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GOP & police reform bill; US public on reopening; Biden's lead on Trump

Jon Lieber, managing director for the United States at Eurasia Group, provides his perspective:


What is the status of the federal police reform bill?

Well, the House has passed a bill already and the Senate has their own version. The big differences between the two is that the Senate bill doesn't ban chokeholds. It doesn't ban no knock warrants. And it allows qualified immunity for police to continue. Senate Democrats have said this is unacceptable. The bill cannot be fixed and have refused to even allow it to come to the floor of the Senate for debate. Not a great moment in U.S. congressional history. And it looks like this isn't going to happen.


Three and a half months into lockdown. Where does the American public stand on reopening?

Definitely reopening activity has gotten Americans out of their houses. In April, mobility data showed that about 19 percent of people visited friends and family, so far in June it's more like just around 50 percent have visited friends and family. People are moving around more. There's more activity in places where coronavirus cases are spiking. But public opinion polling also shows that people are willing to stay at home. Eighty percent of Americans say they will stay at home if ordered by the CDC or their governor or if there's a spike in cases or a decrease in hospital capacity. So people are still scared about the virus even as life returns to normal.

How durable is Biden's lead over Trump?

Well, this is really the million-dollar question for the election year this year. A lot of bad polls for President Trump recently. A poll came out today showing him down by three points in Ohio, which he won by 10 points in 2016. And another poll showing him down by 13 points nationally to former Vice President Biden. Long summer ahead of us there. Still four and a half months left in this campaign. A lot can happen. Two factors I think, may work in President Trump's favor. The first is former Vice President Biden's age, which has yet to really be exploited on the campaign trail. And I expect President Trump to make an issue out of that. And the second is any backlash from the recent protest movements and the tearing down of statues in the streets, which President Trump is also going to be keenly attuned to. However, with a bad economy and these bad poll numbers, he's certainly the underdog right now. He's got a lot of ground to make up.

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