Your Voice Your Vote 2020

The Note: 'Wartime president' gets polling boost as election scripts get rewritten

What's emerging is an entirely different 2020 campaign.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

This week that saw virtually everything grind to a halt saw something new start to emerge.

Trump saw his presidency upended by a national crisis without precedent that tanked a favorite job-approval metric -- the stock market -- while stressing the systems of the federal government. Bipartisanship has broken out amid a race to spend record sums of cash.

What's emerging is an entirely different 2020 campaign, one that could play far less to the president's strengths. Yet the self-described "wartime president" may have found some crucial footing.

A new ABC News/Ipsos poll out Friday morning found 55% approval of Trump's handling of the novel coronavirus crisis, with 43% disapproval. Exactly a week ago, the same poll found a 43-54 approval-disapproval -- a near-mirror-image reversal.

Biden is a bit delayed in entering general-election mode, with Sen. Bernie Sanders still in the race and the national emergency sidelining politics and even some primary voting.

But he is road-testing messaging even in this environment. Biden's campaign on Thursday said Trump is lying about the speed of his response to cover for his "negligent and incompetent response to a global health pandemic."

No one can know what this country -- to say nothing of this race -- will look like come November. But it's safe to say it won't look anything like the candidates thought it would even a week ago.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

As Capitol Hill rushes to write another massive piece of legislation to offer relief to families and businesses shattered by this current health and economic crisis, there are some on both sides of aisle signaling concern that lawmakers may be moving too fast and considering sums of money too large, as desperate as this moment seems.

Former Republican governor and leader in the GOP, Nikki Haley, resigned from her position on the board of Boeing, seeming to anticipate the risky politics around any government bailout of large multi-national businesses in this time of crisis. Though the bills are still being drafted and details are only hypothetical at this point, Haley could be trying to get ahead of any dicey fallout, should she run again in the future.

"I cannot support a move to lean on the federal government for a stimulus or bailout that prioritizes our company over others and relies on taxpayers to guarantee our financial position," Haley wrote in a statement.

Behind closed doors and in the halls of the Senate, a small handful of other Republicans expressed anxiety about the $1 trillion price tag that had been floated for the next bill and concern that any bill should focus on average-income workers instead of executives or large shareholders.

On that point, Democrats agreed and seemed to put their foot down. Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said while his caucus was not necessarily opposed to assisting select industries, any aid would need to be "worker focused," meaning no payouts to corporate executives and no money being used for corporate stock buy-backs.

"We have to put the workers first," Schumer said. "We don't want these industries to go under, but we certainly don't want the dollars that are put there to go to corporate executives."

All elected officials are aware that the bailouts from 2008 remain controversial for many. Expect large-scale debate, albeit likely rushed, about how to put strings on any government money doled out in the coming weeks and months.

The TIP with Adam Kelsey

The only thing quieter than Sanders as he left the Capitol on Wednesday -- when he ignored questions about the future of his presidential campaign -- are the streets of his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. There were only a smattering of locals traversing a once-bustling Church Street, the senator's favorite Turkish restaurant has switched to takeout-only and bartenders at the hotel where he held press conferences last week could be overheard discussing their prospects for potential unemployment assistance.

The eerie calm in Vermont's largest city on Thursday provided a relatively distraction-free environment for Sanders and his wife Jane to "begin holding conversations with supporters to get input and assess the path forward," as campaign manager Faiz Shakir put it in an email to backers this week. It's something the couple is doing in relative isolation -- senior staffers didn't follow the couple back to Vermont Wednesday night -- underscoring the personal nature of the decision.

But as Sanders admitted himself at the Capitol -- telling reporters he was "'dealing with a f——g global crisis" when they first attempted to broach the topic of his campaign -- his mind is otherwise occupied.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to offer an unprecedented platform for Sanders' signature "Medicare for All" plan and a few other stopgaps he's proposed, including monthly $2,000 payments intended to hold over economically insecure constituents -- like those hotel bartenders -- potentially giving him a reason to prolong the attention that even a floundering presidential campaign can afford.


As a deepening public health crisis rocks the nation, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday shows a far different portrait of a country than from only one week ago, as nearly three in four Americans now say their lives have been upended in some way by the novel coronavirus and President Donald Trump's approval for his handling of the outbreak is on the rise.


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Friday morning's episode features ABC News Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, who explains why President Donald Trump's claims about drug treatment for COVID-19 may be a bit exaggerated. Then, we speak to Bryce Rudow, an American who is stranded in Madagascar due to novel coronavirus travel restrictions. And, ABC News' Maggie Rulli explains why Italy has crossed a grim threshold in its fight against the virus.


  • Former Vice President Joe Biden participates in a virtual Biden for President finance event on Friday.
  • President Donald Trump has lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 1:30 p.m., followed by a phone call with small business owners about the novel coronavirus at 3:30 p.m.
  • Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force hold a press briefing at 11:45 a.m.
  • Sunday on ABC's "This Week": Co-Anchor Martha Raddatz speaks with former New Jersey Governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie, former Chicago Mayor and ABC News Contributor Rahm Emanuel, ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce, and Former Trump Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser and ABC News Contributor Tom Bossert.

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    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.