Joe Biden Wins the Oregon Primary: Campaign Update


(Bloomberg) -- Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden won the presidential primary in Oregon on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

Biden is the only candidate actively seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, but Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as well as Representative Tulsi Gabbard were also on the ballot.

Sanders, who won Oregon in 2016, endorsed Biden but is still seeking to accumulate delegates to have sway over the party’s platform at the Democratic National Convention.

Although more than a dozen other states postponed or moved to a primarily mail-in election amid the coronavirus pandemic, Oregon, which has used mail-in voting for years, had little to adjust to make its election run smoothly.

GOP Sends Invitations for In-Person Convention (4:37 p.m.)

President Donald Trump isn’t going to let the coronavirus pandemic spoil his star turn under the balloons and confetti at the Republican National Convention in Charlotte,.

The Republican National Committee is sending its big donors invites for the Aug. 24-27 event, where Trump will receive his party’s presidential nomination. The invitation asks attendees to RSVP to receive additional details.

North Carolina’s stay-at-home order remains in place, though on May 8 Democratic Governor Roy Cooper relaxed some restrictions. More businesses were allowed to open, retail stores can now fill to 50% capacity, up from 20%, but gatherings are still limited to no more than 10 people. There are 2,717 cases and 66 deaths from coronavirus in Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located, according to the state’s Health and Human Services Department.

“Late August is a long ways from now,” said RNC spokesman Mike Reed in an email, adding that there is plenty of time to make necessary changes if needed to keep attendees healthy and safe. “We are full steam ahead on planning an in person convention.”

The Democratic National Committee, which has already delayed its convention from July to the week of Aug. 17, has yet to decide whether they will host an in-person event in Milwaukee or hold a virtual convention. -- Bill Allison

Biden Vows to Strengthen Support for Israel (4:02 p.m.)

Joe Biden would work to strengthen the bipartisan consensus around Israel that he argued President Donald Trump has damaged, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said Tuesday.

“We have to keep bipartisan support for Israel in the United States,” Biden said during an event billed as a virtual fireside chat with the American-Jewish community. The event, a fundraiser, drew 550 guests, his campaign said.

“The present president has tried to make this an issue where he, of all people, he is more supportive of Israel and less anti-Semitic than everybody,” Biden said. “Trump and his allies have tried to use the relationship as a political football and it harms both our countries’ interest. I’m not going to let that happen.” Earlier, Biden had decried Trump’s reluctance to denounce antisemitism in the U.S., including signs that have cropped up at recent protests against closures meant to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The former vice president said Tuesday that he thinks he could be an effective intermediary in helping Israel improve its standing in the U.S. because of his long record of support. “I think I may have a little more leeway to be able to take issue particularly privately with the Israeli government when they take actions that become very divisive in terms of the impact here at home,” he said.

He also stressed his opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which he said “singles out Israel and too often veers into antisemitism and lets Palestinians off the hook for their actions.” And he said he’d speak out more broadly against antisemitism coming from any point along the U.S. political spectrum, including from the left where criticism of Israel can “morph” into antisemitism by “blaming Israel for all the wrongs in the Middle East, questioning Israel’s right to exist, failing to acknowledge the daily existential threat that Israelis live with every single day, failing to call out Palestinian leaders for their own bad choices and for their refusal to recognize the right and reality of a Jewish state.” -- Jennifer Epstein

Biden Hires a Granddaughter of Cesar Chavez (1:42 p.m.)

Joe Biden’s campaign has hired a granddaughter of labor leader Cesar Chavez to boost its outreach to Latino voters and build out its operations in the states.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez will be a senior adviser to the presumptive Democratic nominee and the most senior Latina on the campaign staff. She was previously national political director on Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign and worked in the Obama White House’s Office of Public Engagement.

Rodriguez is one of many people who campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon has promised to bring onto the campaign in the coming days as the former vice president’s team bulks up its leadership ahead of the general election. O’Malley Dillon said last week that the campaign planned to have battleground state leaders and hundreds of organizers in place in June.

Rodriguez’s hiring comes as Biden’s campaign has faced criticism from Hispanic leaders that it has not done enough to reach out to Latino voters. During early Democratic primaries, Latinos significantly favored Bernie Sanders. Although Biden leads President Donald Trump in polls of Latino voters, substantial Latino turnout could ease the path for him in key states, including Arizona and Nevada.

Cesar Chavez, who died in 1993, was a prominent Latino civil rights leader who founded a union that became the United Farm Workers. -- Jennifer Epstein

Oregon Holds Its Primary, As Scheduled (12:04 p.m.)

Oregon is holding its primary pretty much as planned Tuesday, the only state since the coronavirus pandemic to do so.

While other states have either canceled in-person voting, postponed primaries or, like Wisconsin, endured public debates over how to vote, Oregon’s long-running vote-by-mail system left it well-positioned for the primary.

The only change to this year’s election went into effect in January: Voters no longer need to pay for postage on their ballot.

Elections officials have already been verifying and counting ballots that came in over the weekend, and ballots have to be turned in to a public drop box by 8 p.m. Pacific time, so results should be available later in the evening.

Apart from the no-longer-competitive Democratic presidential primary and an open primary to replace retiring Republican Representative Greg Walden, the state has mostly local races on the ballot. -- Ryan Teague Beckwith

Coming up:

The District of Columbia, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Indiana have primaries on June 2.

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