes: age (she is 50); Geography: from a purple state in Georgia; and she is African America (Atlanta is one of the most diverse cities in the United States). She has also been in complete opposition of Governor Brian Kemp’s re-opening of Georgia and has been a vocal critic. Her stock should be rising.
Let’s stay in state to Stacey Abrams. The former Gubernatorial candidate for Governor of Georgia (and yes- she should be Governor now) has openly campaigned for the job. Abrams has described herself in interviews as an “excellent” pick for Biden, publicly gamed out how she would debate Vice President Mike Pence and argued why it would be a mistake not to pick a black woman like herself. She would come with age; geography; minority status. Her lack of experience is there – but she still has more experience that Trump had.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, MI:
The coronavirus has also put many state Governors on both sides in the spotlight. Those include the positively viewed Andrew Cuomo (NY); Larry Hogan (MD) and the negatively view Brian Kemp (GA); Ron DeSantis (FL). Somewhere in between is Gretchen Whitmer. She has been one of the most vocal critics of Trump’s resposne to the pandemic and comes from a state (Michigan) that flipped from Obama to Trump in 2016. Elected to her first term in 2018, Whitmer and Biden have supposedly developed a nice friendship. Whitmer’s strong dealing of the virus may shoot her up the board.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, NM: Although she may not be amongst the most well known name nationally, the New Mexico governor is very qualified to serve as Biden’s Vice President. She comes from a reliably blue state, is a former House member and chairwoman of the Congressional Hispanic caucus. As Governor of a Border State she could directly attack the Trump administration’s controversial border policies. At 60 years old, and of Hispanic heritage, Gov. Lujan Grisham would be able to bring Hispanics – a group that favored Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primaries – to Biden.
A few female senators will not make Biden’s reported 13-15 short list.
The list of current female senators is actually pretty long. Currently 26 woman hold the office – compared to 57 all time (9 Republican and 17 Democrat). Every Democratic VP Nominee has been a Senator since the 1980s, including the former Senator from Delaware Joe Biden himself.
However, Democrats must be weary of losing a Senate seat in what will either be a small majority or minority. Giving up a Senate seat would be a tough pill to swallow if Democrats take back the Presidency and Senate in November.
The following Senators make sense as Biden’s VP with some exceptions:
Senator Elizabeth Warren, MA.: Senator Warren is a firebrand politically savvy liberal that could help bring Biden a united ticket among the 2 wings of the party. She is immensely popular among Democrats and was seen as the front-runner for President all last summer. Warren’s only downsides are her age (71.. although she has the energy of a 20 year old) which many are afraid of having two 70+ on the ticket. She also comes from Massachusetts – who’s Governor Charlie Baker is a Republican (not a Trump Republican though) and would likely appoint a Republican to her seat until a Special Election is held. When asked by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC if she would accept the job if Biden offered… the answer: “YES”
Senator Tammy Baldwin, WI: Wisconsin’s Democratic Senator would be a logical choice when it comes to Geography. Baldwin comes from a pure battleground state in the 2020 election – Wisconsin has voted for every eventual winner for decades (it swung from double Obama to Trump in 2016). Many believe Baldwin, the first openly gay person to serve in the Senate would help Biden carry this state. She won re-election in 2018 by 11 points. Her downside is the same as Warren – vacating a blue seat in a purple state. Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin is a Democrat but serves with an increasingly hostile Republican legislature.
The following Senators would all be logical picks for Biden:
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, NV: As a Latina from a reliably Blue state, Cortez Masto would not cause a Senate risk as VP. Halfway through her first term as a Senator, the former Nevada Attorney General could help engage the Latino community. Nevada overwhelmingly supported Sen. Bernie Sanders in the primary, the question would be could Sen. Cortez Masto bring those Bernie Bros in for Biden?
Senator Amy Klobuchar, MN:
A former 2020 Contender who did Biden a big favor by dropping out before Super Tuesday and endorsing Biden. When she did that, many speculated that Biden had guaranteed her a cabinet position. Klobuchar gained national name recognition and respect for her campaign. Minnesota is a solidly blue state (although Republican think it is tipping) and Klobuchar is very popular. She ran her campaign as a moderate alternative to Sanders and Warren before moderates coalesced behind Biden. She argued often that winning in 2020 will go through the Midwest and she could help in Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa.
Senator Tammy Duckworth, IL: The Senator currently sitting in President Obama’s old Illinois Senate seat has an incredible story and past. She arguably checks more boxes than anyone else. She’s a Purple Heart recipient who lost both of her legs in Iraq and was the first disabled woman elected to Congress. She also in 2018 became the first senator to give birth while in office. Senator Duckworth has a diverse background (Thai and Chinese). Illinois also is a reliably Democratic state so her appointment would be replaced by a Democrat.
