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The Hill's Campaign Report: 200 days to Election Day 2020

The Hill's Campaign Report: 200 days to Election Day 2020
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Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail. 

 

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LEADING THE DAY:  

200 DAYS OUT: We’re officially 200 days away from Election Day in November, and while America’s attention is on the coronavirus pandemic, campaigns are gearing up. 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas UN secretary general 'deeply disturbed' by Israeli strike on high rise that housed media outlets Nation's largest nurses union condemns new CDC guidance on masks MORE scored three major back-to-back endorsements this week from Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas Prominent Muslim group to boycott White House Eid celebration over stance on Israel-Gaza violence Biden speaks with Israel's Netanyahu again amid ramped-up strikes in Gaza MORE (I-Vt.), former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 Obama shares video of him visiting Maryland vaccination site GOP votes to replace Cheney with Stefanik after backing from Trump MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas Sanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy MORE (D-Mass).

The show of unity from the party’s leadership demonstrates Democrats’ urgency to unify ahead of November. It also puts Biden in a better position than 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCongress won't end the wars, so states must Democrats say it's up to GOP to stop Trump 2024 Hillary Clinton to speak at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders summit MORE was in four years ago. Sanders did not endorse Clinton until the summer of 2016, leading to questions about how deep the party’s divisions were. Additionally, Biden racked up larger wins over Sanders than Clinton did in 2016. 

In terms of a head-to-head matchup against President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE, Biden leads the president in a number of key swing states according to recent polls. Biden currently leads Trump in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average. 

However, Trump has the advantage of having a massive financial war chest, thanks to his campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC). Trump has also gotten massive media exposure due to his daily White House coronavirus task force briefings. 

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Democrats need to win the White House and a net three seats to get a majority in the upper chamber. However, they will have to win four Republican seats to flip the Senate. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) is facing an uphill reelection battle in Alabama, which Trump is likely to sweep in November.

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Democrats will have to unseat Sens. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyEx-McSally aide pleads guilty to stealing over 0K in campaign funds Arizona state senator announces bid for Kirkpatrick's seat Democratic Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick says she won't seek reelection MORE, Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsRomney: Capitol riot was 'an insurrection against the Constitution' Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans MORE in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine, respectively, in addition to winning a fourth seat. The party appears to have a decent shot in all three of the contests. 

The House, on the other hand, is the least likely chamber to flip in the general election. The GOP needs a net gain of 20 seats to take back the majority. Republicans also have to take into account the redistricting in North Carolina, which will endanger two GOP-held seats, as well as retiring Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdWill the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden, Congress drawn into pipeline cyberattack, violence in Israel Pence autobiography coming from Simon & Schuster MORE’s (R-Texas) district, which Democrats are favored to take. 

The focus for Republicans will be on districts Trump won in 2016, but that are currently held by Democrats. The Cook Political Report rates Rep. Angie Craig’s (D-Minn.) district, which Trump won by 1.2 percentage points, as “lean Democratic.”

Meanwhile, Cook rates Reps. Mikie SherrillRebecca (Mikie) Michelle SherrillGOP lawmakers request briefing on Democrats' claims of 'suspicious' Capitol tours before Jan. 6 Lawmakers question NCAA over 'disparate treatment' at women's championships NJ lawmakers ask Gannett to stop 'union-busting' efforts at 3 state newspapers MORE (D-N.J.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindHouse Democrats hit Republicans on mobile billboard at GOP retreat House Republicans pressuring Democrats to return donations from Ocasio-Cortez Race debate grips Congress MORE’s (D-Wis.) races as “likely Democratic.” Trump won Sherrill’s district by 1 point and Kind’s district by 4 points. 

However, Republicans do have an advantage in a number of key districts. For example, Rep. Abigail SpanbergerAbigail Davis SpanbergerFive takeaways on the House's return to budget earmarks Lawmakers say companies need to play key role in sustainability On The Money: Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since lockdowns | Retail sales surge in March | Dow, S&P hit new records MORE’s (D-Va.) race in Virginia’s 7th District, which was also won by Trump in 2016, is considered a “toss-up” by Cook's report. The website also rates Rep. Lucy McBathLucia (Lucy) Kay McBathLawmakers brace for battles with colleagues as redistricting kicks off On The Trail: Census data kicks off the biggest redistricting fight in American history Giffords group unveils gun violence memorial on National Mall MORE’s (D-Ga.) seat in Georgia’s 6th District as a “toss-up.” That district was won by Trump in 2016 and was formerly held by former Rep. Karen HandelKaren Christine HandelOssoff defeats Perdue in Georgia Senate runoff McBath wins rematch against Handel in Georgia House race House Democrats' campaign arm reserves .6M in ads in competitive districts MORE (R-Ga.), who is running again for the seat. 

 

READ MORE:

Here's where things stand 200 days before Election Day, by Julia Manchester and Max Greenwood 

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

Biden’s campaign is planning a rollout for Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama describes Barack's favorite movies: 'Everybody is sad, then they die' Michelle Obama on coping with low-grade depression: 'Nobody rides life on a high' Sarah Silverman urges Congress to pass voting bill: 'What kind of politician wants to keep people from voting?' MORE’s endorsement, although there are questions about just how public a role the enormously popular former first lady will play in his campaign. Sources tell The Hill that the Biden campaign’s early plans include a focus on remote fundraising and voter registration efforts. The trick for Michelle Obama and the Biden campaign is finding the right balance for the pop culture icon, who could be a massive asset for the campaign but has never shown much enthusiasm for campaign politics. Amie Parnes and Jonathan Easley report.

