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Pandemic helps propel Biden ahead of Trump by 15 points in new poll

Joe Biden has opened up a 15-point lead over President Trump and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is the preferred choice for handling the coronavirus pandemic, an ABC News/Washington Post poll published early on Sunday finds.

By the numbers: Biden is ahead of Trump 55-40% among registered voters. However, the margin narrows to 54-44% among likely voters.


Why it matters: Per the poll news release, "Three and a half months ago the two candidates were virtually even in trust to handle the pandemic, Trump +2 percentage points, 45-43 percent. Today, with COVID-19 cases surging around the nation, Biden leads Trump on the issue by a 20-point margin, 54-34 percent."

  • A Quinnipiac University poll out last Wednesday reported 62% of registered voters said Trump's hurting efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Yes, but: Trump's new campaign manager Bill Stepien on Thursday dismissed recent polls showing the president losing five of six swing states — and sinking into a double-digit hole nationwide, noting that similar surveys "had the world convinced that Hillary Clinton would be elected in 2016."

Of note: The phone survey of 1,006 adults was conducted from July 12-15. It has a margin of error of 3.5 points.

Read the full poll, via DocumentCloud:

House antitrust chair talks USA vs. Google

The Justice Department filed a 63-page antitrust lawsuit against Google related to the tech giant's search and advertising business. This comes just weeks after the House subcommittee on antitrust issued its own scathing report on Google and other Big Tech companies, arguing they've become digital monopolies.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chair of the subcommittee on antitrust, about Google, the DOJ's lawsuit and Congress' next move.

Boeing research shows disinfectants kill coronavirus on airplanes

Boeing and researchers at the University of Arizona say their experiment with a live virus on an unoccupied airplane proves that the cleaning methods currently used by airlines are effective in destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.

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Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.

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Hunter Biden firestorm underscores the hazy line between politics and influence campaigns

The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.

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"I stood up for that": Pope Francis voices support for same-sex civil unions

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

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Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

The White House is attempting to leverage momentum from Israel's normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE to get more Arab countries on board before the U.S. election.

Driving the news: President Trump wants Sudan's removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list to be accompanied by a pre-election announcement on Israel.

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Poll: 92% of battleground state voters are "extremely motivated to vote"

91% of likely voters nationally say they are "extremely motivated to vote," including 92% in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a Change Research/CNBC Poll.

Why it matters: The 2020 election could see record-breaking levels of voter turnout. Voters last week cast ballots at five times the rate they did at this point in the 2016 election, per the U.S. Elections Project. Over 39 million ballots have been cast in early voting states as of Wednesday.

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OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to plead guilty to 3 criminal charges

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges Wednesday as part of a more than $8 billion settlement with the Justice Department, AP reports.

Why it matters: "The settlement is the highest-profile display yet of the federal government seeking to hold a major drugmaker responsible for an opioid addiction and overdose crisis linked to more than 470,000 deaths in the country since 2000," AP notes.

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