On Thursday, October 1 Axios' Mike Allen hosted a conversation following the first presidential debate featuring Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) and Biden Foreign Policy Advisor Antony Blinken.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms discussed voting early and safely, as well as her reaction to Tuesday's first presidential debate.

  • On the importance of voting in this election: "We are not the first generation that's faced challenges in voting. And this is what makes it now more important than ever for us to exercise our right to vote."
  • On the role that Georgia has as a state with many swing voters: "My hope is that in Georgia, where there are still so many swing voters and even many undecided voters, that this was a visual representation of the trouble that our country is in. That in watching President Trump, we watch someone who refuses to denounce white supremacists."

Antony Blinken unpacked the foreign policy approach of a Biden administration and his view of President Trump's effect on the relationships between the United States and its allies.

  • On a 'diplomacy first' approach: "I think a Biden administration would actually reassert American leadership, leading with our diplomacy. We'd actually show up again day in, day out, and we'd engage the world."
  • His view of the current administration's approach to foreign policy: "We've got a president who can't tell our friends from our foes."

Sen. Marsha Blackburn preparation for safe voting practices in Tennessee, the idea of statehood for D.C. and the Supreme Court Nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.

  • When asked to respond to Trump's refusal to denounce white supremacy on Tuesday night: "I think that it is imperative that we denounce all forms of violence and these extremist groups, whether they are from the left or from the right. And this there is no place for this in civil society."
  • On the possibility of D.C. statehood: "D.C. is the district. It is the nation's capital. Why would we turn that into a state? How would that work? And [my constituents] are just very unsettled."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this conversation.

Go deeper

Poll: Large majorities support Biden over Trump on major policy issues

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

As Election Day gets closer, Joe Biden leads President Trump by sizable margins on the major issues of the day, according to a national poll by The New York Times and Siena College.

Why it matters: With only two weeks to go before election day, there's little time for Trump make up the gap between he and Biden on the issues voters care deeply about. These include a new multi-trillion dollar stimulus program, mandatory mask-wearing, and a $2 trillion renewable energy package. Voters are also now evenly split on who will better manage the economy — a blow to Trump as he's led on the issue for much of the campaign.

16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Election Assistance Commission: Spreading out voting is key to limiting congestion

Benjamin Hovland, chair of the bipartisan Election Assistance Commission, said at an Axios virtual event on Tuesday that "helping to spread out voting over all of the options" — whether it's mail-in ballots, early voting or in-person Election Day voting — is crucial to limiting congestion and making it as safe as possible for voters and poll workers.

The big picture: Hovland said that in this unprecedented election year, which is likely to see a record number of mail-in ballots due to the pandemic, it is important that Americans pick the option that's best and safest for them.

The top Republicans who aren't voting for Trump in 2020

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said last week that he cannot support President Trump's re-election.

Why it matters: Hogan, a moderate governor in a blue state, joins other prominent Republicans who have publicly said they will either not vote for Trump's re-election this November or will back Biden.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!