🎥 See you this evening for "Axios on HBO" (6 p.m. ET/PT): Jim VandeHei mixes it up with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Kim Hart has a fascinating tech scoop, Sara Fischer interviews Andrew Yang and explains his rise ... + a bold, massive surprise.
😎 Good Saturday morning! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,300 words ... ~ 5 minutes.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Pollsters spent a lot of time figuring out why Donald Trump's win was such a surprise in 2016 — but there isn't going to be a radical change in most election polling for 2020, Axios managing editor David Nather writes.
The backstory: Most national polls weren't wrong in 2016. They had Clinton ahead by a few points, and she won the popular vote by about 2 points.
The three main reasons the Trump win was a surprise, according to a postmortem by a committee of pollsters:
What's changed and what hasn't:
The good news, pollsters point out, is that the 2018 midterm election polling was largely right — especially on control of Congress.
Their main advice for 2020:
The wettest 12 months in recorded U.S. history have exacted a price — millions of acres of waterlogged fields remain unplanted during the worst farm crisis since the 80s, Nebraska man Justin Green writes.
Why it matters: Agriculture is used to boom-bust cycles. What's less common is the bust coinciding with historic trade wars.
By the numbers: Just 77% of potential soybean acres have been planted in the 18 highest producing states, vs. an average 93% over the past 5 years.
The big picture: Farmers are generally insured against crop loss — and many are insured against being unable to plant.
The bottom line: More farm aid is almost certainly on the way. Trump — who is responsible for farmer trade war pains — keeps upping his administration's offers to help, including for farmers who weren't able to plant.
President Trump tells Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press" he's willing to talk with Iran with "no preconditions":
Trump on Iran at Marine One departure for Camp David yesterday:
Maureen Dowd praises Trump (really) for holding off his hawks ("Blowhard on the Brink"):
It’s breathtaking that Washington’s conservative foreign policy mandarins would drag us back into Mideast quicksand when we haven’t even had a reckoning about the lies, greed, self-interest and naïveté that led U.S. officials to make so many tragic mistakes in the region.
"Thousands gathered [yesterday] to celebrate the formal renaming of Arthur Ashe Boulevard, an occasion leaders hailed as a long overdue step toward honoring Richmond’s native son and embracing African American history," writes Mark Robinson of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The whole cover of today's N.Y. Times sports section is devoted to an essay by Kurt Streeter, a reporter who had led Berkeley to an indoor national tennis title:
This is the Civil War capital of the Confederacy. I count slaves among my ancestors. This also is the birthplace and childhood home of my idol, Arthur Ashe, the first African-American on the United States Davis Cup team and, so far, the only black man to win the singles championship at Wimbledon, at the Australian Open and at the United States Open.
My son, Ashe, 8, is named after him.
"The White House ... outlined a $50 billion Middle East economic plan that would create a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies, and fund a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza," Reuters reports.
What's next ... Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 13 writes for Axios: White House officials stressed that the economic plan is only the beginning and the political part of the plan will be released in the future.
Above, 21 Democrats seeking the presidency pose together after House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn's "World Famous Fish Fry," on Friday in Columbia, S.C.
How to stand out in this crowd? Per The State of Columbia:
India uses yoga diplomacy to assert rising global influence, AP's Emily Schmall reports from New Delhi:
On Friday, the fifth annual International Yoga Day, Modi practiced "asanas" alongside 40,000 people in India's eastern state of Jharkhand, as members of his Cabinet and foreign envoys rolled out their yoga mats in cities around the world.
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