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2020 Presidential Race

Ballots in boxes
Thomas Iacobucci/WUSF Public Media

Face shields, temperature checks and disposable pens are just some of the safeguards Florida officials plan to employ to combat COVID-19, as they brace for elections in August and November.

Florida is a battleground state and home to many Cuban-Americans, who make up a powerful and historically conservative voting bloc. But with the polarization caused by the Trump administration and the leftward shift of some Democrats, that block may be changing its shape.

Vermont Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders set off an eruption in Florida when he said the unspeakable.

“When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?”

Mike Pence profile photo
whitehouse.gov

Updated: Saturday June 27

Vice President Mike Pence has called off campaign events in Florida and Arizona for this coming week as the states experience a surge in new coronavirus cases.

The White House says Pence will still travel to those states to meet with their governors and health teams. Florida and Arizona have set records for new confirmed infections in recent days.

After weeks of protests against police brutality and racism, and amid a renewed spike in coronavirus cases, the number of voters disapproving of the job President Trump is doing is at an all-time high, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

Trump's approval rating sits at just 40% overall, while a record 58% disapprove.

As protests stemming from George Floyd's killing at the hands of Minneapolis police spread across the country, Black progressives appear to have had a good night in Democratic primaries Tuesday, while some Republicans endorsed by President Trump did not fare as well on the GOP side.

Three races in New York and Virginia, and perhaps one in Kentucky, highlight what could be the start of something important in Democratic politics — the surge of Black candidates.

A presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15 will no longer be held at the University of Michigan.

University President Mark Schlissel sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates explaining that coronavirus concerns made the logistics too difficult for the school to pull off.

Progressives are mounting efforts to best establishment Democrats in Kentucky and New York Tuesday.

Black Lives Matter protests around the country have added energy to the left, and Black progressives are surging in contests in both states.

In Kentucky, the race between the two leading Democrats vying for the right to likely take on Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is coming down to the wire. All the momentum is on the side of state Rep. Charles Booker over Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot with a lot of money and the party's backing.

Six campaign staffers working on the advance team for President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Okla., have tested positive for COVID-19, the campaign said Saturday. Trump is still attending the rally.

First in a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., has a rising national profile.

Updated 5:30 a.m. ET Friday

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., says she is withdrawing her name from consideration to be Joe Biden's running mate, calling on the former vice president to pick a woman of color.

"Since I endorsed the vice president on that joyful night in Dallas, I've never commented on this process at all," she said on MSNBC Thursday night. "But let me tell you this after what I've seen in my state, what I've seen across the country. This is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment."

In late April, more than 200 black women who are leaders and activists within the Democratic party signed an open letter to the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden calling on him to select a black woman as his running mate.

"It is a fact that the road to the White House is powered by Black women and Black women are the key to a Democratic victory in 2020," they wrote.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden has mostly responded to the aftermath of George Floyd's death by contrasting his governing and leadership style with President Trump's. But the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has also laced his speeches, interviews and campaign statements with policy specifics.

With everything going in the country — from the unrest in many cities after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police to the coronavirus pandemic — it's easy to have missed that elections are being held.

But several states and the District of Columbia have primaries up and down the ballot: Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota.

Pennsylvania is holding primary voting on Tuesday, though Gov. Tom Wolf extended the deadline for voting by mail by one week, until June 9.

protestors march and hold signs
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

The mayors of Tampa Bay's two largest cities are reacting to state Republican leaders floating the possibility that this summer's Republican National Convention could be coming to Florida.

No door-to-door canvassing. Public gatherings are canceled. Motor vehicle offices are closed. Naturalization ceremonies are on hiatus.

Almost every place where Americans usually register to vote has been out of reach since March and it's led to a big drop in new registrations right before a presidential election that was expected to see record turnout.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is backtracking on remarks he made on a popular black radio program on Friday that were criticized as questioning the cultural authenticity of black supporters of President Trump.

"If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black," the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said during an interview with Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God.

Biden's campaign later said the remarks, called "racist" by the Trump campaign, were made "in jest."

Former Vice President Joe Biden again denied the sexual assault allegation made against him by former Senate staffer Tara Reade in an interview on MSNBC Thursday night, but added that voters who stand by Reade should not support him.

"If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn't vote for me," Biden said when asked what message he would give to female voters who accept Reade's allegation as true, but were planning on supporting him.

"I wouldn't vote for me if I believed Tara Reade," Biden added.

Joe Biden on the screen
YouTube

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden took to the internet with his first "virtual" rally late Thursday, billed as being from Tampa. But this new way of campaigning in the age of coronavirus could use a bit of tweaking.

Joe Biden at podium
DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

Presidential candidate Joe Biden is picking Tampa to kick off what he's calling a virtual campaign trail.

Updated at 5:59 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains graphic descriptions of an alleged sexual assault.

More than a month after being publicly accused of sexual assault by a former Senate staffer in the 1990s, former Vice President Joe Biden says the allegations "aren't true. This never happened."

Updated at 12:02 p.m. ET

Former President Barack Obama officially endorsed his former vice president, Joe Biden, on Tuesday, marking the Democratic establishment's formal consolidation around the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

Updated at 1:11 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his 2020 presidential campaign Wednesday, bowing to the commanding delegate lead former Vice President Joe Biden established.

Updated at 11:21 a.m. ET

In the wake of three straight weeks of lopsided multistate losses to former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is now "having conversations with supporters to assess his campaign," according to a top aide.

Voters in Florida cast their ballots in the Democratic primary during a pandemic that has stunted travel, closed schools, forced millions of workers to stay home and canceled campaign rallies.

Joe Biden easily won Florida's Democratic presidential primary, garnering early 62% of the vote against Bernie Sanders. Here are links to the results across the Tampa Bay area (and click the See County Results below for a state county-by-county breakdown):

Poll worker sits alone
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

Former Vice President Joe Biden cruised to a commanding win in Tuesday's Florida presidential primary Tuesday over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. But the biggest issue at the polls had little to do with politics.

 

On a special edition of the program - The Florida Roundup: Primary Night - we took a closer look at Florida’s presidential primary, which took place Tuesday, March 17, amidst coronavirus concerns, with: 

DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

As Florida officials try to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the state's voters will head to the polls and cast ballots today in the Democratic presidential primary.

Officials say all are expected to go smoothly despite concerns over the coronavirus.

The Voices Of Florida's Early Voters

Mar 17, 2020

Students in the Political News Reporting class at the University of South Florida were sent into the field to ask early voters in the Tampa Bay area, what issues are driving you to vote?

Just before the Democratic debate Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out guidelines encouraging Americans not to gather in groups of 50 or more for the next eight weeks.

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