Mar 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Two major Democratic groups back Biden with 9-figure campaign

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Two major outside Democratic groups launched a general election partnership to boost Joe Biden's presidential campaign with polling, opposition research and ads.

Why it matters: This is significant support — financially and in terms of resources — to get at a time when the novel coronavirus outbreak has pushed the election to the back burner for the country.

  • The two groups — Unite the Country, a super PAC that formed last year to support the former vice president, and American Bridge, a progressive group that's traditionally been an opposition research powerhouse for Democrats — aren't officially merging, per the New York Times, which first reported on the partnership.
  • They are coordinating opposition research efforts, digital and TV ad buys, polling, and fundraising. They've already raised over $70 million combined throughout this cycle, and their goal is $175 million.

Our thought bubble: The background in opposition research could prove to be one of the most powerful tools Biden has in a general election against President Trump, who will be relentless in his attacks.

  • The groups will be able to put up more paid advertising on behalf of Biden, which is especially useful at a time when everyone is stuck at home watching TV.
  • It also helps Biden hit Trump without doing the dirty work himself; ads from this joint partnership will likely hit the president harder on his record and past comments than Biden would.

The big picture: This partnership is another example of the consolidation of Democratic groups in 2020 to try to concentrate power.

  • Earlier this month, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he will donate $18 million to the Democratic National Committee instead of creating his own PAC.

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

1 hour ago - Economy & Business