Mar 2, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 434 words, a 2-minute read.

🏹 The stock market rebounded today:

  • Stocks closed up more than 4%, and the S&P 500 is now 8% below its record high, moving out of correction territory.
  • Go deeper.
1 big thing: Democratic establishment's signs of life

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Leading Democrats suddenly see their primary as a clear, two-person race — with Mike Bloomberg as the likely odd man out.

  • Why it matters: The Biden team feels like "a clear choice" is emerging between him and Bernie Sanders, a campaign aide told Axios' Alexi McCammond.

The state of play: South Carolina was a wake-up call for the establishment, Axios' Margaret Talev emails.

  • The Rep. Clyburn surge (tons of voters told exit pollsters his endorsement affected their vote) shows endorsements still matter. Terry McAuliffe follows.
  • President Obama let it be known he called Biden, even if he won't endorse yet.
  • Harry Reid jumps on the train. 
  • Pete Buttigieg wants a future so he drops out and will endorse Biden early enough to not get blamed if Sanders runs away with it.
  • Amy Klobuchar may lose Minnesota anyway plus could be a good VP choice if Biden survives, so she endorses too.

Bloomberg, campaigning in Virginia, addressed the Buttigieg/Klobuchar endorsements:

  • “I thought both of them behaved themselves, is a nice way to phrase it, but they represented their country and their states very well. ... And I felt sorry for them, but I’m in it to win it.”

Flashback: The nascent Never Trump movement split votes well past Super Tuesday in 2016, with Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio hanging on in hopes of winning their states.

  • That denied Sen. Ted Cruz or another candidate a chance to unify the non-Trump vote.

The bottom line: The non-Bernie/Warren wing of the field is coalescing around Biden before Super Tuesday, rather than when it's too late.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Getty Images

Biden speaks to supporters at a campaign event in Houston.

2. State of play
  1. Four new U.S. deaths are linked to the coronavirus, Washington state health officials said today. Go deeper.
  2. Israel's Likud Party is projected to fall short of a majority, but still win the most seats. Go deeper.
  3. The Supreme Court will hear a major Affordable Care Act case, meaning the health care law's fate will be on the line in the middle of the 2020 presidential election.
  4. The U.S. is placing new restrictions on Chinese journalists operating in America. Go deeper.
  5. Former GE chairman Jack Welch died at 84. His N.Y. Times obit.
3. 1 tech thing

Apple is shelling out up to $500 million to settle claims over intentionally slowing down older iPhones to preserve older batteries, AP reports.

  • Why it matters: Many people claimed they had already spent hundreds of dollars to buy new phones because Apple didn’t reveal the cause of the problem. If they had known they could just buy new batteries, they might not have bought new phones, some consumers in the case said.
Mike Allen