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Tim Kaine says he's seen "dramatic uptick" in Dem-friendly early voting

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said that Virginia and other states around the country have seen a "dramatic uptick" in early voting among those most likely to support Vice President Joe Biden during an Axios News Shapers event on Friday.

Why it matters: Early voting has taken on increased importance and use nationwide amid the coronavirus pandemic with as many as 80 million people expected to cast their ballots before Election Day, whether by mail or in person.


What he's saying: "When people vote early, the parties get the information about whose ballots have been returned. Obviously, they don't get information about how the ballots have been cast, but we know whose ballots have been returned," Kaine told Axios' Mike Allen.

  • "And what parties do in Virginia and elsewhere is we give everybody a score statewide as to how likely they are to be a Democratic or a Republican voter."
  • "What we've seen in Virginia and elsewhere is just a dramatic uptick in votes for people who we would think would be, frankly, on the Democratic side, and that just is a suggestion of energy."
  • "We always look at who's voting early to give us an indication of energy, and that's usually a pretty solid bit of evidence to use to make a prediction about the outcome."

The big picture: Virginia already saw a huge jump in voting by mail during its municipal elections in May. Forty-two times as many mail-in ballots were cast in that election than in 2016.

  • In 20 Virginia towns and nine cities, more than half the votes cast in the municipal election were absentee.
  • And some people waited in line for four hours on the state's first day of early voting for the general election in September.

The other side: President Trump has repeatedly claimed without evidence that increased mail-in voting spurred by the pandemic will lead to widespread voter fraud.

  • That has spurred consternation among some top Republicans. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has privately encouraged voting by mail and warned Trump the party could be "screwed" by his fight against mail-in voting.

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in U.K.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday outlined his plan for the country's second coronavirus lockdown as the nation topped the 1 million case mark, per Johns Hopkins University data.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close except for takeout. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Inter-mingling between households and outbound international travel or out-of-home boarding will be prohibited. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

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Trump's legacy is shaped by his narrow interests

President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.

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Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.

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Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a quick-serve restaurant platform sponsored by Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

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Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.

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Podcast: How hospitals are prepping for the new COVID-19 surge

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, particularly in areas that had been largely spared in the spring. One big question now is if hospitals are better prepared for this new wave, including if they'll be able to continue providing elective services.

Axios Re:Cap digs into what hospitals have, and what they still need, with Lloyd Dean, CEO of CommonSpirit Health, one of America's largest operators of hospitals and health clinics.

Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of COVID-19 cases

Belgium is enforcing a strict lockdown starting Sunday amid rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and a surge of deaths, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday.

Why it matters: De Croo said the government saw no choice but to lock down "to ensure that our health care system does not collapse." Scientists and health officials said deaths have doubled every six days, per the Guardian.

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First look: Reid Hoffman launches $1M ad urging election patience

Billionaire and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, one of Democrats' biggest donors, tells Axios he's launching a $1 milliondigital ad campaign in battleground states urging voters to be patient with election results and prepare for no winner to be known on Nov. 3, no matter what "some people" may prematurely declare via Twitter.

Driving the news: The three-minute ad, titled "We Count! A Patriotic Musical Extravaganza," features the voice of "The Big Bang Theory's" Jim Parsons and Broadway star Barrett Doss. The spot will appear on Facebook targeting voters in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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