Polls: Biden Won Final Debate By Double-Digits

Donald Trump and Joe Biden (screen capture)

NowThis News serves up the “Top Moments” from the final presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle:

From Donald Trump comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln to Joe Biden blasting the president’s COVID-19 response, here are some of the biggest moments of the final 2020 presidential debate.

The last presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was a lot less chaotic than the first.

Still, there were some big standout moments throughout the night, such as Donald Trump saying he was the ‘least racist person’ in the room and Joe Biden talking about the government’s coronavirus response.

Three quick real-time polls all showed most folks felt Joe Biden, as with the first presidential debate, came out on top.

From the NY Times:

This time, the instant polls had a consistent and clear story: Mr. Biden won the debate by a double-digit margin.

If the results in the chart look familiar, that’s because they’re reminiscent of many national survey results we’ve seen over the last month. You could interpret that to mean that the debate was more or less a draw on the merits, with most Biden supporters concluding that Mr. Biden won, and vice versa for the Trump supporters.

Indeed, the CNN/SSRS poll didn’t find that either candidate improved his favorability rating compared with interviews conducted before the debate.

Presidential Commission Cancels Debate After Trump Refuses Virtual Format

L-R President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden

After Donald Trump refused to take part in a virtual presidential debate (in light of the fact that he’s still contagious for the coronavirus), the Commission on Presidential Debates canceled the scheduled second debate between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

From CNN:

The cancellation is the culmination of a furious 48-hour back-and-forth between the commission and both campaigns and means what would have been the third debate in Nashville on October 22 will likely be the final meeting between the two candidates. The Wall Street Journal was first to report on the commission’s decision.
The commission, with the backing of their health advisers, announced on Thursday morning that — because Trump tested positive for the coronavirus — the debate that was scheduled for Miami would be held virtually, with the two candidates appearing from remote locations.
Trump swiftly rejected that plan, saying he would not show up and setting off a series of events that put the future of all general election debates into question.
In response to Trump’s cancellation, a Biden spokeswoman swiftly said that they would have agreed to a virtual format for next Thursday’s contest, but because the President had seemingly bailed, they would book another format for the former vice president to take questions.

In fact, ABC News has already announced it will be hosting a town hall with Biden on October 15 to be moderated by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.

You should note that for some time Trump has told his followers Biden would be the one to cancel.

“Joe Biden is too weak to lead this country,” Trump said at a rally last week. “You know Biden lost badly when his supporters are saying he should cancel the rest of the debates. Now, I understand he is canceling the debates. Let’s see what happens. I think that’s not going to be a good move for him.”

Clearly, Trump knows he can’t win a debate where his ability to bully and speak over his opponent is limited.

Pete Buttigieg On Trump Refusing Virtual Debate: ‘Probably A Reflection Of Weakness Of His Campaign’

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Fox News (screen capture)

Donald Trump announced that he wouldn’t “waste his time” on the upcoming October 15 presidential debate after the Commission on Presidential Debates determined it would be handled in a virtual manner due to Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

Fox News invited former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg to discuss Trump’s refusal to debate.

Buttigieg told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, “Well, it’s too bad, I don’t know why the president’s afraid to participate in a debate.”

“All of us have had to get used to a virtual format. Parents are having to deal with e-learning, which is not what we’re used to,” continued Buttigieg. “We’re having to take meetings over Zoom. It’s not something I think most of us enjoy, but it’s a safety measure.”

“I think part of why the US is badly behind the rest of the developed world on dealing with the pandemic is because every time there’s been a choice between doing something in a way that’s more safe or less safe, this president seems to push for less safe.”

“I think it’s also probably a reflection of the weakness of his campaign… and it’s too bad because I think the more the American people can hear two candidates side by side, even if it’s virtual, the better,” he added.

“Of course, the only reason we’re here in the first place is that the president of the United States is still contagious with a deadly disease.”


Poll: Harris Won Veep Debate 59%-38%

In case you missed it, the 2020 Vice Presidential Debate last night was pretty much what we all expected.

Vice President Mike Pence spent a lot of the 90 minutes interrupting Sen. Kamala Harris, and a fly landed on his head stealing the veep’s thunder.