Senator Kamala Harris, CA:
When Biden first announced his candidacy, many thought his logical choice to be VP would be Ms. Harris. However, after Harris’ quick surge and sharp decline in the primary for her own campaign, the rumors circulated again. Harris comes from California, the blue-est state there is. She is currently the only African American woman who serves as a Governor or Senator. Her campaign for president made her a household name for her brand. Harris vehemently attacked Biden early in the campaign but the two have since campaigned together after Harris dropped out before Iowa. Harris demonstrated that she could be President during the campaign and Biden surely noticed.
Just like the Presidential Election, COVID-19 has knocked us at the-Contenders off beat. We apologize for our lack of posts and updates in recent days. Now that Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee, the coalescing of the Democratic Party behind the Former Vice President has been impressive (more on that later). Just last week former Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren endorsed Biden for President – leading to speculation that she may be in the running to join the ticket as VP.
In the spirit of Earth Day Biden also received the endorsement of arguably the 2 most notable Climate Change minded politicians – Former Vice President Al Gore & Washington Governor Jay Inslee (former Contender for President).
Biden has been criticized by some for not capitalizing and appearing in the media as much as he can be. In actuality, we believe Biden is actually doing a good job given the circumstances. Most know that Biden has set up a studio in his Delaware home. Compared to the early stages of the campaign, Biden has been seen on popular Cable News and local television as of late. An interesting article by Former Representative Steve Israel in TheHill said, “He is focusing on battleground states with virtual town halls in Florida and Arizona, along with television interviews in media markets in Pennsylvania. Biden has paid attention across different demographics. He held a virtual briefing on young Americans and has made frequent appearances on the late shows that attract those key voters, such as “Quarantine Monologue” with Jimmy Kimmel, “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon, “Desus and Mero” on Showtime, as well as “The Late Late Show” with James Corden.” Biden has launched a new podcast during his Quarantine called “Here’s the Deal” and invites well-known guests to discuss – this week’s guest – Amy Klobuchar. He is also releasing many new policy plans and ads, especially this provocative Earth Day one:
Biden’s time in quarantine, and more notably, in interviews has expressed his frustration at the Trump administration -and more importantly – his decency and humanity amidst the ongoing crisis. Biden tells personal stories about those in his neighborhoods and the stories he hears every day.
Last week, Biden released this photo to show other notable democrats (and former Contenders) who have endorsed him: Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Mike Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and President Obama. (Tom Steyer has also joined the list of former Contenders to endorse Biden).
Biden’s support among the most prominent figures comes much earlier than most would expect – and much earlier than former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received in 2016 during her run for President. It seems, despite the lack of actual hand-shaking and rallies – that Biden is in good shape to unite the party.
Former President Barack Obama released a lengthy video this morning to fully endorse his former Vice President Joe Biden for President. The announcement comes one day after Bernie Sanders, the final contender for the Democratic Nomination endorsed Biden. The emotional video from the former President comes after months of remaining quiet in the race. This announcement from the former President comes much earlier, and truly, at a time when Biden needs some headlines as President Trump uses his bully pulpit amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Obama said “this crisis reminds us that good government matters. Facts and science Matters. The Rule of law Matters. Leaders Matter… Elections Matter”. Obama called for unification against the “meanness” and called out Republicans for hypocrisy, lies, propaganda, etc. “One thing everybody has learned by now is that the Republicans occupying the White House and running the US Senate are not interested in progress,” Obama says. “They’re interested in power.”
Obama also praised Sen. Sanders and explained how all democrats, whether they agree on all issues or not, believe in progress and want to see progress. The 12 minute video concludes with the former President saying he will campaign for Biden.
Joe Biden was declared the winner in the Wisconsin primary; which has become easily the most controversial of the democratic primaries so far. After Democratic Governor Tony Evers attempted to postpone the Primary and expand mail-in ballots to Wisconsin, Republicans in state, aided by Conservative controlled State Court and the Supreme Court struck down the Governor’s attempts.
Biden received 65 delegates to Sanders’ 19.
Biden also won the very underwhelming and under-covered (we didn’t do a profile here at The Contenders… whoops) Alaska primary, picking up 8 delegates to Bernie’s 4.
Today, Senator Bernie Sanders, who recently ended his own campaign for president, has endorsed Joe Biden for President. The two joined a Facebook Live Event for over 45 minutes today and spoke about their friendship; their agreement and disagreements; their supporters; and the way forward.
They have committed to working together going forward.
Well there it is… Senator Bernie Sanders, who has spent most of the last 5 years running for President (2016 against Hillary Clinton) through 2018 and 2020, has ended his campaign for President, completely clearing the path for Former Vice President Joe Biden to become the presumptive nominee for the Democratic side.