Sen. Warren said she would agree to be Biden’s running mate if she’s offered the job, The Hill’s Rebecca Klar reports. Asked by MSNBC’s Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowSchumer works to balance a divided caucus's demands Matt Taibbi: Rachel Maddow has become the new Bill O'Reilly Ocasio-Cortez eyeing T over 10 years for infrastructure MORE on Wednesday night what she would say if the former vice president offered her the No. 2 slot on the Democratic ticket, Warren answered bluntly: “Yes.”

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) host committee is laying off and reassigning employees in the latest sign of trouble for the party ahead of the scheduled convention in August, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe told the paper it’s very “unlikely” there will be a convention in Milwaukee this year, and he urged the party to get “creative” in considering a workaround.

 

PERSPECTIVES:

Zachary Wamp and Meredith McGeheeHow Congress must aid states to ensure safe and secure elections

David Brady and Brett Parker: The Trump Bump’s likely demise

David Siders: Why Democratic unity is a problem for Trump

 

FROM CONGRESS & THE STATES:

Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP Biden: 'Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK' Battle rages over vaccine passports MORE (I-Mich.), who left the Republican Party and registered as an Independent last year, has reignited speculation that he’ll run for president on a third party ticket in the fall. That speculation has led to excitement among Libertarians, who view him as their best shot at breaking through on the national stage in 2020. Amash has described himself as a libertarian in the past. There has never been a sitting member of Congress from the Libertarian Party. Jonathan Easley takes a look at what an Amash candidacy could mean for the presidential race, particularly in the battleground state of Michigan.

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Mail-in voting doesn’t lend an advantage to either major political party. That’s according to a new study from Stanford University’s Democracy and Polarization Lab, which looks at election results in three states that phased in vote-by-mail programs county by county. More from The Hill’s Zack Budryk: “Comparing county-level election results and public party registration data for California and Utah voters ranging from 1996 to 2018, researchers found 'a truly negligible effect' on partisan turnout rates with the addition of a vote-by-mail option, with turnout slightly up across the entire voting-age population.”

 

MONEY WATCH:

Democrats in some of the most competitive Senate races out-raised their Republican opponents in the first quarter of 2019, recent filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show. Here’s a quick rundown:

Arizona

-Mark Kelly (D):

-Receipts: $11,008,599.35

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-Disbursements: $4,910,934.63

-Cash on hand: $19,706,843.19 

 

-Martha McSally (R):

-Receipts: $6,372,756.09

-Disbursements: $3,780,574.23

-Cash on hand: $10,252,063.35

 

Colorado

-John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperDC statehood bill picks up Senate holdout Lobbying world DNC taps veteran campaign hands for communications staff MORE (D)

-Receipts: $4,077,784.93

-Disbursements: $2,413,321.07

-Cash on hand: $4,880,041.96

 

-Sen. Cory Gardner (R):

-Receipts: $2,469,739.20

-Disbursements: $656,715.07

-Cash on hand: $9,565,416.45

 

Maine

-Sara Gideon (D):

-Receipts: $7,100,800.94

-Disbursements: $5,229,219.02

-Cash on hand: $4,649,432.36

 

-Susan Collins (R):

-Receipts: $2,405,597.36

-Disbursements: $3,989,003.52

-Cash on hand: $5,611,935.58

 

North Carolina

-Cal Cunningham (D):

-Receipts: $2,983,423.54

-Disbursements: $1,451,578.91

-Cash on hand: $3,000,479.06

 

-Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisSenate hears from Biden's high-profile judicial nominees for first time Senate Democrats take aim at 'true lender' interest rate rule Former North Carolina chief justice launches Senate campaign MORE (R):

-Receipts: $1,376,774.26

-Disbursements: $298,583.77

-Cash on hand: $6,483,413.82

 

POLL WATCH:

Gallup: Trump’s job approval rating dips by 6 points.

 

PUBLIC POLICY POLLING – NORTH CAROLINA PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 48 percent

Trump: 47 percent

 

PUBLIC POLICY POLLING – NORTH CAROLINA SENATE

Cunningham: 47 percent

Tillis: 40 percent

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak)

 

April 17:

Wyoming

 

April 28:

Ohio

 

May 2:

Kansas Democratic primary

 

May 12:

Nebraska primaries

 

May 19:

Oregon primaries

 

May 22:

Hawaii Democratic primary

 

June 2:

Connecticut primaries

Delaware primaries

District of Columbia primaries

Indiana primaries

Maryland primaries

Montana primaries

New Mexico primaries

Pennsylvania primaries

Rhode Island primaries

South Dakota primaries

 

June 9:

Georgia primaries

West Virginia primaries

 

June 20:

Louisiana primaries

 

June 23:

Kentucky primaries

New York primaries

 

July 7:

New Jersey primaries

 

August 17-20:

Democratic National Convention

 

August 24-27:

Republican National Convention

 

We’ll be back tomorrow with more campaign news of the day!