Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 4.3.20

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
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By Steve Benen

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* With just a few days remaining before Wisconsin's elections, a federal judge admonished state officials for failing to delay the contests, but U.S. District Judge William Conley concluded he lacked the authority to do so himself. Conley did, however, ease restrictions for absentee voting, which prompted a Republican appeal to the 7th Circuit.

* Mother Jones' Ari Berman had a related report on the Badger State, adding, "The date can only be changed by the Republican-controlled state legislature, which has both refused to postpone it while rebuffing calls by [Wisconsin's Democratic governor, Tony Evers] to mail a ballot to every registered voter."

* A new national Grinnell College poll, conducted by Iowa-based Selzer & Co., found Joe Biden leading Donald Trump in a general election match-up, 47% to 43%. The incumbent president fared better against Bernie Sanders, narrowly leading the Vermont senator, 44% to 43%.

* As you've probably heard, Democratic Party officials yesterday delayed their national nominating convention, moving the starting date from July 13 to August 17. The four-day gathering is still scheduled to be held in Milwaukee.

* In Alabama's Republican U.S. Senate primary, Jeff Sessions recently sent out a direct-mail piece that referenced Donald Trump 22 times, as part of an effort to tie the former attorney general to the incumbent president. Yesterday, the Trump campaign publicly urged Sessions to stop trying to make the connection, calling the efforts "misleading" and at times "delusional."

* Speaking of the Trump campaign, the Republican operation this week unveiled a new video spliced in such a way as to make it appear that Joe Biden called the coronavirus a hoax. The Biden campaign yesterday called it "wildly irresponsible" and called on Team Trump to pull it.

* And the Trump campaign this week also hosted a call with surrogates, giving them direction on tying the pandemic to the 2020 cycle. "This is the bottom line: President Trump is leading the nation in this war against the coronavirus, and Joe Biden, the Democrats and the media have decided to be the opposition in that war," Tim Murtaugh, the campaign's director of communications, told Team Trump's allies.