Obama, at Harris Fundraiser, Wishes Trumps Well: Campaign Update
(Bloomberg) -- Former President Barack Obama wishes the Trumps a speedy recovery. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will campaign for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. And the monthly jobs report for September showed a risk for President Donald Trump among women voters.
There are 32 days until the election and 73 days until the Electoral College meets.
Obama Sends Well-Wishes to Trump As President is Hospitalized
Former President Barack Obama wished a speedy recovery to President Donald Trump while headlining a fund-raiser to defeat him on Nov. 3.
“Let me start, by the way, by just stating that although were in the midst of a big political fight and we take that very seriously, we also want to extend our best wishes to the president of the United States and the first lady,” Obama said during a joint fundraiser with Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
Even during a campaign, Obama said, “We’re all Americans and we’re all human beings and we want to make sure that everybody is healthy. Michelle and I want to make sure that we acknowledge the president of the United States and the first lady at a difficult time.”
Trump and his wife, Melania, were diagnosed early Friday with Covid-19. The president was to be taken Friday afternoon to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment and was expected to remain there for a few days.
Harris also wished Trump well.
“I join the president’s comments in saying that Doug and I are sharing our deepest prayers for the health and recovery for the president and the first lady,” she said.
Sanders to Campaign for Biden in New Hampshire
Sanders will campaign for Biden Saturday in New Hampshire, where the Vermont senator roundly defeated the now-Democratic presidential nominee in the primary.
At a “socially distanced” rally in Lebanon, Sanders will highlight election issues as well as tips on the various ways New Hampshire residents can vote.
Sanders remains popular in his neighboring state, where he came in first in the February Democratic presidential primary and Biden came in fifth.
The Trump campaign has said at times that New Hampshire might be up for grabs in November, but Biden leads by 8.4 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls.
Jobs Report Shows Risk for Trump Among Women Voters (1:47 p.m.)
Trump faces a gender gap among voters that’s more like a chasm, but the September jobs report released Friday revealed one way it could get wider.
Labor force participation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that around 865,000 women dropped out of the labor force in September, compared to only 216,000 men.
Economists blame the coronavirus pandemic, which has added child care and remote learning burdens that have largely fallen on mothers, especially those who work in retail jobs where hours are not as predictable.
As Trump has tried to shift the campaign from the coronavirus to the economy, that means he has a tougher sell with women, especially working-class women.
Recent national polls have shown women prefer Biden over Trump by double digits, with some putting the figure as high as 31 percentage points, according to data compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
Poll Shows Biden Ahead in Arizona, But It’s Close (11:58 a.m.)
Biden is ahead in the battleground state of Arizona, but it remains a close race.
In a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Friday, 50% of likely voters in Arizona backed Biden and 46% backed Trump.
Recent polls of the state have shown everything from a tie to a 9-point Biden margin, but the RealClearPolitics average puts it at 3 points.
In a sign of the state’s importance, Biden had planned to travel to Arizona for his first joint event with running mate Kamala Harris, though it’s unclear if that is still on after Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.
The poll of 500 likely voters in Arizona was conducted Sept. 26-30, both before and after the first presidential debate. It has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.
Trump Could Get ‘Sympathy Bump’ After Diagnosis (11:12 a.m.)
Trump could see a short-term spike in approval due to his coronavirus diagnosis, pollsters say.
Past presidents have gotten so-called “sympathy bumps” in polls when facing personal adversity. Dwight Eisenhower enjoyed an already high 71% approval rating in September 1955 when he had a heart attack. His approval shot up to 78% -- the highest for any peacetime president except John F. Kennedy. And President Ronald Reagan also got an 11-point bump following his assassination attempt in 1981.
“The key difference between those events and President Trump’s sickness is those events were caused by an outside force, and Trump’s exposure to Covid was caused by his own behavior,” said Richard Curtin, director of the University of Michigan Survey Research Center.
Trump long resisted wearing a mask in public and still wears them infrequently, mocking Biden at Tuesday’s debate for how often he wears them. He has also continued to hold rallies and large gatherings in recent weeks, despite concerns from public health officials.
A more direct comparison might be to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for Covid in March while he was at the height of his popularity during the crisis. By the time he left the hospital in April, his personal approval climbed to 60% --but that bump evaporated within a month. -- Gregory Korte
Biden Schedule Unclear After Trump Diagnosis (7:01 a.m.)
Biden had a busy schedule lined up for the coming days, but it’s not clear if he’ll stick to it.
He was expected to travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday to deliver remarks on his economic agenda and then participate in a voter mobilization event. He also is scheduled to appear at a virtual fundraiser.
But Trump’s positive coronavirus test complicates things, since the two shared a stage on Tuesday for an hour and a half during the debate.
Biden shared a stage with Trump on Tuesday for the debate. They observed social distancing but were near each other in an enclosed space.
The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment about whether that trip will still happen.
Senator Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, is slated to be in Nevada to participate in a drive-in voter mobilization event in Las Vegas. -- Tyler Pager
Trump Cites ‘Anti-Catholic Bigotry’ as a Reason to Defeat Biden
Speaking at a dinner named for an unsuccessful Catholic presidential candidate, Trump said Thursday that the best way to beat “anti-Catholic bigotry” would be to defeat another one.
At the annual Al Smith Dinner, named for the 1928 Democratic nominee who lost to Herbert Hoover, Trump argued that the Democratic Party is now full of “anti-Catholic prejudice,” citing opposition to Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who is Catholic.
“Anti-Catholic bigotry has absolutely no place in the United States of America,” he said. “It predominates in the Democrat Party, and we must do something immediately about it, like a Republican win -- and let’s make it a really big one.”
Trump has called Biden, one of four Catholic presidential nominees in history, all of whom were Democrats, “against God” and said he was not “a man of deep religion” because of his support for some liberal proposals.
At the National Prayer Breakfast in February, he attacked Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is also Catholic, saying he did not believe her when she said she prays for him.
Dog Lovers Group Think Trump Should Be Fired Like One
Trump is the first president since William McKinley not to have a dog. A group of Biden supporters think that’s reason enough to kick him out of the White House.
In a video shared widely online, the group Dog Lovers for Joe shows photos of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama with their dogs.
It then shows a clip of Trump at a 2019 rally questioning how he would look with a dog on the White House lawn.
“Trump is the first President without a dog in the White House in over a century,” the ad copy says, before cutting to a photo of Biden with his German Shepherd, Champ. “Choose your humans wisely.”
At the rally, Trump went on to say that he had been advised that getting a dog would look good politically but he thought it would feel “a little phony.”
Biden Marks a Diverse List of Holidays on Twitter
The Biden campaign is making sure no holiday is left behind.
In recent weeks, Biden’s official Twitter account has made note of a diverse list of cultural celebrations, including some that are held by key battleground state voters.
On Thursday, Biden wished the Korean-American community a happy Chuseok, a harvest festival, and in a separate tweet wished everyone a happy Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional Chinese celebration.
He’s also recognized a few holidays celebrated by Hispanics in states like Florida: the feast day of Cuba’s patron saint la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre; the feast day of Our Lady of Mercy, important to people in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela; and the Independence Day of Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
He’s also noted Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year; Women’s Equality Day, the anniversary of the amendment that guaranteed women voting rights; the beginning of Ramadan, which is celebrated by Muslims; St. Patrick’s Day; the Fourth of July and Best Friends’ Day, when he posted a tribute to Barack Obama.
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