Friday's Campaign Round-Up, 5.1.20

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.

* On MSNBC this morning, Joe Biden categorically denied sexual assault allegations raised by Tara Reade, a former staffer, and called on the National Archives to release any potential records related to her claims. The likely Democratic presidential nominee also issued a written statement, calling attention to what Biden described as "the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways."

* Donald Trump's re-election campaign is poised to launch a seven-figure television ad buy, featuring commercials touting the president's handling of the coronavirus crisis. The ads will reportedly begin airing on Sunday.

* Joe Biden's and Bernie Sanders' camps agreed yesterday to a delegate arrangement in which the Vermont senator will maintain representation and influence over shaping the Democratic Party's platform.

* Trump told Reuters this week that he sees the 2020 election as "a referendum on all the things we've done." That's a curious strategy for an incumbent with a weak approval rating. As Sam Stein noted, eight years ago, Barack Obama's re-election campaign went to great lengths to frame the election as a "choice" not a "referendum."

* A striking detail in Public Policy Polling's latest survey out of Texas: when respondents were asked about lifting the state's vote-by-mail restrictions, a narrow majority (53%) of Texans supported making the change. The partisan split, however, wasn't close: 79% of Democratic voters support lifting vote-by-mail restrictions, while 69% of Republican voters do not.

* The latest Public Policy Polling survey found Biden leading Trump in Michigan by eight points, 50% to 42%, while a Saint Anselm College poll found the former vice president leading the Republican incumbent in New Hampshire by an identical margin.

* Shifting a bit from his previous posture, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) shared some thoughts with NBC News this week about Biden's potential running mate. "I think having a woman on the ticket is a must," Clyburn said. "I'm among those who feel that it would be great for him to select a woman of color. But that is not a must."

* And speaking of South Carolina, businessman Richard Wilkerson served on the finance committee of Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R) 2016 presidential campaign. This year, however, Wilkerson has announced his support for Graham's 2020 U.S. Senate rival, Jaime Harrison (D).