May 29, 2019

DNC to increase requirements for second round of 2020 debates

DNC head Tom Perez. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

The DNC announced on Wednesday that it would double the requirements for candidates to reach the 2020 debate stage in September, per the AP.

Why it matters: With a massive field of over 20 candidates, the DNC is under pressure to focus its primary race on those who have a chance of breaking through the noise and challenging President Trump.

Details: After the first round of June and July debates, candidates will need to obtain 2% support in four approved polls over the summer and obtain contributions from at least 130,000 donors before Aug. 28 to qualify for the second debate round.

  • A handful of top 2020 Dems already won't have to worry about meeting that goal, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, and Beto O'Rourke.

Between the lines: DNC President Tom Perez is likely to be criticized for the changes after he guaranteed an inclusive debate format to satisfy the party's liberal, grassroots wing.

  • But the original requirements for the first round of debates — reaching 1% in four approved polls and a minimum of 65,000 individual donors —  has faced criticism for being too easy to reach.

Go deeper: Liberal activists drive the Democratic Party

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Ivanka Trump plans focus on coronavirus recovery for small businesses

Ivanka Trump speaks at yesterday's White House videoconference with bank and credit card executives. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Ivanka Trump personally lobbied top bank executives to line up the $1.5 billion in commitments to small business that were announced yesterday at a videoconference among the bank executives and President Trump — stoking competitive juices among the execs to drive up their commitments.

The state of play: Ivanka, who has had workforce development in her portfolio going back to 2017, plans an increasing emphasis on small businesses in the weeks ahead as they navigate the rescue bill’s Payroll Protection Program, sources tell me.

Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health