Jun 19, 2019

63% of Americans worry about foreign meddling in 2020

Despite U.S. efforts to encourage election security measures, a new poll from the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs shows that 63% of Americans have "major concerns" about foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The poll results make clear that despite the efforts of U.S. officials to ward off election interference, Americans are worried that some of the same tactics Russia used to meddle in 2016 could surface again in the next race.

Driving the news: Senate Democrats have renewed efforts to pass a collection of election security bills in light of findings from special counsel Robert Mueller's report detailing Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) recently said he would not consider stand-alone legislation on the issue and that the federal government has already done enough, the New York Times reports.

  • On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) attacked McConnell (R-Ky.) for blocking election security and foreign interference legislation, per NBC News, saying: “The Republican Senate, Leader McConnell just stands there and twiddles their thumbs and almost says, ‘Come on Putin, let it happen.'”

Meanwhile, President Trump said in an exclusive ABC interview last week that he would be willing to accept a foreign government's help in the next election.

The big picture: FBI Director Chris Wray said attempts to erode democracy and sway public opinion with social media and misinformation are “not just an election-cycle threat,” AP reports.

Go deeper: For hacked campaigns, 2020 might as well be 2016

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: First case in sub-Saharan Africa confirmed

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Nigeria confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in an Italian who flew to Lagos from Milan — the first known case in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization has been working to prepare Africa's health care systems to be ready for the outbreak, which is now also confirmed in Algeria and Egypt.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,700 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Ad spending on 2020 primary tops $1 billion

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Spending on the 2020 presidential primary has officially surpassed the $1 billion mark, with more than half of that total coming from billionaire Michael Bloomberg, according to data from Advertising Analytics.

Why it matters: It's the most money that has been spent this early on in an election cycle in U.S. history.

The growing coronavirus recession threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In just a matter of weeks, top economists and investment bank analysts have gone from expecting the coronavirus outbreak to have minimal impact on the U.S. economy to warning that an outright recession may be on the horizon.

What's happening: The spread of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., and the speed at which they are being discovered has set the table for the outbreak to have a larger and much costlier impact.