The Hill's Campaign Report: Florida in play as Biden takes lead in poll

The Hill's Campaign Report: Florida in play as Biden takes lead in poll
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Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 




President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE is trailing Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign slams Trump's Rose Garden event as 'sad affair' New shutdowns add to Trump woes CNN cuts away from Trump's 'campaign-type' Rose Garden speech MORE in his home state. 

That’s according to a new Quinnipiac University poll of Florida released on Wednesday. The survey shows the former vice president leading Trump in the Sunshine State by a 4-point margin, and it’s only the latest to suggest that Trump may be in for a tough fight there. A survey from St. Pete Polls released last week showed the two men tied in Florida, while a University of North Florida poll out earlier this month found Biden ahead by 6 points. 

There’s some evidence that the coronavirus pandemic may be swaying voters in Florida. The Quinnipiac poll showed a slight majority of registered voters in the state — 51 percent — disapprove of the president’s handling of the outbreak. Forty-six percent approve of his efforts.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida records highest one-day coronavirus death toll DeSantis sued for not having ASL interpreter at coronavirus briefings The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - California a coronavirus cautionary tale as it retrenches to stave off infections MORE (R) fares better than Trump when it comes to voters’ views on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with 50 percent approving of his efforts and 41 percent disapproving.

Still, there’s a sense that DeSantis may have been slow to act as the coronavirus spread in the state. Sixty-one percent said that DeSantis could have responded sooner to the outbreak, while about 34 percent said he responded to the virus quickly enough. 

With 29 electoral votes at stake in November, Florida is the nation’s largest swing state and one of the most sought after prizes for any presidential candidate. Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe four China strategies Trump or Biden will need to consider Largest Democratic PAC portrays Trump as strongman in bilingual Florida ad Larry Hogan's hopes MORE won the state twice — first in 2008 and again in 2012 — before it flipped for Trump in 2016. But Trump’s victory there was narrow; he beat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrat Dana Balter to face Rep. John Katko in NY House rematch GOP lawmaker: Don't believe polls showing Trump behind Biden Kyle Van De Water wins New York GOP primary to challenge Rep. Antonio Delgado MORE by little more than 1 percentage point.


This year, Florida is poised to play the same decisive role. 

“Even in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis, Florida delivers a familiar déjà vu in the head-to-head presidential race. It's Biden, but it's close as independents play a huge potential role,” Tim Malloy, a Quinnipiac University polling analyst, said. “Sound familiar?”

--Max Greenwood



Poll: Biden leads Trump by 4 points in Florida, by The Hill’s Max Greenwood



Democrats are urging Biden to choose his running mate sooner rather than later, The Hil’s Amie Parnes reports. Doing so sooner, they argue, would not only give the former vice president more time to raise money, but could help build party unity at a time when Democrats are still somewhat fractured along ideological lines.

Climate activist and former Vice President Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreLarry Hogan's hopes Introducing the 'Great Reset,' world leaders' radical plan to transform the economy The 'blue wall' is reforming in the Rust Belt MORE endorsed Biden on Wednesday, which marked Earth Day. "This is the most consequential choice in a presidential election that we've ever had in American history. Donald Trump is the face of climate denial globally. He is lifting the constraints on polluters,” Gore said during a live streamed discussion with his fellow former vice president. More from The Hill’s Rachel Frazin

And in another Earth Day-themed endorsement, Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden pledges carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan | Trump administration has been underestimating costs of carbon pollution, government watchdog finds | Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law Biden campaign adopts carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan  121 University of Washington students test positive for coronavirus MORE (D) threw his support behind Biden on Wednesday after the former vice president assured Inslee that combating climate change would be a key part of his presidential campaign. 

“I am convinced, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this will be a major driving force of his administration," Inslee told The New York Times

Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic nominee for Georgia governor, urged Biden to choose a woman of color as his vice presidential nominee as an acknowledgment of the crucial role nonwhite — and especially black — voters play in the Democratic coalition, The Hill’s Rebecca Klar reports. “I think Vice President Biden is going to make a smart choice, and I appreciate the fact that he has lifted up women as being a necessary partner in this,” she told Sunny HostinSunny HostinSunny Hostin responds to ABC exec's alleged 'racist' remarks about her Chris Wallace to 'The View': Trump had a 'very bad week' for his reelection prospects Chris Christie says US can't allow virus to control reopening timeline MORE, one of the co-hosts of ABC’s “The View.” “I would share your concern about not picking a woman of color because women of color, particularly black women, are the strongest part of the Democratic Party.”

Biden said that he plans to announce the members of a vice presidential selection committee by May 1, The Hill’s Tal Axelrod reports.



Steve IsraelSteven (Steve) J. IsraelThe Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - As virus concerns grow, can it get worse for Trump? The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats zero in on health care as Obamacare lawsuit nears key deadline MORE: “Is Joe Biden breaking through?”

I. India Thusi: “Why Biden needs a black woman as his VP”



The liberal group Democracy for America (DFA) announced its support on Wednesday for middle school principal Jamaal Bowman’s primary challenge against Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelMassachusetts Democrat calls for Voice of America chief to resign 70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze MORE (D-N.Y.), The Hill’s Jonathan Easley reports. DFA is the latest progressive group to endorse Bowman. He has already won the support of Justice Democrats, the political action committee aligned with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Ocasio-Cortez fires back after Trump says she's 'not talented in many ways' Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey MORE (D-N.Y.).




The Democratic-aligned Ditch Mitch Fund is reserving $1 million in TV ads against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSara Gideon wins Democratic race to challenge Susan Collins Schumer pushes for elimination of SALT deduction cap in next coronavirus relief bill Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel MORE (R-Ky.) ahead of the November election, The Hill’s Jordain Carney reports.




Biden: 46%


Trump: 42%



Biden: 48% (+/-0)

Trump: 42% (-1)



(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)

April 28:



May 2:

Kansas Democratic primary


May 12:

Nebraska primaries


May 19:

Oregon primaries


May 22:

Hawaii Democratic primary


June 2:

Delaware primaries

District of Columbia primaries

Indiana primaries

Maryland primaries

Montana primaries

New Mexico primaries

Pennsylvania primaries

Rhode Island primaries

South Dakota primaries


June 9:

Georgia primaries

West Virginia primaries


June 23:

Kentucky primaries

New York primaries


July 7:

New Jersey primaries


July 11:



July 14:

Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff


August 11:

Connecticut primary


August 17-20:

Democratic National Convention


August 24-27:

Republican National Convention


One hopeful thing 

HAPPY EARTH DAY: This Earth Day is not only memorable because it’s the 50th anniversary of the holiday, but because we’re celebrating in a very different way this year. 

In normal times, we would celebrate outside and enjoy the nature around us. However, the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to stay indoors to stop the spread of the virus. But you can still enjoy the beauty Earth has to offer from the comfort of your own home. 

As a part of its #EarthDayFromHome campaign, NASA has compiled a list of activities you can do from home to celebrate, including creating GIFs with satellite imagery, mapping coral reefs, galleries, educational videos and more. 

We also do have some good news to report on the climate front today. While the coronavirus pandemic has led to a large share of bad news, the virus does appear to have impacted the environment in a positive way by decreasing humans’ industrial footprint. 

You can see for yourself in these images: 

For more good news, be sure to check out The Hill's Selfless Acts page, where our reporters are detailing how Americans are helping each other through the coronavirus pandemic.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more campaign news of the day.