Mar 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

2020 candidates lean on virtual town halls as coronavirus spreads

Lally Doerrer (left) watches Joe Biden's virtual town hall yesterday, in her Chicago living room with neighbors Douglas and Marlene Groll. Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden's virtual town hall in Illinois on Friday marks a new normal for campaigning, AP reports.

What's happening: With the Prairie State primary coming up Tuesday, Biden held a town hall from 800+ miles away in Delaware. Sen. Bernie Sanders has been holding daily press briefings from his home state, and said this is hurting him.

What they're saying:

  • Biden: "I'm sorry this has been such a disjointed effort here because of the connections," he said after answering a question about protecting endangered species.
  • Sanders: "We do more rallies than anybody else, and [they're] often very well attended. I love to do them," Sanders told reporters at a hotel in Burlington. "This coronavirus has obviously impacted our ability to communicate with people in the traditional way that we do. That's hurting."

Flashback: Louisiana was the first state to delay its primary in response to the novel coronavirus. The contest has been moved from April 4 to June 20.

Go deeper: Democratic primaries in flux over coronavirus concerns

Go deeper

What to watch in tonight's debate: A new Joe Biden

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden at the Democratic debate at Gaillard Center, Charleston, South Carolina, Feb. 25. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Viewers tuning in to tonight’s Democratic debate will meet a new Joe Biden — one who’s adopted two new progressive policies from Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and who’s eager to pull their supporters away from the movement they’ve built into his own coalition.

Why it matters: This could very well be the last primary debate of the 2020 cycle, and Biden knows he has to start the work of winning over Sanders’ supporters before Sanders drops out.

Biden: "Not the time" to call for Sanders to drop out

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at the March Democratic debate. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden was asked by an attendee at a virtual fundraiser tonight whether he had any updates on Bernie Sanders' campaign and if he's going to drop out.

  • What they're saying: "Now’s not the time for me or anyone to call for him to drop out," Biden said. "I know firsthand what a personal decision that is."

Why it matters: If Biden becomes the nominee, he'll need Sanders to do everything he can to help him win — and that'll be a lot easier if he's hands-off about whether and how Sanders exits the race.

Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor from delaying state's primary

Tony Evers. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Wisconsin's Supreme Court on Monday blocked an executive order by Gov. Tony Evers (D) that attempted to delay in-person voting for the state's primary election — currently scheduled for Tuesday — until June 9.

Driving the news: Judges ruled 4-2 along ideological lines that Evers does not have the power as governor to unilaterally postpone the election, despite the fact that the state has a stay-at-home order in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Apr 7, 2020 - Health