Sanders, who has an incredibly strong and fierce base. In 2016, many Sanders supporters sat out of the General Election or did not support Hillary Clinton for President, leading the way for the improbably Trump win. Sanders has often said this was not the case, but has since said he will go full throttle for the eventual nominee, encouraging his supporters to rally as well.
Sanders has become the champion for progressive issues such as Medicare For All; Free College; Green New Deal; etc. and has brought many of the most liberal ideas in the Democratic Party’s mainstream.
Sanders will address followers in a live stream this morning and Biden will have to prove to the Sanders base to join him and defeat Trump.
It is safe to say that Sanders has become one of the most influential politicians in American Politics to not become president.
Today, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers issued an executive order to delay the upcoming Tuesday primary until June 9, citing health risks due to Coronavirus.
The move is expected to be challenged in court by Wisconsin State Republicans.*
*Well, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled the Governor’s Executive Order and the Wisconsin Primary will be held, as normal, today. The state is under a state-wide Shelter-in-Place order, leading to what will most likely be a very small turnout and a large Mail-In vote. Mail in ballots must be dated April 7th to count. “Tomorrow in Wisconsin, thousands will wake up and have to choose between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe,” Evers said in a statement lambasting the GOP-led legislature and Supreme Court. “In this time of historic crisis, it is a shame that two branches of government in this state chose to pass the buck instead of taking responsibility for the health and safety of the people we were elected to serve.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a lead in Wisconsin polls, but turnout will be the key contributor. If Biden wins tonight (or over the next few days as votes are counted) the chatter for Senator Bernie Sanders to drop out will become screams.
As of this writing, there are over 245,000 cases of the Coronavirus Nationwide, over 1 Million Worldwide, taken over 6,000 lives in the United States. In this new reality, the majority of Americans are quarantined at home; the majority of U.S. businesses, especially restaurants and small businesses across the country, have been rocked to a halt; and the front line soldiers against this faceless enemy are doctors, nurses, and hospital staff that do not have the proper protection to save lives.
All while President Trump has seen his presidency crumbling day by day. Shockingly taken 3 and a half years, amidst every other scandal and impeachment, Trump’s horrible response to the virus, including but not limited to: misinformation and lies at the early stages of the virus; attacking governors, hospitals, and doctors; and his overall lack of compassion and empathy overall, the United States is in more danger because of Donald Trump as President.
This is the exact reason we need to elect the Democratic Nominee as the next President of the United States. Yesterday the DNC postponed the Democratic Convention in July to August 17th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, just one week before the Republican Convention in Raleigh, North Carolina. The move is expected to the eventual nominee a boost heading to the General Election months of the fall.
Although their campaigns have quickly changed in the month of Social Distancing, both Sen. Bernie Sanders and Former Vice President Joe Biden have continued their campaigns through virtual interaction from their homes in Vermont and Delaware, respectively. Below are some quick updates:
Vice President Biden has launched a new podcast called “Here’s the Deal” to connect with voters stuck at home. Biden has stated that he is a bit frustrated campaigning from home, but understands the reality. He has been more frequent for interviews on networks than he was previously during his campaign. The first episode of “Here’s the Deal” is live now.
Biden has also passed the time at home by compiling his list of Vice Presidential Candidates, as he told the New York Times. Biden and his advisors have begun the process of selecting his eventual Veep by going through the same process that President Obama made when selecting him back in 2008. The Former Vice President has already committed to picking a woman as his running mate, with most pundits believing that former Presidential Contenders such as: Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Amy Klobuchar, or Senator Elizabeth Warren would be great choices. Biden also confirmed this week in speaking with MSNBC host Brian Williams that he is considering Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has received hire marks as well as the ire from the President for her handling of the Coronavirus in Michigan. “She made the list in my mind two months ago. There’s probably going to be a list, I’m in the process of — Brian, we’ll have it by mid-April, putting together an organization that will run the background checks … by the second or third week in April,” Biden told MSNBC host Brian Williams.
Lastly, Bernie Sanders is still in the race, despite the growing number of calls to exit the race and unite the party. Sanders joined The View this week, where Whoopi Goldberg pressed him on this issue. Bernie is still over 300 delegates short of Biden’s lead. Meanwhile, support for Sanders’ Medicare for All plan has seen a significant rise in support amidst the Coronavirus crisis.
Lastly, the upcoming Primary on April 7th in Wisconsin is being held as normal. After most states delayed primaries due to the coronavirus, The Democratic Governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, has issued a stay-at-home order for his residents, but has stated that the primary will continue as scheduled. It is a little confusing, but Wisconsin has extended mail-in and Absentee Voting Extensions have been put in place. The polls indicate the Biden has a 30-point advantage to a state that Bernie Sanders won in a landslide against Hillary Clinton in 2016. If Biden is to win on Tuesday, the calls for Sanders to exit the race will only intensify.