- The Washington Times
Monday, May 11, 2020

An effort to organize and recruit “Republicans for Biden” now appears to be underway, in search of disgruntled GOP voters who could jettison their support for President Trump and switch sides.

The effort is perhaps a little late in the game. Mr. Trump’s campaign launched a formal and well-organized outreach titled “Democrats for Trump” quite some time ago, emphasizing an appeal to Democrats alarmed by the influence of “coastal elitist and left-wing radicals” within their party.


But back to the crafty Democrats and their current efforts to woo the GOPers.

Presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden himself has already hinted that the group exists during an April 30 Instagram chat. Others agree that the formation of “Republicans for Biden” is underway.

“I know that it’s happening and it’s coming together,” Jennifer Horn, a longtime Republican strategist told The Daily Beast, noting that a “national GOP operative” approached her months ago about joining the effort.

“With less than six months until Election Day, there are already a number of Republicans and ex-Republicans who have stated they intend to vote for Biden. Former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina, who competed against Trump in 2016, declared that she ‘cannot vote for Donald Trump in 2020,’ while entertaining the possibility of not voting,” the Daily Beast said.

It’s a complicated maneuver, though, particularly if some annoyed voters opt not to go to the polls at all.

Some high-profile names, however, are said to be involved in Republicans for Biden, according to the Daily Beast. They include former Ohio Gov. John Kasich — who also ran against Mr. Trump in 2016 — plus Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, columnist Bill Kristol, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and former Rep. David Jolly of Florida.

FOR THE LEXICON

#Obamagate.

This Twitter hashtag appears to have originated with President Trump after federal charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn were dropped. The hashtag struck a nerve. #Obamagate generated 1.5 million tweets in a few hours on Monday.

“Obamagate makes Watergate look small time!” Mr. Trump tweeted on Monday morning.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The coronavirus pandemic is not necessarily a crisis in some sectors.

“A surge in the stock prices of companies developing COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and testing kits has minted at least one new billionaire and boosted the fortunes of nine members of the three-comma-club,” reported Giacomo Tognini, who covers billionaires for Forbes.

PARTISAN PANIC OVER COVID-19

Several pollsters have been tracking the reactions of the American public to the threat of coronavirus as the weeks of quarantine, economic challenges and social restrictions drag on. The polls are all revealing huge partisan divides among respondents, with Republicans eager to get on back to normal, and Democrats in the opposite corner.

Axios, for example, found that 74% of U.S. adults say they are concerned about ending the national lockdown too soon; 88% of Democrats and 56% of Republicans agree. YouGov discovered that two-thirds of the public say face masks will be part of “normal life” for the next year; 76% of Democrats agree, compared to 54% of Republicans.

A new Gallup poll released Monday now reveals that 51% of Americans overall say the six-foot social distancing practice is “very important”; 76% of Democrats agree — but only 27% of Republicans. Among other contrasts: 30% of Republicans say widespread testing for the virus is very important, compared to 87% of Democrats. A quarter of the GOPers favor “contact tracing” to track cases; 67% of Democrats agree.

“Democrats are far more likely than Republicans and independents to consider each requirement except the lifting of state government orders to be very important. Easing of state restrictions and mandatory temperature checks when entering public buildings are the only measures that less than a majority of Democrats consider very important,” Gallup noted.

See more telling numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.

APPLAUSE FOR CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION

A round of applause, please, for the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection division, which has stepped up to the coronavirus pandemic challenge with great vigor.

As of May 1, the federal agency seized a record number of counterfeit COVID-19 tests the past 45 days. They include 62 seizures in Cincinnati, yielding 29,438 fake test kits; 11 seizures in Chicago yielding 1,147 test kits; 2 seizures in Indianapolis yielding 4,650 test kits; and 16 seizures in Louisville containing 187 test kits. These seizures had a domestic value of over $600,000.

As of May 3, the Customs and Border Protection, in close coordination with the State Department’s Repatriation Task Force, facilitated the return of more than 76,000 Americans back to the U.S. from 126 countries.

“This interagency operation is vital to reuniting families and keeping Americans out of harm’s way,” the agency noted.

POLL DU JOUR

80% of Americans say mandatory quarantine for anyone testing positive for COVID-19 is “very important”; 66% of Republicans, 80% of independents and 93% of Democrats agree.

77% overall say improved medical therapies to treat the virus are very important; 68% of Republicans, 75% of independents and 86% of Democrats agree.

68% overall say an available vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is very important; 55% of Republicans, 69% of independents and 92% of Democrats agree.

51% overall say requiring six-feet social distancing is very important; 27% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 76% of Democrats agree.

47% overall say requiring face masks in public is very important; 22% of Republicans, 39% of independents and 72% of Democrats agree.

41% overall say their state lifting restrictions is very important; 52% of Republicans, 34% of independents and 31% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 4,553 U.S. adults conducted April 27-May 3.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.


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