Harris was fairly restrained and was more successful than Pence at following the agreed upon rules for the debate.

A CNN snap poll taken directly after the event found Harris was viewed as the winner of the debate by an overwhelming majority of 59% versus 38% who thought Pence came out on top.

Also from that survey, Harris went into the debate with 56 percent favorability and afterward that rose to 63 percent, while Pence began and ended the night at 41 percent.

Female respondents said Harris did the best job in the debate by a 69% to 30% margin. Men, meanwhile, split about evenly between Harris (48%) and Pence (46%). Note – women make up a majority of the voting public.

Over at the New York Times, the opinion writers were split over the victor with 11 calling it for Harris, 4 for Pence, and 2 a tie. Click here to see what the group of writers thought were the most pivotal moments and some small remarks that resonated.

At the end of the day, the veep event did little-to-nothing to change the direction of the election. And in that case, Harris did her job.

Social media, however, became enthralled by a fly landing on Pence’s head and remaining for several minutes.

View this post on Instagram

#flygate #rbg #fly #notoriousrbg

A post shared by Laura Savino (@laurasavino747) on

View this post on Instagram

#flygate #fly2020

A post shared by Ralph Terry (@ralph.terry.37) on

News Round-Up: October 2, 2020

Happy World Smile Day from Snoopy

Some news items you might have missed:

World Smile Day: Talk about ‘who can turn the world on with his smile?’ Snoopy (above) sends TGIF greetings to all. #HandsomeDog #DogsRule

The Advocate: A man was dancing with a female friend recording a TikTok video in Lower Manhattan on Saturday when an unknown assailant called him a homophobic slur and punched him repeatedly in the head. The assailant fled on foot, and the New York Police Department’s hate-crimes unit is investigating the incident as a bias crime.

Pink News: In a letter to USA Today’s political reporter Susan Page, who will serve as moderator for the upcoming vice presidential debate, 13 LGBT+ rights groups asked her to address queer rights, as it would “do our nation and community a disservice to exclude these issues as a part of the conversation.”

KIT212: Check out Kenneth’s lastest round-up of LGBTQ publications including DNA Magazine’s latest issue (below) featuring Ian Utterback on the cover.

Ian Utterback covers DNA Magazine (photo: James Franklin)

USA Today: Newly revealed secretly recorded conversations with Melania Trump show the first lady expressing dismay at her role in decorating and promoting the White House during Christmas time, while she was being criticized for not doing more meaningful work. “I’m working my a– off with the Christmas stuff that, you know, who gives a f— about Christmas stuff and decorations but I need to do it, right?” Trump is heard saying.

Washington Post: Amazon said Thursday that nearly 20,000 of its U.S. employees had tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began. The retailer has faced harsh criticism as hundreds of workers and critics have said it hasn’t done enough to keep employees safe as they work in its warehouses amid a surge in demand to send items to shoppers across the country.

Twitter: File this clip of Donald Trump mocking Joe Biden for wearing a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic under “Didn’t age well.”

Trump Preps Attacks On Biden’s Family For First Debate

L-R President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden

The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump is preparing to hit Joe Biden with personal attacks that include the former vice president’s family.

President Trump is gearing up to launch blistering personal attacks on Joe Biden and his family in the first presidential debate on Tuesday, while Biden is bracing for an onslaught and worried allies are warning the Democratic nominee not to lose his temper and lash out, according to people with knowledge of the strategies in both camps.

Trump has told associates he wants to talk specifically about his opponent’s son Hunter Biden and mused that the debates are when “people will finally realize Biden is just not there,” according to one adviser.

The president is so eager to lay into his rival that he has called aides to test out various attacks, focusing on broadsides that cast Biden as a longtime Washington insider with a limited record of accomplishment, said another adviser.

Biden and his advisers are anticipating a venomous barrage, according to a person with knowledge of their thinking, and they are preparing to counter with an affirmative case for a Biden presidency. The Democrat wants to stay focused on how he would address the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s economic problems, which he blames Trump for worsening.

Friends and allies of Biden are a bit concerned because Biden’s ‘passion and empathy’ can sometimes bleed into anger when opponents go after his family.

Moderators Announced For Presidential Debates

L-R President Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden

The non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has announced the moderators for the 2020 general election presidential and vice-presidential debates.

The moderators, and the schedule and locations for the debates (as previously announced), are as follows:

First presidential debate: Chris Wallace, Anchor, Fox News Sunday, Tuesday, September 29, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Vice presidential debate: Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief, USA Today, Wednesday, October 7, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Second presidential debate (town meeting): Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer & Political Editor, C-SPAN Networks, Thursday, October 15, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami, FL

Third presidential debate: Kristen Welker, Co-Anchor Weekend TODAY, White House Correspondent, NBC News Thursday, October 22, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Trump is not pleased with the selections while Biden has called for live fact-checking in a crawler during the debates.

CNN Draws Lineups For 2nd Democratic Debates As Biden Continues To Lead

A new NBC News|SurveyMonkey online poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden still leading the pack of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, although the numbers are beginning to tighten.

Biden garnered 25% support in the survey taken after the first Democratic debate.
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tied at second with 16% support each.
California Sen. Kamala Harris barely behind them with 14% and Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounds out the Top 5 with 8% support.

These seem to be coalescing into the top tier candidates.

In related news, CNN drew the placements last night for the second Democratic debates set to take place July 30 and 31.

Looks like Sanders and Warren will get to go head-to-head on the first night along with Mayor Pete, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, while Harris and Biden will have another chance to go at it on the second night .

Recapping Democratic Debate Night 2

Sen.Kamala Harris (L), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (R)

By most political experts’ accounts, the second night of Democratic debates was dominated by a stellar performance by California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Consensus also agrees Mayor Pete Buttigieg scored well as the first openly gay presidential candidate to take to the debate stage.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the current front-runner in polling, found himself playing defense a surprising amount of time given that this is the first Democratic debate.

Check out these highlights for both via Twitter:

FiveThirtyEight teamed with Morning Consult to determine who ‘won’ the debates:

Among all 20 candidates, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Julián Castro earned the highest scores for their debate performances relative to their favorability rating before they took the stage, according to the voters in our poll.

Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker also rated well, but their scores were more in line with their pre-debate favorability.

Meanwhile, voters didn’t exactly think Beto O’Rourke did badly on Night 1, but his grades were underwhelming given his popularity.

A CNN focus group agreed with the pundits:

Democratic White House Hopefuls To Debate LGBTQ Policies For 1st Time In 10 Years

For the first time in ten years, Democratic presidential candidates will share their policy positions and views on LGBTQ issues at a debate to be hosted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Out Mayor Pete Buttigieg has already qualified for the Democratic LGBTQ Forum

For the first time in ten years, Democratic presidential candidates will share their policy positions and views on LGBTQ issues at a debate to be hosted by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Scheduled for October 10, coinciding with National Coming Out Day, the event will be held on UCLA campus.

The topics will range from hate crimes, transgender rights, so-called ‘conversion therapy’ and more.

To qualify for participation, a candidate needs to poll at least 1% in three separate national polls, OR receive campaign donations from over 65,000 people in at least 20 states.

As Instinct recently reported, openly Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has already crossed that threshold.

The forum will be one of 12 debates to be held during the Democratic primary season leading up to the 2020 election.

The last forum sponsored by the HRC took place in 2008 with then-candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinish and Bill Richardson.

It’s notable that LGBTQ issues have shifted substantially since then.

According to Gallup polling

• In 2008, 55% felt “same-sex relations between consenting adults should be legal.” In 2018, that figure has reached 75% support.

• In 2008, only 40% of those polled agreed that “marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid.” In 2018, that figure had risen to 67% support.

There hasn’t been a Republican presidential debate on LGBTQ issues.

As NBC News points out, LGBTQ Americans have traditionally voted for Democrats in presidential elections.

According to an NBC News exit poll last November, 82 percent of LGBTQ voters cast a ballot for their district’s Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives. 

And in 2016, 78 percent of LGBTQ voters cast a ballot for the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.)